Monster Energy Supercross isn’t a very good game. Though the environments are pretty and the controls are solid, the game’s abundance of glitches, poor framerate, and baffling design choices keep this from becoming anything of note.
Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Video Game
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed)
MonsterVine was provided with a PS4 copy for review.
There’s no story to speak of in Monster Energy Supercross, though there doesn’t need to be. Instead, the Career mode takes center stage (or stadium?). In Career mode you choose a racer (such as your own custom biker) and race in various competitions to earn currency and sponsors. Higher finishes means more money and more sponsors, which means you can buy new equipment to race in. While there’s an enjoyable sense of progression to be had from advancing the ranks, the novelty wears thin rather quickly. It doesn’t feel like there’s any weight to sponsorships, and (from the point of view of someone who knows very little about Motocross) the equipment you can buy all looks very similar. The inclusion of commentary by an actual motocross commentator is neat and will appeal to racing fans, but that’s about all there is to notice about Career mode.
The rest of the game is made up of single races, championship mode, and online multiplayer. Championship and single race are exactly what they sound like. You can do a series of races against A.I. opponents in different stadiums without the progression system of Career mode. It’s more basic for if you just want to race, which is all well and good. Multiplayer is functional as well, with little to no delay for the most part. It was only toward the end of my online races that things got messy, as the A.I. racers didn’t seem to rank properly once they crossed the finish line. My rank went back and forth on the results screen, which is only the first of many unfortunate bugs present in Monster Energy Supercross.
Though the controls of Monster Energy Supercross are responsive and acceptable, the gameplay really suffers from its plethora of bugs. Racers don’t properly appear at the start of a race, menus become unresponsive (prompting a full reset), course obstacles can prop-push you into the ground, etc. There are enough bugs to make me feel justified in saying Supercross feels unfinished or untested, as you can’t go a few minutes without encountering something messy.
Even at its core, Supercross has some gameplay issues. The ability to rewind makes the game feel totally broken, as any crash or miscalculation can immediately be corrected. I found myself dominating every race by upwards of ten seconds purely because I couldn’t truly fail. If the rewind feature was more limited it could be a strong feature, but as it is now, you basically can’t lose. Crashing into others is infrequent anyways though, as other racers serve as glorified bounce pads. I ended up using opponents to soften my landings since crashing into them didn’t knock them or me down. Combine this padding with rewind and you have an essentially unlosable race. As a side-note, navigating tracks can also be difficult because of how easily lanes blend together.
Since the ground is entirely made up of brown mud, it can be difficult to go on the right track when the barriers get knocked away by other racers. Not a major issue, but worth mentioning. There’s also very little customizability in making your own racer. There are a few preset faces available, and you can change your height, but that’s it. It feels like an extraneous feature if anything, because you’re always wearing a helmet that hides your entire face.
Visually Monster Energy Supercross is mixed. The stadiums and rider gear look great, but everything else feels last-gen. Model faces are off-putting and animations are goofy and over-exaggerated. And while the stadiums are quite nice to look at, the motion blur makes things blend together. Throw in a brutal framerate that tanks whenever numerous racers are on-screen, and you have a frustrating mix of strong and poor visuals.
The music in Supercross is forgettable. The soundtrack is primarily made up of ambient rock music that comes off as more generic than anything. The sound effects are realistic, and the voice acting (by the previously mentioned commentator) is good enough. The volume levels are odd though, as music will become very quiet at times for seemingly no reason.
The Final Word
Monster Energy Supercross is a buggy and not particularly fun game. Outside of its stadium design and functional controls, the game is a glitchy mess that feels somewhat unfinished. This is one race that you may want to stay home for.
– MonsterVine Rating: 2 out of 5 – Poor