If there is one thing this Monster Energy Supercross videogame captures, it is two-wheeled mayhem; starting a race up against the outside starting-gate the anticipation builds until the gate drops and the race is underway.
Upon iconic tracks astride either a 250SX or 450SX class bike, players can bustle their way through the chaos of determined riders, over the bumps and jumps, through the mud and fireworks towards the final slo-mo fly through the finishing gate.
Chad Reed, Ken Roczen, reigning champion Ryan Dungey and others will race across official challenging tracks, though in the turmoil of 22 riders, it can be hard to pick these guys out from the other race-gear wearing opponents. Generally speaking they will be out front.
Tracks and riders have been 3D Scanned to increase the authenticity of the game’s look.
Playing this on the Microsoft Xbox, however, it is clear this game is pushing the hardware to the limits as frame-rates can be very bad, including an some moments early in a race where it is really noticeable. For the most part, however, the game looks and performs ok.
Controls-wise this is one of those motorbike games that gets things right. A large emphasis on weight positioning gives great nuance to controlling the ride. Lateral control with a joystick is always difficult to simulate, but with a few tweaks of the settings, players will find a level of manoeuvrability that suits their style. There is a career mode that takes the player through a series of events in their chosen class on a bike that can be quite customised, including both performance and visual upgrades as progression is made.
Gameplay is surprisingly enticing. Riding Supercross is less about straight line speed and power and more about timing of jumps, landing and efficient cornering. So it is in this game, with speed management paramount to hitting the down-facing ramps at optimal angle to maintain momentum after a jump. Despite the bustle and jostling of riders around corners, the straights of each track are where the race is won, through weight and throttle management.
You can also play online with up to 12 riders in the mix, though we did find it difficult to get a full game going more often than not, which is a shame. However the AI opponents put up a good challenge for most players.
The Track Editor in-game provides a quick way to create your own events, with lots of options to produce a stadium of muddy bumps and jumps that can provide a way to extend the games longevity in your household.
Loading times are long, advertising is heavy, but Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame provides a lot of two-wheel action and fun.