Publisher: Milestone S.r.l
Release Date: 13/02/2018
We'll admit to not having high hopes for Milestone's Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame. Releasing only a year after MXGP 3, when it was first announced it looked like a rehash of last year's Milestone bike game with new stadium tracks catering to an American audience. How wrong we were. From playing the PC version at a recent preview event held atMilestone’s studio in Milan, the Italian developer appears to have made significant strides, building on the foundation set by MXGP 3 with a slew of graphical and physics improvements while adding innovative new features. Put simply, this could potentially be Milestone's best bike game yet, and one of the best surprises of the year in the racing game genre.
Being an officially licensed game, Monster Energy Supercross features all of the riders, bikes and stadium tracks from the official championship for the first time in a video game for years. As you’d expect from a Milestone game, customisation options for your bike and rider are extensive and have been significantly expanded in Monster Energy Supercross. To create your unique rider avatar, everything can be customised including the rider’s helmet, gloves and goggles. Cosmetic and performance parts can also be added to your bike using the in-game currency, though some parts, such as special liveries, can only be unlocked by using your skills to earn fame points.
Last year, MXGP 3 was the first Milestone game to be powered by the new Unreal Engine 4, resulting in significantly revamped visuals. According to Milestone, the visuals have been upgraded again in Monster Energy Supercross with increased fidelity and better optimisation across all platforms. Running on the PC at 60fps, the game looks spectacular in motion – watch a replay using the authentic GoPro camera view (you still can’t use this in-game, unfortunately, but it doesn’t look very practical during gameplay), and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching a TV broadcast.
A new physics system has also been implemented, resulting in “more natural” bike handling according to R&D Programmer Michele Caletti. “You feel more in contact with the terrain and your bike”, he explained. From our playthrough, the bikes handled intuitively, and, as with Milestone's other bike games, there is a multitude of assists available for players of all skill levels to adjust accordingly.
The biggest surprise, however, is the addition of a powerful track editor that should add a lot of replay value. For the first time in a Milestone game, Monster Energy Supercross lets you create and share your own tracks using the expansive editor to adjust the layout and add jumps and bumps. There’s always going to be a temptation to make a crazily difficult course, but making sure all the jumps connect and the track still flows is another challenge altogether. Your creation can then be uploaded and shared online for other players to try. The potential here to create a thriving online community is huge.
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by Monster Energy Supercross’s innovative track editor, upgraded physics and graphics, and challenging yet enjoyable gameplay. Monster Energy Supercross will be landing on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch February 13th.