The Supercross Monster is back!
Every time a major brand represents a sport, either as an individual or a group, we know better to keep an eye out, in case of being terribly represented. However, in 2018, fans of Supercross were presented with Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame, developed by Milestone (MotoGP Series, RIDE and others), and it became obvious this was more than just an advertisement-oriented game. The commitment was serious, and here we have it, the second official Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship game.
Even though it has just been a year, this second game introduces quite the amount of changes and improvements, including a much in depth career mode with wide customization. But first things first, the gameplay and improvements are by far the most relevant and important, and perhaps the most immediate noticeable change is the inclusion of a blue trajectory line. This extra can be toggled off obviously, but is intended to help players follow the correct trajectory through the jumps, and a welcome change for that matter. A.I is now relatively more competitive, as it previously showed inconsistent and unbalanced performance on races. Although it has improved in this second game, there's still room for improvement. Track blocks now disappear much faster once inside the track perimeters, as previously they could represent an obstacle if you crashed into them, and accidentally pushed them inside the tracks.
Some revisions were made to improve driver movement and behavior on top of the bike, thus, increasing its realisms and automatically impacting the surroundings, such as a much more controlled flow on corners. The clutch was also tweaked to improve race starts, and overall experience for manual driving, which was one of the top request changes from the previous title. Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 2 maintains its motto of delivering the most realistic experience possible, particularly with with the air physics and driver reactions.
It’s well known that some fans wanted a more stylish experience, with extreme maneuvers, but the path to achieve competitive realism is still on Milestone goals, which is a fantastic thing. This re-confirmation might also be one of the reasons why the bike feels slightly heavier, giving the feeling of extra tightness, but at the same time, going really well with the overflow of terrain grip for both landings from jumps and the already mentioned curve flow.
When comes to game modes, players have Single Event, Time Attack, Championship, an already included Compound mode to train and test all your high whips, and Career mode, with a completely new revigorised mode. Career mode was previously a simple and basic mode with repetitive races and barely any notion of genuine experience. Well, fans spoke and Milestone delivered!
In Career mode, players change more than just their number and names with their font of choice, instead, it’s possible to create a new driver from the start. It’s not entirely free-choice, as there's 12 face styles to go with, but after that it’s all up to you. Chose their appearance with a large section of preferences, such as height, eye color, beard shape, hats, sunglasses, tattoos and earrings! The customization goes wild, but it’s part of the whole experience!
Rider Outfit is also part of the customization, with outfits, helmets, goggles, suits, boots, and even celebrations for that moment when you finally cross the finish line in first place. Bike personality can be adjusted with different components such as handlebars, saddles, exhausts, tires, rims and others. There’s also the mechanical aspect of the bikes of course, in which it’s also a performance tweak, and not only visual.
There are without a doubt a large amount of options available, but there’s a catch… Whatever players feel like having, they must take into consideration it has a cost. Sure, tattoos are cool, and would look great on your rider, but can you afford it? All customizations can be bought with in-game credits, that are earned by completing races and championships. Sponsors are back with all sorts of contract goals, and this time Career mode, it’s not just about performing, but having a good prestige among fans and the media.
Players can plan their week based on a few selectable activities, either train, do interviews, spend time with the fans, complete promotion events and of course, race. It’s a time-management implementation that earns prestige, and therefore better contracts with sponsors. This means more credits, and therefore more available customizations, which will grant prestige. It’s a circle of building, not only your skills on the track, but also your rider image. It’s a nice change of pace and delivers a simple and basic perspective on driver’s life with the media attention.
Visually, Milestone improved the graphics from last year, pushing Unreal Engine 4 visuals further and increasing its effects. We still do not have an option to disable Chromatic Aberration, but the solution is simple and you can find it HERE. (Yes, works on this game as well). Some graphical details could have been better, particularly the Supercross monster girl, that deserves much more attention. Every track visual is simply amazing to look at, and required specs are not extreme, and yet, further changes have been made to some of the terrains, to look and feel more realistic.
Track Editor is back, and better than ever, with more variations and terrain options. This editor plays a bigger role in terrain physics, with new track lines being made all the time, and slowing you down accordingly, leaving a slight sinking effect, especially over the sand. Lines created are not anything new, but their racing lines are now more effective, especially during rainy periods, and dealing with mud, which looks absolutely amazing, and twice the messier. Lines made by NPC’s are also much more effective, and it’s all connected to the mentioned increased flow of realism. These details end up particularly interesting in the Track Editor, due to how many of them you can mix and create. Players can also share their tracks uploading them, or download desired ones from other users.
As I personally expected, online services are still peer-to-peer based, which leads to a less stable online experience when racing with other players. Yet, the game’s core, it’s definitely the single player, and If the strong engine noises are not for you, the fast-paced rock is back for more. If Supercross doesn't shake things for you, then this soundtrack will certainly do it!
With more than 80 official 250SX and 450SX championship riders, Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 2 is the best looking Supercross game on the market right now, offering a fantastic career mode, amazing visuals, and the level of realism that every single fan of the sport deserves. Milestone made another step in the right track, maintaining what made the original so good and still delivering a digital evolution for motocross fans worldwide!