All posts by Dave Moran

Dave is the co-owner of TIX - When the site breaks, it's his fault! You'll find him playing a lot of FIFA and removing heads with ease on Gears of War with the longshot...

Forza Horizon 2: First 100 cars announced

Playground Games have announced the first 100 cars that will be hitting the tarmac later this year in Forza Horizon 2.

A Blog post on the Forza Motorsport website tells us that each of the cars has been built from the ground up for the new generation of console, there will be everything from state-of-the-art supercars like the 2015 Lamborghini Huracán, to my absolute favourite, the 1963 Volkswagen Type 2 De Luxe.

Below is a list of the first 100 cars:

1. 2002 Acura RSX Type-S
2. 2007 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
3. 2011 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde
4. 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio Verde
5. 1964 Aston Martin DB5
6. 2010 Aston Martin One-77
7. 2012 Aston Martin Vanquish
8. 2013 Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus 5.2 FSI quattro
9. 1995 Audi RS 2 Avant
10. 2006 Audi RS 4
11. 2011 Audi RS 5 Coupé
12. 2013 Audi S4
13. 1997 BMW M3
14. 1991 BMW M3
15. 2012 BMW M5
16. 2011 BMW X5 M
17. 1990 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z
18. 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
19. 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
20. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS-454
21. 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
22. 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
23. 1995 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1
24. 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS 409
25. 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
26. 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8
27. 1957 Ferrari 250 California
28. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
29. 1994 Ferrari F355 Berlinetta
30. 2012 Ferrari F12berlinetta
31. 2007 Ferrari 430 Scuderia
32. 2013 Ferrari LaFerrari
33. 1980 Abarth Fiat 131
34. 2010 Abarth 500 esseesse
35. 2013 Abarth Punto Supersport
36. 2009 Ford Focus RS
37. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
38. 2000 Ford SVT Cobra R
39. 1993 Ford SVT Cobra R
40. 1987 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500
41. 2011 Ford Transit SuperSportVan
42. 1997 Honda Civic Type R
43. 2006 HUMMER H1 Alpha
44. 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track
45. 1956 Jaguar D-Type
46. 1961 Jaguar E-type S1
47. 1954 Jaguar XK120 SE
48. 1945 Jeep Willys MB
49. 2011 Koenigsegg Agera
50. 1997 Lamborghini Diablo SV
51. 2014 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4
52. 1982 Lancia 037 Stradale
53. 2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport
54. 2010 Lexus LFA
55. 1956 Lotus Eleven
56. 2012 Lotus Exige S
57. 2010 Maserati Gran Turismo S
58. 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata
59. 2011 Mazda RX-8 R3
60. 2013 McLaren P1
61. 2013 Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG
62. 2012 Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Coupé Black Series
63. 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series
64. 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG
65. 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
66. 1965 MINI Cooper S
67. 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI GSR
68. 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR
69. 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR
70. 2010 Nissan 370Z
71. 1969 Nissan Fairlady Z 432
72. 1994 Nissan Fairlady Z Version S Twin Turbo
73. 2000 Nissan Silvia Spec-R
74. 1971 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R
75. 1993 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec
76. 2012 Pagani Huayra
77. 2009 Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster
78. 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge
79. 1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SD-455
80. 1987 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA
81. 1973 Renault Alpine A110 1600S
82. 2003 Renault Sport Clio V6
83. 2010 Renault Megane RS 250
84. 2011 RUF Rt 12 S
85. 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C
86. 1998 Subaru Impreza 22B STi
87. 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
88. 2011 Subaru WRX STI
89. 1994 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205
90. 2013 Toyota GT86
91. 1995 Toyota MR2 GT
92. 2005 TVR Sagaris
93. 2012 Vauxhall Astra VXR
94. 2009 Vauxhall Corsa VXR
95. 2013 SRT Viper GTS
96. 1992 Volkswagen Golf Gti 16v Mk2
97. 2010 Volkswagen Golf R
98. 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI
99. 2011 Volkswagen Scirocco R
100. 1963 Volkswagen Type 2 De Luxe

What car are you most looking forward to driving this Autumn?

Valiant Hearts Review

During E3 then one presentation I was looking forward to was Ubisoft’s, there were some great games revealed and as ever the show ended leaving me feeling very excited about my game collection growing, little did I know that Valiant Hearts would be one of those games that would hold a special place on my virtual gaming shelf.

Valiant Hearts is a side-scrolling adventure that tells the tale of five characters journey through World War One. You begin the game playing as Karl, a German national living in France with his family, only to be deported from France to serve for the German Army. You’ll also play as Karl’s father-law, Emile, who is also enlisted by the French army. Both men have a shared aim of getting back to their family as quickly as possible. As the story unfolds you’ll also play as an American called Freddie, who just reminded me constantly of Mr T and Anna who is a medic helping those in need. There is also a dog who acts a loyal member to everyone and is on hand to help out when needed, he is able to get through small gaps, distract guards and collect items out of reach from humans.

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Throughout the game you’ll meet up with certain characters only to be separated again, sometimes geographically while other times you’ll need to solve a puzzle to reunite. I found the puzzles to be well thought out and fun to work out, some were easier than others and there times where you may have retrace your steps to find missing items such as a key or a brick to throw to re-connect a gas pipe. Some puzzles have time limits on them but the majority of them allow you to solve then in your own good time, there are sections of the game where you’ll need to time your runs to avoid gunfire or patrolling soldiers by hiding behind bushes or using your trusty pooch to distract them, there were running sequences that had you trying not to get hit by bombs falling from the sky, markers show on the ground before they land so generally its pretty easy to avoid them.

There are driving sections where you’ll be avoiding grenades and roadblocks, it’s all set to classical music and it was one of my favourite bits of the game. When playing as Anna you will often play a mini game while healing the injured or sick people she comes across, the game involves you hitting a combination of buttons to the patient’s heartbeat, if you hit the right combination all is ok but if you start to miss them you’ll get closer to killing the person you are trying to save, as the game goes on it start to get harder and harder. If you ever find yourself getting stuck on certain puzzles the game provides you with up to three hints that unlock every couple of minutes. I never had to use more than two hints for a puzzle though, as you make your way through the game you will get a better understanding of how certain puzzles work and you’ll won’t need the hints at all.

I love the wonderful presentation of the game, the hand-drawn artwork is beautiful and the audio is cleverly designed, the different characters in the game use a mumbled dialogue but you can still work out their accents as well as what they are saying thanks to visual clues that are a avaliable. They may just be used to point you in the right direction, or show you a certain object that you require to move on, some may feel like they are having their hand held by the game but personally it served as a good reminder as to what I need to be doing.

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The story is well told and will take you through a range of emotions while you play, considering how horrible the war was I felt that Ubisoft did a brilliant job of telling the stories of the characters, the game will leave you in suspense and quite possibly tears too.It was all supported by 100 collectibles split across the games four chapters and there were also diary entries that unlocked as you made your way through the game, some of the entries are from the actual soldiers involved in the war which I thought was a brilliant touch. The final 30 mins of the game really gripped me and I thought it ended really well, obviously I won’t spoil it for you.

If you haven’t worked out yet I loved this game, everything about it was well put together, the story was excellent, the presentation was superb and the puzzles were excellent, this is my game of the year so far, it may not stay top come this December but it will easily stay in my top 10, go buy this game now!

Big Thanks to Xbox for the review code.

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Outlast Review

When it comes to games with any sort of horror in it I can’t help myself and get as sucked into the atmosphere as much as possible, I then jump and shudder at the slightest thing, so, how would Outlast fare on my ‘games that scare the crap out of me list’? Pretty High!

Outlast, developed by Red Barrells snuck it’s way onto Xbox Live a couple of weeks ago and it’s set as theme as you’ll be sneaking round lots in this game. Outlast begins with your character driving his car up a winding driveway, it’s dark, it’s pouring with rain and eventually you come to a stop outside a security gate. There is no one around so you’ll need to make your way in on foot. You pull out a video camera and check the batteries for heading past the security gate to find a way in.

It’s clear something isn’t right, but that’s why you are here to investigate, you play as Miles Upshur, a freelance investigative journalist, receives an anonymous tip from a source identified only as a whistleblower. This whistleblower tells you that there have been all sorts of horrible experiments taking place at Mount Massive Asylum. As you finally find your way in you can see the devastation that has taken place, you come across and impaled SWAT officer who tells you to get out while you can. There is plenty more to story so I won’t spoil anymore of that for you now!

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One of the first things you will notice about the game is the fact that there are no weapons, you won’t be fighting any enemies on this gamer, instead you’ll be running away or hiding behind doors, in lockers or under beds. It’s quite a refreshing change and certainly gets you thinking about how you are going to escape the difficult situations you’ll come across.

Out last works like a typical horror game, it’s dark, there are lots of flickering lights and the only way to get through the dark sections is to use the night vision mode of your camera, which of course isn’t able to see too much in front of you. You’ll have to keep an eye on the camera’s battery too as they’ll eventually run low and need replacing, you’ll be forced to explore as much as possible to find spares.

The game is all set up with plenty of moments to make you jump, but my favourite thing about the game is the audio. This is one of those games you simply must play at night, with your headset as high as possible, the main noise you will hear in the game is Miles’ breathing, it responds brilliantly to the situation he faces, it gets heavy when he begins to run and when you are hiding in a dark corner you can hear him begin to mumble to himself, it works wonders for the atmosphere and puts you on edge as much as he is.

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There are sections of the game where you must turn on a certain number of valves to activate a gas pump or turn on an electricity supply, and as you would expect there is someone trying to put a stop to you, it’s a bit predictable and it’s just a case of working out their patterns to get round them, it’s fairly simple, but one false move and you’ll need to run and hope you can find somewhere to hide. The seconds as you wait inside a locker or behind a toilet door are quite tense as first as you hear your pursuer getting close and maybe opening the door next to you before making your next move. There are also some brilliant chase sections that really have you on the end of your seat, especially when it’s in an area of the game you are unfamiliar with.

I’m mentioned before about being the need to search around to find spare batteries, there are also notes and documents spread around the asylum, they’ll give you a great insight as to what has gone on at Mount Massive, you’ll meet the occasional inmate that will also reveal parts of the story too, so it’s worth taking your time to find out as much as you can.

There is also some DLC called Outlast: Whistleblower, which is a prequel to the game and sees you playing as Waylon Park, a software engineer who leaks information to Miles but is caught, it’s well worth checking out if you enjoy the main game. Visually the game is nothing spectacular but frankly it doesn’t matter as the audio does a much more important job in the game and the story was interesting throughout.

I had an absolute blast playing through Outlast and I’m glad it lived up to the hype it had created on my Twitter feed, this is well worth £12 of your hard earned cash.

Big Thanks to Xbox for the review code.

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EA Sports UFC Review

I love a good EA Sports title, FIFA 14 has been great as has Madden, and I always enjoyed the Fight Night games, and so as the gigabytes wizzed their way down my telephone line into my Xbox One I wondered what would come of EA Sports UFC. When Dana White, president of the UFC announced the partnership they had formed with EA we all waited to see what would be produced.

I don’t know masses about UFC apart from the fact that if I ever attempted to do it in real life it would be a very short career. What I do know is that through my time playing the game I have learnt there is an awful lot to it, the popularity, the different fighting styles and the awesome slow motion shots of huge blokes hitting the deck. The game settles you in by taking you through a tutorial of the basic moves in the game, kicks, punches, blocks. It then moves on to showing you how to clinch your opponent, how to take them down and deal with them on the ground. When you have completed that you’ll take part in your first fight. By this point I had forgotten most of what I was shown, but got the win eventually.

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The basic controls are simple enough with the face buttons used for punches and kicks but unfortunately that is where the simplicity ends. The shoulder buttons and triggers introduce modifiers to the punches and kicks, and then the analog sticks controls movements and different transitions. Then you need to defend yourself with blocks and takedowns, for the novice it will take a age to get used to, if you ever do. I’m still struggling with transitions and clinches, but with time I’m getting better and better.

From the main menu, and choose what you want to do. There is another opportunity to take part in the tutorial again, as well as taking part in training challenges; there are 90 of them split between Stand-up, Clinch and Ground Work. They are certainly worth going through if only to drill the controls into your brain. You can create your own fighter to take to the Octagon, the customisation look great and like all the EA Sports games there are plenty of options to go through.

I was impressed with the online Championship, it’s very similar to FIFA 14’s Season mode, you have 10 fights to try and get promoted to the next tier, with the chance to win a belt too. The matchmaking is quick and so far appears fair, you can choose a fighter from any of the weight classes and the game will then pair you up with a similar opponent. It appeared to work well as my opponents seems to be as cautious as me when fighting and I never felt like I was completely out fought by anyone. Once the match is over you are quickly back into the lobby set to fight again.

UFC’s main mode is Career, where you’ll create a superstar that needs to first get a professional contract by winning the Ultimate Fighter competition and then making your way up through the ranks of the UFC until you are considered good enough for a Title Shot. Before you head to each event you’ll get the opportunity to train across the 3 disciplines, the better you perform the more points you’ll earn to upgrade you fighter. There are so many options to improve on; speed of punches, joint submission defence, leg health, it will take you most of your career to fully upgrade and you certainly notice the difference as your career progresses. You can also use the experience points you earn to purchase all sorts of new punches, kicks, takedown and cage moves that give your fighter some extra flair against your opponents, you’ll also earn new abilities as your fighter levels up. In the career menu you can also find a detailed section on your career, great if you love your stats. Depending on how good you are at avoiding the big shots from your opponents will decided on how long your career is, you’ll be told when you are down to your final few fights and when your career ends you’ll find out whether you will be entered into the Hall of Fame

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There are lots of great videos throughout the career to watch, there are mini interviews with fighters talking about going for Title Shots, dealing with defeat and there are also some intros to specific fighter styles such as submission fighters. You’ll also receive video messages from a whole host of fighters including the Ronda Vousey, Hall of Famers Matt Hughes and Forrest Griffin. They’ll congratulate on your wins, commiserate in defeat and offer advice for the big fights. You can skip through them easily enough and watch them in the menus at your own leisure.

As ever the presentation is excellent and the graphics are excellent, the slow motion hits look brilliant as fighters cheeks rumble before they hit the deck. The soundtrack is good although if you want to change the music you can in the menu. Those of you with money to burn can head to the store but packs of fighters or just individuals, if you are desperate to buy a pack of Bruce Lee fighters by all means go for it, but your money is better of somewhere else as far as I am concerned.

EA UFC starts well on the new generation of consoles; there is plenty of work needed to ensure it doesn’t just become a game that gets roster updates each year. The online is solid and playing against your friends in rivalries mode if something that will keep going back again and again. The game isn’t quite a black belt yet, but it’s getting there.

Big thanks to XBOX for the review code.

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Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha review

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I’ve had a bit of mixed history with Dead Rising, I played lots of the first game despite the fact it took me a long while to get into it. When Dead Rising 2 came along I tired and failed to get into it at all. When Dead Rising 3 released on the Xbox One I decided to give it another chance, I’m enjoying it much more this time around, though thanks to all the other games I have it’s fallen down the list.

When Capcom announced Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha (points for remembering that each time) during E3 I instantly thought of Far Cry Blood Dragon, the bright colours, the nostalgia, it looked like a lot of fun, and it is.

In fact I’d go a far to say this is my favourite DLC in a really long time, I’m struggling to remember the last DLC I bought that was this much fun. The game gives you the choice of four characters to play as, Chuck, Nick, Frank and Annie. They come with their own unique style of fighting and each have a special power up that can be earned by killing zombies. They also have outfits to unlock, that will change their fighting style completely, take Annie for example; in her normal outfit she fights at range with an assault rifle, but when she put on the Chun-Li outfit, she becomes a close quarters combat fighting machine, it’s great to see the characters mix up their styles, and keeps things interesting for the player.

There are Twenty missions in total, spread across four districts of increasing difficulty. Within each of the levels you’ll be set different tasks to complete within a certain amount of time. One minute you’ll be killing a certain number of zombies, before being asked to rescue characters stuck around the level. You only have a small amount of time to complete the objectives but it keeps things moving along at a good pace.

The game is set in the Dead Rising 3 world but it’s had a colourful makeover, beautiful blue skies, brightly coloured buildings and the characters have a cartoon like makeover done on them too. The zombies are much less of challenge on the DLC, they are more like obstacles that are in your way. You’ll come up against stronger boss like zombies that will prove a bit more of a challenge but you’ll soon brush them aside. You’ll collect coins along the way that will allow you to purchase the restoration of your life if you do manage to die, but the chance are you will only die when playing alone.

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You’ll get through the DLC within a few hours but it’s a much more difficult task if you choose to go it alone. The game really excels once you introduce friends into the mix, not only is it a lot of fun, there is the added challenge of working together to get the highest rank possible as well as trying your best to be the top scorer in your team. You’ll spend lots of time going back to replay levels, to find all the little Easter eggs that Capcom have thrown in there.

Capcom have done a great job of tugging on the nostalgic strings of their fans, with references to all sorts of games from the their past. Some references are more obvious, like Annie’s outfit that allows her to dress up as Regina from Dino Crisis or billboards within the game advertising Mega Man. There is even a bonus level in which you need to smash up a car a la Street Fighter. If you are a fan of Capcom’s history this game will be right up your street, even if you don’t know too much of their history you’ll enjoy the whole package regardless.

As I said at the top of the review, this is the most fun I have had with a DLC in a long time, it does have it downsides; the fact that it’s so difficult if you play on your own and that it is quite short, it’s not a problem if you like replaying the levels over and over but some will find replaying the same areas over and over. For me though this isn’t a problem, at £7.99 it’s a well priced piece of DLC and most importantly a lot of fun.

Big thanks to XBOX for the review code.

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Trials Fusion Review

Trials: Fusion

Anyone who has played one of the Trials titles over the past few year will probably have the same cracks in their controllers as I do. The pure frustration of missing that jump for the 499th time will have been experienced by many and mastered by few. It was not surprising to see that Trials Fusion would be heading to the Xbox One and despite knowing what I was letting myself in for a clicked on the buy button as soon as the game hit the Xbox Store.

Once you get past the awful title music (really awful) you will be able to start your career. Those of you who have played Trials before will be comfortable with the controls and concept straight away, but for this that aren’t Trials involves taking on different levels with your bike in the quickest time possible, without falling off. Each time you fall off you’ll go back to the nearest checkpoint.

There are 4 difficulty levels of track, ranging from easy to extreme, which as you would expect is a real test for your skills and patience. The different levels all look great, whether you are riding through an Industrial estate, the cactus filled desert or the Artic Open. The controls are simple right and left trigger act as your accelerator and brake while using the left stick will help you keep your bike balanced. Your rider can now perform some impressive tricks in the air such as the superman or the proud hero, they all look cool but you need to be quick to balance the bike back out for a good landing. There are opportunities to pull these tricks off during normal levels but you don’t get anything special for doing then, there are special levels just for tricks though, ramp after ramp all pushing you to be as outrageous as possible. There is something hugely satisfying about earning a gold medal at the end of level, even on the easier levels. To make things more interesting there are three challenges per level to try and complete.

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There are some new vehicles to take on in Fusion, such as the Quad Bike and the Pit Viper, two machines that couldn’t be much further apart in terms of how they handle, the Viper has a steep learning curve but once you he the hang of it you’ll shaving off vital seconds for levels. Those little things you can do to shave off any time you can are emphasised by the goats of your friends list driving at the same time as you. You’re not able to see what they are doing to better you, but there is nothing more satisfying than ending a level to see how far up the list you can end up

As you complete levels and challengers you’ll earn experience points that will unlock items for such as clothing and helmets to purchase for your rider. The skill games are back in Trials though I found them to be a bit of mixed bag

Some I found much more enjoyable to play than others games such as Airtime, where you are given huge ramps to pull off the most amazing tricks possible, Ice Climb is another favourite of mine, trying to get up as high as you can over a series of obstacles, infuriatingly fun. Less so were events like Triathlon, it just didn’t grab my attention, either way there will be those that you prefer and some you don’t.

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Those of you with some creative flair will find themselves at home in the Track Creation mode of Trials Fusion. Its fairly simple to get up and running, and slowly but surely Track Central is starting to reveal some brilliant user made creations, way beyond anything I could create. Its a shame that currently the only multiplayer is local because the thought of playing through your friends created maps against each other sounds like a lot of fun.

I almost feel like those who purchased Trials on release are the ones that suffer the most as there is still lots to come, and some players may move on before new content comes out. On the plus side the season pass is quite a good deal, with 5 DLC releases between now and May 2015.

As it stands, Trials Fusion is a good game, and I’m glad it has joined us on the Xbox One, but it’s a shame that things like multiplayer didn’t ship straight away. This game will get better and better though and I look forward to getting my hands on the DLC.

Big thanks to Xbox for the review code.

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Madden NFL 15 cover to feature Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman

Winning the Super Bowl clearly wasn’t enough for the Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman but now his life should be complete having won the fans vote to become the cover star of Madden 15.

Electronic Arts once again turned to fans to decide who would be the game’s cover star. 16 players in all were in contention. The final two players were Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers and Sherman, this was the second time that Newton has lost out on winning the cover vote.

Madden will hit the streets on August 26th.

Xbox One June Update now available

Microsoft have released the latest system update for the Xbox One.

The biggest change is the introduction of external storage support, users can now share their real names as well as have the console automatically sign in a certain user. If you don’t have a gold subscription you can now access apps such as Netflix wthout having to pay for gold.

MS have also expanded their TV and OneGuide features, including Kinect voice commands for controlling your set-top box and other AV equipment.

Have a look at the video below for a walkthrough of the update.

Moto GP to launch in Europe on June 20

Milestone have announced that MotoGP 14 will be available on Xbox 360 from the 20th of June 2014.

Those of you who pre-order the game from GAME in the UK will receive an exclusive ‘Legends of MotoGP’ card game pack.

They also revealed that the game will feature tracks and riders from the official MotoGP 2014 season, the riders from MotoGP 2013 class as well as Champions from the past. MotoGP 14 hosts more than 100 riders, all the official manufacturers and 18 tracks.

Milestone also announced that a North American release date will be announced soon.