Here’s something that’ll make you laugh: imagine my elation at being offered a supercross game, thinking it might be fun. Given the ordeal I had with MGXP 2020, this might be a refreshing change. Then imagine my horror when I discover that Monster Energy Supercross 4 is also made by Milestone.
All hopes of a wacky and over the top motorbike game go straight out the window, sadly. As I said in experience with Ride 3 and my review for MXGP, Milestone are masters at their craft. Unfortunately, their craft are difficult to master biking games.
So, will this be any different, or essentially MXGP on indoors, man-made courses with more fireworks? As I was able to have a quick blast on a preview build, let’s find out.
It’s Race Day
The heart of any racing game, aside from all the progression aspects and unlockables, is how it handles. Milestone know this and it is reflected in how Supercross plays.
Whilst they may be tricky to get used to at first, Supercross recreates the fast and frenetic nature of the real-world sport it apes. Riders jostle for position and right themselves from toppling. Grooves get worn into tracks and tires will slip on well-worn pockets of mud.
Hitting a corner too fast will see you careening over the side, as will overshooting a jump and nose-diving the landing ramp. There’s a rhythm to hitting the right line, the correct ebb and flow of a jump. The other twenty ones riders will capitalise if you fall short of a jump and kill your momentum.
The Nitty Gritty
Graphically, Monster Energy Supercross 4 is pure eye candy. The tracks may be varying shades of mud, but churning them up on bikes decked out with bright liveries is a sight to behold.
The floating cameras are great for taking in the whole jamboree, but the more immersive are going to want the first person perspectives. Getting right into the thick of it and watching mud fly in your face is pure joy.
Which is completely offset by the challenge in getting to grips with the racing. But that’s the inherent joy of videogames: you play to learn, you learn to enjoy it and get better. So when you have got the hang of racing lines, timing jumps and leaning into corners, you’ll be loving it… hopefully.
The Racing Line
As it was, I didn’t have all the avenues of exploration in Supercross to get to grips with. I could dabble with my rider, explore a few of the options and rider progression unlockables, but that was it.
No, this was all focused on the racing, as a preview build should be. The extras can come later, this is a showcase for how the game is played. On that note, it delivered.
I may not be very good at it, even after my time with MXGP some weeks ago, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it. Bike enthusiasts may pick it up sooner, or it may be the Guitar Hero effect of it not being a transferable skill from real thing to imitation.
As someone who has barely ridden a motorbike, this feels as authentic a recreation of the world of Supercross as you’ll get. Stick with it, get back on that bike when you fall, and immerse yourself in the mud-and-elbows world of Supercross.
Monster Enery Supercross 4 will be available on PC (previewed on), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia from March 11th, 2021.
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