The nearly twenty-year-old MX vs. ATV franchise is back with their newest release from the team at Rainbow Studios with their dirt track racing game MX vs. ATV Legends. Released at the end of June, the current release follows their last release with MX vs. ATV All Out in 2018. The developers are looking to polish their skills and test new technologies with this new title. We got our hands on the dirt racing game. Find out how it is in our MX vs. ATV Legends review.
Story: Make your mark on a tour of dirt track racing
Starting with a dirt bike and some dreams, you’ll hit the track with the MX vs. ATV Legends career mode to set out and make your mark. But before you head into career mode, you’ll get a tutorial that will give you a good idea of how the new physics works with the vehicles. Next, you’ll work through various events and eventually gain access to additional vehicle types with ATVs and UTVs to compete with. Finishing events will bring some conversation with the handful of characters that help you along your career. There will be a host of content to play between the three different vehicle classes with multiple races, calendar weeks, tours, and more. You would expect that there would be plenty to enjoy, that’s if you’re able to play through it.
Unfortunately, MX vs. ATV Legends is buggy, glitchy, and considerably inconsistent, which makes it a struggle to finish through the various events. Even when you manage to bear the frustrations of the game, success will feel underwhelming compared to the amount of time you put in to finish the event in a decent position. Additionally, playing through events will feel like a chore, as any small decision could lead to success or failure with little chance of making up for it.
Gameplay: Highly technical and punishing
Primarily built from the ground up, the Rainbow Studios team made a game requiring more intricacy and accuracy. Taking jumps at certain speeds and angles will drastically change how your landing will play out. The various grades of turns and track conditions will affect your vehicle in multiple ways needing the moment adjustment to traverse in the less resistant way possible. Circuits offer a lot of variety, with some that are more punishing than others with obstacles that feel almost impossible to land right. There can be a great sense of risk and reward depending on how the player decides to attempt each jump, and if you don’t end up being flung off your vehicle, you’ll learn that in-air maneuverability will be essential.
Unfortunately, even if you learn how to maneuver your vehicle and handle all the various track obstacles, that still won’t help when dealing with inconsistent AI. In the Rainbow Studios game MX vs. ATV Legends, the AI is either unrealistically punishing towards the player or slow and clunky regardless of the track or vehicle class. In addition, the AI in every event will feel incredibly unbalanced, making it difficult to determine a baseline driving style in this game. Adding to the difficulty, no system allows for rewinding when a mistake is made. Unlike many other racers, you’re given the ability to reset yourself, which will immediately put you way behind the pack breaking up the flow of races.
Graphics/Audio: A beautiful open world hindered by menus
While much of the game can be a struggle between AI and physics, there is one thing MX vs. ATV Legends get right with the world that they built. Players can explore an open-world area between events that can offer collectibles throughout. Exploring the area, you’ll find a well-designed world with various terrain types for you to practice while taking in beautiful backdrops. Making massive jumps will give the player a view of beautiful forests and rolling hills. Still, unfortunately, this beautifully crafted open world is only offered for those in-between moments quickly broken by the use of menus that are required to go through to take on new events.
Conclusion: An inconsistent racing experience
The newest Rainbow Studios game, MX vs. ATV Legends, is a great foundational start to the franchise displaying recent changes that could become a stylish and enjoyable racing title with more polish and updates. For now, unfortunately, Mx vs. ATV Legends feels unfinished to some extent and creates a lot of frustration during gameplay. The long-standing racing franchise has many fans. But at this point, it doesn’t feel like the newest entry is in a state that deserves the love fans give. Even a month after the release of the Rainbow Studio game, it still feels like the game needed more development time before it should have been released.
If you’re still interested in checking out the Rainbow Studios game MX vs. ATV Legends after checking out our review, it’s available on Steam, PlayStation 4 & 5, and Xbox One & Series X|S for $49.99. Lastly, you can follow any future updates to MX vs. ATV Legends or other projects by heading to the Rainbow Studios development website.
- Great Soundtrack
- Beautiful but limited open world
- Well-designed tracks
- Inconsistent AI
- Poor vehicle handling
- Wonky physics systems