Review: MX vs. ATV All Out

In my current quest to play just about any game with vehicles racing around tracks, I decided to pick up my first motocross game since Excitebike in MX vs. ATV All Out.

At its core, All Out is an arcade moto racing game with decent customization, intuitive gameplay and a decent track variety. The single-player “career” mode is extensive, but lacks some personality as it is basically just multiple collections of races — not entirely unlike Mario Kart. While I prefer more traditional sports game career modes — see F1 2017, NASCAR Heat 2 — the collection of series offered in All Out provides plenty of content and incentive to play the game.

At the beginning of the game, you’re placed on a low-level bike and given free reign over the compound area, as you can motor around an open world and complete tutorials on each of the race types. These types include outdoor Nationals, indoor Supercross and Arenacross inspired tracks, point-to-point Opencross tracks and freestyle trick events. The career mode is filled with collections of each of those types of races, building up to the most powerful vehicles.

As you can probably tell from its name, ATVs are also available in the game. All Out also includes UTVs, which control poorly in my view. While it’s nice to have options, I definitely prefer just riding the bikes as they offer more control.

Racing against the AI is fun and challenging. You can race as little as 3 laps, all the way up to 30, and the game also lets you practice and qualify for the races. However, qualification is largely pointless as it merely decides the starting position for the main race and has no cuts.

Ruts begin to develop on the track for longer races, which do seem to impact the driving even slightly. While driving is a bit grippier than you might expect for an off-road game, it feels right at home in this arcade racer.

All Out’s customization offers quite a bit of variety between color schemes, designs and the tuning of the vehicles. However, I was also disappointed that none of the vehicles in the game are real-world, licensed bikes and ATVs. Each vehicle type has a couple of variants that you can buy, marketed just as THQ or Rainbow, after the publisher and developer. While I’m not a bike nut, I still appreciate using authentic vehicles in games. The licensed bikes are being offered as paid DLC at $2.99 each, which is a shame and, frankly, a bit of a ripoff.

The overall presentation of the game can also seem a bit staid and same-y. Some of the tracks stick out, but many of them are indistinguishable from each other. The game’s graphics are fine, but aren’t even in the same league as Monster Energy Supercross, which was released about 6 weeks earlier.

The largest issue with the game at the time of launch has been its performance. I’ve been playing on the PS4 Pro, and it runs mostly fine. I do notice occasional pop-in, frame stutters and screen tearing, but it is nothing gamebreaking. However, players on the base PS4 and Xbox One systems have apparently not been so lucky. The game has bordered on unplayable on those systems, according to online reactions.

Additionally, I have tried racing online just a few times. In the one time I was able to find a match, I raced against just one other opponent. It was a darned good and competitive race, but it is worrying for the overall longevity of the game. Considering that one of the trophies is for winning an online race with 15 people in it, I can’t imagine that there will be any Platinum trophies earned.

Some of these issues are things that can be improved upon throughout the coming months, and the developers have already released a few patches for consoles.

MX vs. ATV All Out is far from a perfect game. But it is a fun game, and I hope it really gains an audience on console once it gets past early hiccups.