There has never been a shortage of motocross games, no matter the platform, and for that fans are undoubtedly grateful. Although those titles quench the thirst for content, rarely are all of the desired points hit. Could the Monster Energy Supercross game be the one to tick every box and grip fans for years to come?
It almost seems as though the MXGP games have been building to this particular title. The three games in that franchise have been different each time, although the core concept has remained the same, so now Milestone have garnered enough data to make a substantial push with Monster Energy Supercross. The original game was almost a barebones version with seventy-five percent of the tracks and limited customisation, then those issues were tackled within the second instalment. Further complaints about the speeds that riders hit were addressed, but then they perhaps went in the opposite direction and created a system that was too fast.
That additional speed turned some off initially, including this player, quite honestly. It made the game feel simple in some areas and almost like something that would be found in an arcade. With time, however, a technical aspect began to shine through that is actually quite enjoyable. There is a sense of throttle control on a track like St. Jean d’Angely that features tighter sections and off cambers. That is actually something that has left those who have caught a glimpse of Monster Energy Supercross gameplay concerned, as the speed through the whoops is rather unrealistic.
There is obviously time for that to change, should the developers dictate that it is necessary, but the current speed may actually be the best solution. Supercross on the second MXGP game was extremely enjoyable, but the bikes lacked a hit of power that was required to nail a large combination right out of a corner. Perhaps this is the best compromise for a supercross track of a realistic scale? Rather than lessening the power, increasing the size of the whoops could be the easiest solution. However, again, a finished product has not been unveiled yet and consequently one should not jump to conclusions just yet.
Switching back to the third and most recent MXGP game, customisation cropped up as an issue again. The same gear from the second game returned and, although fans cry out for a certain level of customisation, having the most recent apparel to choose from is also a necessity. That lesson should have been learnt now though, which again means that there is no reason to worry about that particular hurdle with Monster Energy Supercross. It seems that there were certain issues with the Unreal 4 Engine, seeing as it is not necessarily built for racing games, so again valuable knowledge has been gained that should make the upcoming title an improvement.
There is potential for greatness here, to summarise, but there is another fact that has almost been swept under the carpet. Fans have longed for a track editor since the days of MX vs. ATV Untamed, but the fact that it is just too complicated to include has been drummed into the consumer. Milestone are going above and beyond, however, and including the feature that will change the way the game is used completely. Games that heavily rely on a career mode have to die at some point, but the opportunity to create unique tracks will effectively give the game an endless shelf life. Heck, the basic editor on MTX Mototrax was enough to prompt hours and hours of gameplay!
It’ll be most interesting to see just how good the Monster Energy Supercross game is and whether that leads to an improved MXGP game, should that series continue. Imagine if those two continue to prosper and those in motocross can get lost in a virtual world like those who follow football, NFL, NBA or any of the other mainstream sports? Then there is obviously MX vs. ATV All Out, which is on the verge of release. That franchise requires its own column though.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer