Whoa Nelly! Where do I begin? There are a lot of things wrong with this game. I suppose I could start with the good then continue with the bad and just end with the ugly. THQ Nordic and Rainbow Studios have created some nice tracks and environments. They lack just a little polish. And that’s probably going to be the nicest thing I can say about this game. Track deformation over the course of a race works very nicely as you can see where the most consistent rider lines are being taken. Of course if you don’t take these lines just right in the latter part of a race it also becomes easier for your bike to skip out of the groove causing you to wipe out.
That probably concludes all the positives I have to say. No…Wait a sec… The incredible amount of content they have tried to squeeze into All Out is also a positive. A large variety of track layouts as well as including a number of different disciplines gives players a pretty big bang for their buck. Last but not least, MX vs ATV All Out features a thunderous, riff heavy soundtrack with both heavy metal and dubstep tunes that blend nicely with the roar of the engines. Ok, now to dive into a black pool of despair. The control scheme is fine but the overall feel is that it’s way too sensitive, especially when using the right thumbstick to transfer the weight of your rider.
Tire grip seems too inconsistent in how it reacts to the terrain. One second you’re taking a corner nicely and the next the rear wheel digs into the dirt and launches you sideways across the track. On the humorous side, I have to say it affects the AI as well. Many times I have seen a rider go flying off course in front of me. I’d like to say that it’s probably just my bad driving but it happens far too often. Some tracks feature large puddles. I would have liked to include this into the positive aspects of the game but there is absolutely zero reaction from the water. No ripples. No waves. No splashes.
Sure it obstructs your view of the dirt and how it is deforming under the surface but that just added to my frustration. Too often I would follow the line of one of the AI bikes ahead of me only to really sink hard and crash while the AI seemed to skim across the surface. Not exactly fair. Speaking of skimming across the surface I also got the impression that the bike seemed disconnected from the track. It’s hard to describe what I mean but it’s a visual thing. It just didn’t look like the bike was on the dirt but more like floating over it. The biggest, glaring fault with this game is the horrid frame rate problems.
I haven’t seen frame rates drop so hard since the launch of the Xbox One. At times it gets so bad it’s almost unplayable. The audio also suffers at times with some serious stuttering. That’s not to say that it’s a constant thing. It’s usually at it’s worst when a large number of riders are on the screen at once. Recently I’ve had a chance to write up a review on Monster Energy Supercross so I may be being overly critical. While I really like the structure and execution of Monster Energy Supercross, MX vs ATV All Out has a definite edge in the content department. Just don’t bother with qualifiers because in this game they are meaningless.
You’re only competing for position at the starting gate. No matter what position you start, if you have a good take off when the gate drops you’ll be in first place before you get to the second turn anyway. That’s where I like the structure of Monster Energy Supercross better. You had to actually qualify for the main event. I won’t say that one game is better than the other. It really comes down to what’s most important to you, content or execution. If you are a real fan of the sport I might suggest picking up both titles. Despite some of the glaring issues here I still managed to have fun due to the variety of what’s on offer. I just wish it was executed better.
Despite some of the glaring issues, MX vs ATV All Out houses a great deal of content. There’s no denying that it’s lacking in performance and optimization, but the weak execution is almost alleviated by its vast and various offerings. MX vs ATV All Out is one patch away from glory, but until that happens, it’s missing out on a lot of its potential.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.