Monster Energy Supercross 6 Review (PS5) – I’m Not Supercross, I’m Just Superdisappointed
Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 6 – which I will not be repeating in long form – is my first endeavour on the dirt track. However, as a kid, I’ve always had a form of motorbike. Dirt bikes and quad bikes have been a reawakened part of my identity, ever since Ryan Gosling’s bank heist on a bike character in The Place Beyond the Planes.
But I’m not here to tell you about my upbringing, nor my fascination with the 2013 multi-generational masterpiece from Derek Cianfrance. Though by the end, you might wish I had. This is about Monster Energy Supercross 6! So tighten the straps of your helmet, hold on to the clutch and rev your engines. It’s going to be a ride.
Start Your Engines
Coming at Supercross 6 as an enthusiastic newcomer, the game does a fairly decent job to catch you up to speed. Whilst there is a slew of terminologies that end up inconsequential, having the opportunity to learn the gameplay focus step-by-step means they’re not just catering to long-time fans of the series. Whips, Scrubs, and Perfect Starts will be second nature as the Supercross Academy is an invaluable mode if you want to conquer the track.
King of Supercross Jeremy McGrath talks you through every step as your coach. They sound like one-and-done lines in the recording booth, but it’s still a decent feature to bring more context to what you’re learning. During career mode, McGrath continues with his support by notifying you of new challenges being unlocked. But first things first, I needed to create my character.
Options are fairly limited on what you get to create with your character. You can alter between two body types, a handful of faces, a few more options for hair than some facial hair – all with the colour of your choosing. It’s not a huge blunder by not being impressive, seeing as your rider is 90% of the time wearing a helmet; but you’ll never escape that shiny waxed look that I imagine Buffalo Bill would like.
Career is broken up into three main stages: Futures, which are 250cc races where you’ll be scouted for sponsors, Rookie, where you can partake in either the East or West 250 Championships now with a sponsor, and Pro, where you’ll be racing in the 450 Championships alongside rivals, competing in challenges for extra points that go into your rank.
The Supercross events themselves see you competing in meticulously designed tracks across the US. All of which are pulled from real-life tracks in the sport. You’ll be racing amongst 21 other riders on these tracks filled with sharp corners, high ramps and whoops. I initially chose Very Easy for the difficulty as I didn’t have high hopes for myself when Coach McGrath would smoke me in training. It wasn’t till the 450 Championships where everyone is faster did it start feeling like a race.
Outside of the races, you’ll be sifting through a lot of menus, the Rider’s health being one of them. If you’ve been reckless in the race, taking multiple falls, you’ll injure various parts of your body. This decreases your ability in a myriad of ways: cornering, manoeuvring etc. This can be remedied at the free roam area, where you can find Coach McGrath’s Training, Supercross Academy and Training Sessions – the latter improves your physicality.
Whoop, There It Is
The free-roam area is sold as a hub where you can ride alone or with friends. I’ve played this pre-launch so many of the online features I can’t test, but it doesn’t create the incredible hub I think Milestone was aiming for. If you want to do any of the challenges there is one little park that has them all. You stand there waiting for it to load in, then the loading actually happens and you rinse and repeat.
It breaks up any flow the game could’ve had by spreading the various challenges around the map, encouraging me to explore. Instead, I just avoided it and kept clicking onto the next race. Whilst the injuries in theory sounded like something I should keep on top of, I saw no negative effects. Maybe because some of my bike settings were simplified, but I don’t think that’s it. Speaking of, there are advanced settings for veterans but a whole bunch of assisted settings like auto-drive and braking. I didn’t try out any of the assisted settings but it’s nice they’re there.
I got halfway through the Pro championship before doing the write-up. One could imagine beating it means nothing but selecting another avenue of the career to do those races again. It’s fine, the riding itself is superb, it’s definitely the focus of the game and comes off the strongest. However, I just felt like I was in an endless cycle, with a grindy rank that doesn’t mean much outside of unlocks and the game’s cracks start to form.
Tracks whilst well designed feel empty outside of it. The generic distorted guitar has played the same melody 800 times now. Races begin to blur by being roughly the same and winning isn’t fulfilling. I tried Time Trials online for some variety, but because I’m not driving with advanced settings they don’t count. In free roam, flowers strangely grow as you approach like a weird pop-in.
The graphics themselves are fine for the models and the bikes, but everything else is quite sterile in detail. Sometimes it would rain during races, I think I noticed a bit more sliding than if it was dry. Though I would have liked to see the bike and rider getting caked in mud if I bailed. There’s just not too much attention to detail here, and for a premium-priced title, it’s hard to say give it a shot if you’re not already into the series.
There are other game modes like Rhythm Attack, which pits you side by side to maintain the perfect flow between ramps. Upgrading your rider’s abilities does give a significant improvement to ride. I just felt like I did the same thing for far too long.
The different ways to create are a plus to this game. Stickers, helmets and even tracks can be made, shared and played. It’s early doors during release so there’s not much too much to browse in those aspects. I made an Akira sticker to slap on my helmet and I’m not great at creating things; so the creator tools themselves are successful.
Whilst the character creator isn’t a game changer, the amount of customisation for your bike is great. Every part you can think of can be changed to your liking, making it personal to you. The parts do cost a chunk of credits but, if you’ve been playing a lot of the career, you won’t be struggling to unlock all the parts you want.
I think Monster Energy Supercross as a series may need a different approach. It’s a lot of in and out of loading screens to get into the meat of the action. Whilst the true-to-life tracks and improved physics of the race itself are ones to keep long-time fans happy, this isn’t an approachable game if you’re thinking of picking it up for the first time – outside of the assisted settings and great tutorial.
A dented chassis for what otherwise has a solid engine, Monster Energy Supercross 6 makes some adjustments to accommodate newcomers, but if you played others before, you’ve most likely already played this one. There’s a decent physics-based racer here, just the presentation doesn’t cross the finish line.
Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 6 is out now on PlayStation 5 (review platform) Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One, PS4 and PC via Steam.
Developer: Milestone S.r.l
Publisher: Milestone S.r.l
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional code from the publisher. For our full review policy, please go here.
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