Monster Energy Supercross Review – Speeding to Obscurity or Online Success?

The officially licensed Monster Energy Supercross arrives on consoles. How is it? The FingerGuns Review;

I am going to be honest with you, I know nothing about Supercross. I did have a badass T-Shirt when I was 5 with some dude on it which made me the most qualified out of all of the guys to try out this game. I had played some indie titles around this genre so my expectations were set pretty low, but I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame will appeal to fans of the sport first and foremost, giving them the opportunity to play as their favourite racers and race on their favourite tracks. It is kind of like FIFA with bikes in that respect, but without the mass appeal of football giving it a firm player base. The soundtrack in the menus and races is your standard generic rock tracks, which does add to the game slightly but become annoying with it’s repetitiveness quite quickly.  You can easily pick the game up and have a race or two, which will appeal to the casual gamer but the controls are the first stumbling block when it comes to playing.

Most racing games will have simplified controls for the novice player, letting them get a feel for the game first before challenging themselves with manual gears etc. However, there is one control set from the start which when you play the tutorial isn’t really explained or broken down how to use. For example, you have front and rear break but unless you know which to use you will find yourself flying off your bike or riding onto the wrong part of the track. The interactive tutorial just lets you get on with it which did leave me feeling a little let down and frustrated at being dead last halfway through the first lap with no way of ever clawing it back. You can find a written explanation of all the controls buried in the Extras menu, but it does seem like a missed opportunity to ease in the casual players they will be hoping to attract.

After a few races though you start to grasp the way the game feels and it becomes quite enjoyable to play. Collisions with other racers knock you off course and even of the bike, so knowing when to accelerate or slowdown when approaching a sharp bend with a pack of riders becomes a race saving skill. The career mode is enjoyable letting you have full control over the customisation of your racer, from appearance, race number and even the make and model of the bike you are riding. You can unlock sponsors the more points you accrue, and there is a prestige system that lets you level up by performing different manoeuvres and race conditions which will give the trophy hunters something to aim for. But it is two other parts of the game that could lead to this becoming a succesful title.

The online mode lets you race with other players in a customised setting. You can have AI on or off, set the race length and even turn off collisions (which in my opinion is one of the best parts of the game). This is where the game can come into its own, adding a social aspect which could help boost sales with a unique selling point of it being a racing game with true physics and a level of skill needed that can’t be purchased for Monster Bucks, or whatever they would call them.  The other part is the custom tracks you can build. You can create them down to the finest detail, whether that is the angle of a turn, or how high your jumps will be, this could be another way of getting this game into the mainstream focus of gamers who wont be rushing out to buy this on the title alone. Allowing players to race online together on tracks that have been created gives this game an exciting element that they should put all their force behind when trying to convince people to part with their money.

The price is a sticking point, coming out at £44.99-£49.99 isn’t going to make people want to buy this on a whim, especially for a game with such a niche audience. But if word of mouth gets around and the online presence can build I think a few more people will be hopping on their bikes and trying to become the next Ryan Dungey (he is a good racer, Google told me so).


Monster Energy Supercross review is available now on PS4 (reviewed on base PS4), Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Developer: Milestone S.r.l.
Publisher: Milestone S.r.l.

Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we received a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.

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