Xbox One, PS4, PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
June 28, 2022
MX vs ATV Legends is the newest title in the long running MX vs ATV franchise. MX vs ATV has a long history behind it, it’s the lovechild of THQ’s MX trilogy and Sony’s ATV Offroad Fury series. With a career mode to become a world-famous legendary racer, ride dirt bikes, ATVs or UTVs against AI. You gain fans and money where you can upgrade your vehicles as you compete in races. Is Legends the game you want to ride off in the sunset with, or will it scream in the backseat on the way to Cape Canaveral?
Racing the giants
Beginning with a tutorial, team member and mechanic TJ Johansson teaches you how to ride the bike and play the game. Most of this is regular things you pick up from playing games with vehicles. Once completing the tutorial, you meet Emilio Rawlings, a potential team member, who allows you and TJ to practise on his farm. After speaking to Emilio, you have more tutorials to complete, which will help you in your career. However, let’s hope you can remember the move set, because there’s no way to revisit the tutorials. And when starting, there’s no way to skip the conversation, you can either start the conversation or stop it.
You make your way over to the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube-men. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realise that the conversation needed to close to start the tutorial; and once finished, you’re plopped at the front of the Farm ready to start another tutorial. For me, this is where the first glitch occurred that impacted my experience straight away. After jumping and falling into a large body of water, I respawned, and the bike rode… riderless. It only fixed itself when my bike had a head-on collision with a rock. A lot of the glitches encountered aren’t game breaking, which is a relief, but they can certainly be weird and frustrating.
The farm itself is the main open world area, with the option of more in free ride mode. In the open world you’ll find floating helmet collectables that you can grab by driving into them, and each area is a different environment to practice on. There are tracks, hills, open bodies of water to have fun zooming around. But, the open world feels a bit redundant, as there isn’t a lot to do. Legends does at least have a leg up on being able to test yourself and get better at the trials, or stunts. But, while playing it does feel like it only exists there to talk to characters you meet throughout the game.
Playing the career mode of Legends is serviceable, and you have the option of racing bikes, ATVs or UTVs throughout. This includes timed trials, checkpoints and even supercross. There’s some variation so no event is the same, but the tracks do get re-used. The MX bikes feel decent to ride, but can feel kind of slippery, even if the ground is dry. Changing from dual to single stick helped this out for me but your mileage may vary. The ATV, on the other hand, is bouncy; anything and everything will set it off and you’ll start bouncing around like a ball in a pinball machine. And the UTV is the most trouble out of the three, it’s bouncy much like the ATV but also it can drift for some reason? There are no issues drifting with the bikes or the ATV, and I don’t have the dreaded controller drift. But it’s like if an AI knocks into you, you are forced into turning right or left… for some reason. This is a similar issue with keyboard and mouse, so not controller-specific.
“…it feels like another racing game that isn’t shaking up the genre.”
The music is right up my alley, there’s some Bring Me The Horizon and Asking Alexandria, in addition to original music. But, sometimes it would softly cut in and out, and there doesn’t seem to be an in-game reason as to why that is. And sometimes the music will be quiet enough, and then next thing it’ll be super loud. There could’ve been a bit more polish to the audio mixing, which is a damn shame. The voice acting is fine, but, the characters aren’t moving their mouths while speaking. So it feels like an omniscient voice speaking to the rider. It can also be quite jarring and takes you out of the scene.
Accessibility options in Legends are lacking severely. The subtitles automatically applied is great, but there’s no options to turn them off if you prefer. There’s a couple of grammatical mistakes in the subtitles, capital letters where it should be lowercase and vice versa, or doubled up letters. One thing that is super frustrating, is that the subtitle paragraph will cut off mid-sentence. In the image gallery towards the start of this review, you can see an example of this in the last image. So instead of each paragraph ending with a full stop or comma, it’ll end mid-sentence so reading it is awkward. There’s no option to change the size of the fonts, or even add a background so you can tell what the words say.
There’s no colourblind mode, and no way to remap the controls. There’s not even an option to see the key bindings, so if you’ve forgotten how to do things, you might have to consult a walkthrough. You’re able to hide the HUD, add pro physics, change the difficulty from very easy to very hard and change the steering from dual stick to single stick. While the game is set to the easiest difficulty, some of the tracks are still difficult to win. Or are so easy that the rider was 2 minutes ahead of 2nd place in some races, so it’s inconsistent there as well.
- Riding a bike, ATV or UTV is fun enough
- Some fantastic music choices
- Local split screen like the good old days
- Open world is meh, with nothing much to do
- Vehicle handling is inconsistent and can be frustrating
- AI can be either super tough or easy as cake
- Music will cut in and out for some reason
MX vs ATV Legends has a legacy behind it, but it doesn’t bring anything to the table to bring new concepts to the genre. While it’s fun enough to ride around on bikes and have the driver ragdoll their way down the hill, there are some persistent issues like vehicle performance and video quality. Subtitles are cut off mid-sentence so reading it is awkward, and there is a real lack of accessibility options for those who need it. Music choices are rad, as there’s some more modern-ish music in it, mixed with some older ones. Overall, MX vs ATV Legends is a fun racer to goof off with your friends, but nothing to seriously sink your teeth into.