All three of the official circuits (MX1, MX2 and MXoN) are featured here, with each competition offering not only its authentic rosters, but impressively, its tracks as well: 84 riders, 32 teams, 16 nations and every single track from every circuit are all packed onto this one single disc – not to mention a truckload of licenses from the likes of Monster Energy, Rockstar, Kawasaki, Honda, KTM and many more. Most anything that fans could possibly ask for is all packed into this one title. Or is it?
It doesn’t matter how many licenses, tracks or circuits that are in a game, because if the gameplay doesn’t deliver, it’s all for naught. For the most part, MUD does deliver once you twist the throttle and get down and dirty in the mud though. There are numerous surface types to contend with and as races progress the terrain deforms. This isn’t merely a visual gimmick either, seeing how the ruts created from the tracks’ deformation strongly affects the bike’s handling. Softer terrains deforms near instantly and learning to control your speed with precise throttle and braking control to take advantage of these ruts is absolutely paramount to winning races. You’ll also make use of an aerial motocross technique called the “scrub” too. This is as simple as pressing the X button right before launching off of the top of a hill and going airborne. If the manoeuvre is held long enough – without crashing – you’ll gain a speed boost upon touching the ground.
The problem here is that a 1st place victory on any event barely allots enough points to unlock the following event, meaning that the funds needed to purchase upgrades, equipment, tricks, etc., will come from racing previously completed events. If you caught the “tricks” just then, those are used in the Trick Battles found within the World Tour as well, but the tricks are clumsily executed via button combinations – and can’t be performed whilst flipping for some reason – finding this mode coming up short all-around. It’s a shame really, because it would’ve been a nice contrast to the more simulation styled Official modes had it been handled properly.