Developer Milestone are no stranger to bringing us racing games with the likes of Sébastian Loeb Rally Evo, Ride and of course MXGP, but this year, the next iteration is under the title of Monster Energy Supercross. But how well does it perform?
We’ll kick off with the introduction this game brings up immediately as you start playing. You’re kicked straight into a race with the controls displayed at the side of the screen. Normal buttons apply: RT to accelerate and LT to brake. However, LT brakes your front wheel and A brakes your back wheel – a vital necessity if you want to win races in Monster Energy Supercross.
You’ll take part in four laps across a short motor cross course filled primarily of small bumps and a couple of steep hills, played on a familiar track – for those who watch the sport. Since this is the official video game, official tracks and riders from 250SX and 450SX are included in this title.
Once that’s out of the way, you’ll be returned to the menu screen where you can take your pick out of the options available. Career and Exhibition modes are included along with an in-depth track editor, for the creative people out there.
When starting up the career for the first time, you’ll be prompted to create a custom rider and choose your sponsor for your bike. But the more you progress through the career and start winning races, you’ll earn money to completely customise both your rider and bike. And I mean completely. The customisation available to you is quite overwhelming. You can customise every aspect of the bike, swapping out parts, changing colour of each part, all of which vary on price depending on facet and sponsor. Whilst this is daunting and overwhelming to begin with, it’s also one of the deepest customisation I’ve seen in a video game – and let’s face it, we all like to stand out from the crowd especially when it comes to video games.
For those who have never played a motor cross title before will find themselves under a steep learning curve. Whilst it is relatively simple to control your bike, it’s the AI that prove to be a pain. I attempted several races on different tracks throughout the career and didn’t win any of them. The AI seem too aggressive and at times it feels like they actually go out of the way to make you crash. After much persistence – to the point of being able to handle the bike quite well without the need of rewinding (a feature that a lot of racing titles these takes seem to implement), I was able to actually place somewhere decent at the end of the race, but still didn’t come first. Coming from a first time player, maybe I was something?
The terrain in Monster Energy Supercross is impressive. As you’re racing on dry dirt, you can see the gravel brush off the wheels as you’re turning tight corners and when it starts to rain, the dirt turns soggy which affects the handling of the bike. This is a great mechanic that not enough racing titles take advantage of as it actually incorporates a feel of realism to the handling.
There’s over twenty different tracks featuring both eastern and western tours that motor cross fans of the extreme sport will be familiar with. Fans can also enjoy everything Monster Energy Supercross has to offer, with a plethora of customisation on the table, plenty of modes to mix it up a bit, and an in depth track editor that we didn’t delve into too much. Even if you’re not a fan of motor cross and enjoy racing titles, this is one to take note off as long as you’re prepared for a steep learning curve if you’ve never played a motor cross title before.
Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Video Game is available to purchase from retailers or can be downloaded from the Xbox Store, priced at £49.99.
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Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Video Game is the most content filled motor cross title yet. With a plethora of customisation options available for both rider and bike, an in-depth track editor and a fully fledged career mode spanning both eastern and western tours of the official 250SX and 450sx races, fans will certainly enjoy themselves. For first timers to the motor cross genre, expect a deep learning curve.