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Review: Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Video Game 2 (PS4 Pro)

6.5

Fair

You made it through that mouthful of a title name? You must be quite the Supercross fan then. Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Video Game 2 is a direct sequel to the game that launched last year and finds itself in a similar position to most other annual sport titles – incremental updates that changed very little to the game, other than basic roster and graphical improvements. Want more of the same? That’s exactly what you’ll get.

Vreeem vreeeeem

The heart of the Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Video Game 2 lies in its career and its in this area where most the new additions will be found. As before the first thing you’ll do is to create your own unique rider and sign your allegiance with a specific bike manufacturer such as Yamaha or Kawasaki. Once you’ve done that you’ll be tasked at choosing one of a limited number of sponsors, though more opens up the more you progress in your career. If you’re not ready to take on everything Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Video Game 2 can throw at you, it’s probably best to check out the tutorial before doing so, which is actually quite comprehensive.

Training is a great way to fine tune your skills.

The Supercross follows events of the licensed sport and as such all events on the calendar take place in the US, which is split up in east and west. You get to choose which region to tackle, first with the 250 SX and later the more powerful 450 SX class. The big update comes in the form of having to deal with a season agenda. At the beginning of every week you’ll be the one who decides what you do leading up to race day. Training is a great way to fine tune your skills. Here you learn how to judge your landing areas better when coming off jumps, how to lean properly around corners, pulling off scrubs and more. You’re graded on each lesson and can then move on to a more demanding training session involving the same discipline. Not in the mood to train more? Challenge a rival. Beat your rival and his competitive edge will drop in the form of a percentage drain on his side. It’s a fun interlude between all the racing. As with the newer Codemasters F1 games they’ve now included a session to meet journalists or fans. It’s not interactive at all and has a short video playing of you meeting either party, followed by the earning of some in-game credits. It’s such a complete waste of time with the two loading screens taking up more time than the event itself. This could have been handled in a basic notification form minus all the loading screen noise.

Same, but different, but still same

The presentation leaves a lot to be desired. Once you arrive at your main race you’ll have to deal with cutscene after cutscene for each and every race, pressing the X button to skip through it all. The only bit of value comes in choosing the gate where you’ll start the race if you qualified high enough. If not you just take the one measly spot that is on offer. In terms of gameplay it’s nearly an exact copy of what you would have played last year. It’s enjoyable enough and I should point out that the engine sounds of the bikes are stunning and have seen a definite improvement, but the rest of it is not going to set the world alight. It all comes down to understanding each track and where you should drop the clutch to get that much needed boost out a corner to make your landing and setup for the next jump a pleasant one. Something else I did notice was that I wasn’t eating mud as many times as I did in the first game when reaching the first corner with a horde of bikers trying to secure first place. The collision detection is much better than it was in the first game.

The biggest problem for Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Video Game 2 is the lack of variety.

Graphically there are some noticeable improvements. Seeing bits of mud flick up from underneath your spinning wheels creates quite a cool effect and draws you into the action. Or play it from the visor camera to experience it all in first-person. As before there is enough green representing Monster Energy drinks to have players think that it could be a Green Lantern sponsorship. It’s bright and colourful with the background stadium details, such as lighting and the odd finish-line blaze of flames, looking quite cool. Small details such as the clothes on the drivers now also flutter more intensely when reaching higher speeds. They’ve really done as much as they can to make it look the part, but I have a real issue with wet races. The gravel, which is mostly quite impressive, turns into what can only be described as ‘soft plastic’. In their effort to make it look like it’s wet, the track instead looks like plastic and not gravel when its raining.

The biggest problem for Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Video Game 2 is the lack of variety. Once you’ve completed the career and championship there is the opportunity to move on to time attack and also the compound. The compound is a big playground where you can try all kinds of weird and wonderful things with your bike on a big plot of land. Some areas are closed off and requires you to meet certain criteria to open up, like completing the 450 career. But that’s that.

Multiplayer does offer a decent online experience and in the time I played it I found a few online games without any hassles, but you won’t be playing anyone offline as there is no local support at all unfortunately. There is a track editor that’ll allow you and a friend to perhaps create a dream track, if you’re looking at doing something offline with a buddy. Earning credits will give you access to customising your bike and rider outfit, as is expected, and that’s as much as you’ll get from Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Video Game 2.

Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Video Game 2 isn’t quite as exciting as the game was last year. It wasn’t the bike game to revolutionise bike games in 2018 and it’s not going to win any awards this year. It’s the tried a tested formula that has returned. If you want an updated roster with all the legends and tracks then that is what you’ll get. It’s not going to leave you green with envy if you miss out on this update.

Good

  • The bike engines sound real awesome in this sequel
  • Extensive training programme will help newcomers
  • Some cool graphical upgrades

Bad

  • The media and fan sessions are a waste of time
  • Loading screens as far as the eye can see
  • Not a worthy update if you own the first game

Summary

Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Video Game 2 conforms to the general annual update mandate. There is a new roster, some tracks, a few graphical tweaks and a whole lot of the same returning content. Unless this is your first outing, best wait for next year to see something more substantial.
6.5

Fair

Married to a gamer and she kicks my ass at most shooters. If the game is enjoyable I'll play it, no matter the format.

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