autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

MX vs. ATV Legends Review: Aims for Greatness, But Misses in Almost Every Way (PC)

I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a complete flop because it does have some potential.
MX vs. ATV Legends 70 photos
MX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV LegendsMX vs. ATV Legends
Developed at Rainbow Studios and published by THQ Nordic, the latest installment in the MX vs. ATV franchise sounds like a thrilling package on paper. Not only does it promise adrenaline-rousing gameplay in a plethora of different disciplines, but it also features pretty graphics, open-world environments, and a lengthy career mode packed with dirt bikes, quads, and burly UTVs. All that should make for a dope gaming experience, right?

Well, it turns out this isn’t exactly the case, and there’s an overwhelming number of players who appear to be sharing these thoughts. As much as I hate to say it, the newly released MX vs. ATV Legends is far from being the polished title folks were hoping for, though one has to admit that it does deserve some credit here and there – in small quantities, at least.

Before we go into any more details, I’d say a quick disclaimer is in order. Although you’ll see many people dismissing Legends after a few hours of gameplay (oftentimes for a good reason), the truth is that its mechanics can be fun once you’ve actually worked them out. Getting there may require a bit of practice for those who are new to the franchise like me, so I decided to give the learning curve a good climb prior to drawing any conclusions.



With that being said, let’s see what the latest addition to the MX vs. ATV series has to offer. We’ll start by looking at the positive aspects, the first of which is the game’s brilliant track design and variety. I mean, sure, you will encounter some oddly-placed jumping sections right before turns and end up flying straight into a barricade, but those are quite rare, and the overall track layouts certainly don’t disappoint.

While Triple Crown and motocross events can be a blast, the real fun is to be found at the Trails-type races set in much larger environments, ranging from snowy mountain peaks and forests to beaches and sandy desert dunes. Racing in these settings as you narrowly miss trees, rocks and rivals is nothing short of exhilarating, so this very Trails mode is among the only things that stop me from calling Rainbow Studios’ latest endeavor a complete let-down.

Okay, I’ll have to admit I’m already struggling to think of anything else that MX vs. ATV Legends has going for itself. The graphics look rather decent until you look too closely, and there’s a huge sense of satisfaction to be felt when you finally get the hang of the game’s controls. Popping dank nooners, wild stunts, and stoppies is also moderately entertaining, but that’s pretty much where the list of strengths ends, unfortunately.



Even though the overall gaming experience can be fun at times, it is plagued with countless bugs, unrefined physics, and a career mode that can only be described as painfully dull. The storyline sounds like it was conceptualized by an eight-year-old without much imagination, and all the cringe-worthy NPC dialog certainly doesn’t help.

To be fair, I would happily overlook these aspects if the actual gameplay was polished, but it’s just a little more refined than the Hulk’s vocabulary. You’ll often find yourself wrestling with the controls instead of having them work in your favor, which makes the new MX vs. ATV a very tough test of patience and perseverance.

For instance, the left analog stick manipulates both steering and seat-bouncing. The latter is achieved by holding the stick down and releasing it right before a jump to maximize air time, but what if the said jump comes straight after a tight turn? Obviously, you first need to steer whatever machine you’re operating in the right direction, which may not give you enough time to seat-bounce before you’re airborne.

Then there’s the dumb AI guaranteeing to grind your gears on the racetrack way too often, and don’t you even get me started on the awful quality of character animations or sound effects. Speaking of how Legends interacts with your eardrums, its licensed soundtrack is a compilation of metalcore and nu metal tunes that won’t be every player’s cup of tea.

Considering how badly this whole audio side of things is stitched together, though, even a fervid fan of bands like Bring Me the Horizon or Asking Alexandria would probably prefer to turn the music off. Now, the wide variety of camera views is almost a nice touch, but they’re all way too static and lifeless to provide any real sense of immersion. At least the first-person view works nicely in Trail events, I guess.

Despite the game’s description on Steam boasting “massive new open environments,” I wouldn’t describe them as massive by any stretch of the imagination. Vast though they may appear at first, these settings can actually be explored from boundary to boundary within minutes, and the only thing to do while you’re at it is to acquire collectibles scattered across the map. As you might imagine, this gets boring pretty quickly.

All in all, the MX and ATV modes do have some soul, whereas the UTVs are a chaotic mess rendered borderline unplayable by the AI’s tendency to charge into you at full throttle. While I could live with the quirky handling and so on, one can only get carelessly rear-ended off course so many times before things get downright frustrating.

Lastly, I haven’t had the chance to give multiplayer a go just yet, so all I can say is it would most likely be fun to gather your friends in a lobby for a few races – when (and if) the obnoxious bugs and bizarre physics get sorted out, that is. Right then, it’s time to wrap this up with a verdict, which won’t be as unforgiving as some of you might expect. Conclusion
MX vs. ATV Legends is priced at 40 bucks a pop, but you’ll have to spend more dollars on DLCs if you want to see any real manufacturers like KTM or Yamaha in the game. The vehicle customization and tuning are so bland they weren’t even worth mentioning until now, and everything about this title feels too unrefined for the price it demands.

However, let us end on a positive note, as many of the aforementioned shortcomings can be fixed with future updates. To their credit, the folks over at Rainbow Studios appear to be listening to the community because they’ve already rolled out a post-release patch addressing some of the issues. This really gives me hope that I’ll be seeing Legends in a new light one day, though the developers still have a long way to go before they can say it’s a wrap.

Rating: 65/100

Editor's note: Review based on a copy of the game provided by the publisher.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories