Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 3 review - Team VVV

Reviews Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 review

Reviews

Kevin Dooley

News Editor

Posted on

Game: Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3

Platform: PC, PS4, Switch, XBox One

Publisher: Milestone S.r.l

Release Date: 04/02/2020

Milestone has a monopoly on officially licensed bike racers thanks to the ownership of three licenses. If that wasn’t enough, the Italien-based studio even has its very own two-wheeled IP Ride to boot. We’ve seen countless titles from the MotoGP and MXGP series this generation, however, it’s the newest franchise that has excited us the most.

Where the aforementioned series have stagnated in recent years, the Monster Energy Supercross games have showcased an air of quality and can be considered one of Milestone’s premier brands. The first two Monster Energy Supercross titles set the bar high, can the third continue to go from strength to strength to create a new benchmark for Milestone?

Suspension of disbelief

The development team has clearly spent a lot of time perfecting their off-road bike physics. The ‘advanced’ physics suspension simulation is particularly impressive making for less stable bikes than before which really livens up the rear wheel – much like we’ve experienced in MXGP 2019 recently. Bikes no longer understeer through turns (something we criticised in the last title) making the process of completing laps a very satisfying experience.

The ‘advanced’ physics option is not for the faint of heart though: it’s noticeably harder to stay on your bike compared to last year’s title so you’ll need some practice to adjust to the more in-depth physics model. Those of you that are not quite up to the task can, of course, opt for the default ‘standard’ option which enables you to be much more aggressive with the bike before hitting the floor; there’s also much less chance of pulling an impromptu wheelie or stoppie.

The title also gives you the option of using the rewind feature allowing you to undo any costly mistakes. However, for the most rewarding and tense racing, we strongly recommend using the ‘advanced’ physics option and to disable the rewind function altogether. This will result in truly on-the-edge racing where a single fall can ruin any chance of a podium finish.

A mouthful of dirt

We don’t have too many complaints about Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 in the visuals department, although it would be nice to see animated crowds along with flags and banners as currently the cheering masses are reduced to inanimate objects. Also, the falling rain effects are poor at best, although fortunately wet track surfaces are simulated very well: you really feel you are battling against the soaked ground to maintain traction.

Bike sounds remain a constant bugbear of ours as the audio offered here just does not even come close to replicating the wall of sound found in the real-world sport. This is something we hope to see rectified on next-generation consoles as it is sorely lagging behind the visuals and physics offered. Technically, this year’s officially licensed Supercross title fairs better compared to last years. Running on a standard PlayStation 4, the frame slowdown at the start of each race is all but eliminated now.

Familiar ground

Anyone who has played any of the earlier Supercross titles will be more than familiar with the career mode. This year’s title gives you the option to choose a sponsor team (where you’ll upgrade your bike from cash earned), or you can also opt to race for an official Supercross team if you prefer.

The 2019 Monster Energy Supercross season is replicated with 100 riders from both the 450SX and 250SX classes and you’ll race across the game’s 15 official stadiums. As before, you’ll start your career in one of two 250cc competitions as you try your best to satisfy your season’s goal in order to move up to the beefier 450cc class.

Races are challenging and tense and you’ll need to make full use of your qualifying session thanks to the absence of any practice sessions. This means you’ll have just ten minutes to learn a track layout (using the default racing weekend structure) which is simply not enough. The AI can prove very challenging but can be guilty of being a little too aggressive at times knocking you off your racing line or ploughing through you as if you weren’t there.

Besides the career, you also have single event, time attack, and championship modes as well as a challenge mode which asks you to perform certain actions such as perfecting jumps and flow, performing scrubs on designated jumps, crossing gates against the clock and more.

Elsewhere, the two-wheeled racer features the compound – an open area complete with obstacles and jumps which plays host to a number of online mini-games including treasure hunt and checkpoint modes. There’s also the track editor which comes with a few extra bells and whistles but remains largely the same from previous titles.

An online world of difference

This year’s Supercross title has a proper lobby system making finding online games a doddle. The lobby list displays each lobby’s race type, physics used, bike class etc, and crucially whether the current session is racing, voting on track and weather pre-race, or still at the lobby stage. There are options to create your own public and private lobbies and you can dip your toes into the race director mode too should you wish to create and manage online competitions.

Thanks to the much-needed addition of dedicated servers, the online action finally lives up to its potential. Races are challenging and fun and if you’re competing in a lobby with over ten players, the action can get particularly hectic. As a result, we can see players enjoying the online action here until the next title rolls around.

Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 is the strongest game in the series thanks to the ever-improving physics simulation and for the first time in the series, a much overhauled online component which benefits massively from the introduction of dedicated servers.

Granted, we may still not have ruts we can ride in nor great bike audio, nonetheless, strides have been made to the series this year ending the generation on a high point. We can’t wait to see what Milestone can do with the franchise in the next generation.

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Article Rating

Our Review

8 /10

The good

  • Refined bike physics
  • Dedicated online servers
  • Additional content

The bad

  • No rut riding
  • Scrubs are still clumsy
  • Bikes sounds are poor

Summary

Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 is the strongest game in the series thanks to the ever-improving physics simulation and for the first time in the series, a much overhauled online component which benefits massively from the introduction of dedicated servers.

Granted, we may still not have ruts we can ride in nor great bike audio, nonetheless, strides have been made this year ending the series this generation on a high point.

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