My first ever motocross game was on Nintendo’s Excitebike many, many a year ago, I know I’m showing my age now. The game was known for it’s insane jumps and if you were like me you spent half the time falling and run back to your bike. When it comes to more recent Motocross titles its also been a while. I took the opportunity to get back in to the sport this year with Milestone’s Monster Energy Supercross. So I put on my helmet on and prepare to get covered in mud and aim for that championship.
In Monster Energy Supercross you are the story, as you create your digital self in a bid for fame and success. This all takes place in the Career mode and as you would expect it will be where you spend a large amount of time. To begin your career you will have to create your rider by creating your name, nickname and hight, you will also be able to chose from a selection of faces. Having created your alter ego, you will then select your bike and what championship to start. In the beginning you can only select the 250SX East or West Championship, which on completion you will unlock the 450SX Championship. Once everything is set its time to ride the path to victory. In the career mode menu you will be able to customize both your rider’s outfit as well as the bike. The later customization will bring with it increased stats but things are not cheap. Customization works with you earning SX Credits to use to unlock stuff in the game for both your rider and bike, and by God is there a massive amount to unlock. You will also earn Prestige points which go towards unlocking sponsors in Career mode as well as titles and portraits to show off in online multiplayer.
Oustide Career mode you have the normal modes you would find in racing games. There is Single Event, Time Trial and Championship. These modes will allow you to race as any of the current Supercross Riders. This is great if you want to jump in to a full championship or even a custom one with the best of bikes and riders. Milestone has also included a feature that will no doubt suck up all the time of the more creative gamer’s out there, and that is the Track Editor. The editor is surprisingly easy to use and you will be creating your masterpiece in no time, even for a novice like myself it was a doddle. You can test out your track to your hearts content and once you are ready to unleash your daredevil creation to the world, just let the A.I take it for a test drive.
When it comes to the gameplay elements of Monster Energy Supercross for the most part things play out great. You can adjust a selection of race settings to make the game as difficult as you want or as easy, although even on the easiest A.I I find the initial qualifying extremely tough. Just remember that you are rewarded with more Prestige and SX credits for playing on higher difficulties. As with all racing games you can tinker with your bike just to get it to ride just right. You can certainly get the feeling of all the energy and excitement out on track and the A.I take no prisoners. When you have twenty riders all hitting the first corner there will be mud worn. The only real complaint about the physics is that you can hit a rider on the head from a jump but both riders wont fall.
When it comes to the graphics, it is very impressive indeed. You get a great sense of speed when hitting the high gears and the track has a great amount of detail. There is just something about seeing the tyre tracks in the mud coming from so many riders. The bikes themselves are highly detailed and change depending on the sponsor at the time. Riders animations are spot on during jumps and turning. One issue however that I hope can be fixed via a patch is that in the first corner of a race, there are frame drops but it does only seem to effect the first corner. This is no doubt due to the amount of riders in that one area.
Outside the single player and the track editor you can take your skills to the online multiplayer which supports up to twelve players. Here you can set up a single event or even a championship for between four and seventeen races. You also have access to community created tracks as well, so as the weeks go on there should be plenty of variety in track selection. You will have all the same race options as in single player and you can select from any of the riders, as well as having A.I on or off. I did manage a couple of online races but I was only getting lobbies with one human player with the rest being A.I. The issue with the first corner frame drop was evident but it didn’t ruin the race.
The overall presentation of this title on a whole is pretty spectacular. Milestone has done an amazing job in recreating the energy and excitement of the real world sport. The moment you step out on to the race track till the final lap of the race you experience the thrills and the spills that await you as you try and tame the two wheeled beast. I like the fake social media feed you get in Career mode and does help to immerse you that bit more in your personal journey. The commentator isn’t annoyingly overly used unlike in some other sports titles.
The Good Things
- Outstanding overall presentation of this exciting and energized sport.
- Has an easy to use track editor to let your creativity run wild.
- A plethora of content to unlock for customization as you play.
And The Bad
- Frame drops on the first corner of a race, hopefully this will be fixed via a patch.
- The load times can be longer than what we have come accustomed to expect but nothing too drastic.
- I would have liked to have seen an interactive tutorial for new riders that haven’t played this type of game before.
- On my first ride in a Supercross title for a while it has been a great experience. Milestone have done a great job with the presentation of Monster Energy Supercross, and recreating the energy filled excrement that the sport is known for. A really strong career mode will keep single riders happy with plenty of bike and rider customisation. If you feel you are ready you can take your skills online with a multiplayer mode that can pretty much match that of single player modes, except for career. Creating championships of up to seventeen races more than makes up for no online career mode. Milestone have also been able to include a very easy to use track editor to allow you to create your own tracks as well as race on track created by others. If you are fan of the sport then this game certainly does a great job to bring it to the digital world. While there can be a learning curve for new gamers to the sport it is still an enjoyable experience.
Milestone has done an amazing job in recreating the energy and excitement of the real world sport.