Every year, we have two dirt bike games releasing made by the same studio, and every year it seems we’re beating the same drum when it comes to said dirt bike games. Monster Energy Supercross -The Official Videogame 3 is the first of these games.
Get ready to BRRAAAAP!
When it comes to the SX or MXGP games, to say that they’re essentially the same game released twice a year with a different coat of paint is a bit of an understatement. But where Milestone Srl seems to be getting it right with the MXGP 2019 title, it would appear they’re doing the opposite with Monster Energy Supercross 3.
The game’s career mode simulates the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season, which takes place at 17 events across the USA. There are two classes to compete in 250cc and the faster 450cc main machines. The 250cc class is split between the East and West, and you only compete in those events when the 450cc boys show up in town. So the 250cc seasons are shorter, but you can compete in two different events if you choose. This is a good thing though, as I found the 250cc class harder to race in since the tracks with their jumps seem to be designed with the faster 450cc bikes in mind, so I often found myself being a lot slower than I should be.
You get the standard options for the events, where you can choose how long you want it to be and include practices and qualifiers, or make the races as long or short as you choose. You also get some options to fine-tune your bike before you set up, so you can end up making the experience as authentic as you choose. The bikes are pretty hard to control though, so odds are pretty good you’re going to keep those training wheels on for an extended period unless you’re well-acquainted with it.
Outside of the career mode, which is the meat and potatoes of Monster Energy Supercross 3, there’s the standard options and modes one can expect in any racing title. There’s single events, custom championships, and off course multiplayer. There’s also a rather interesting track builder mode, which allows you to create and share your own tracks, but I didn’t see where the shared tracks go, and where I could find other tracks to try out.
Multiplayer is usually pretty good for these games, but unfortunately, it was a bit of a miss, and it could be because I got the game early, but I could not find a lobby to play in, and neither did anybody join me when I created one. I gave up after a couple of attempts and went back to single-player. Forever alone.
One last thing to take note of is that Monster Energy Supercross for the first time gives you the opportunity to play as a female rider. It makes no difference in gameplay, but it’s a nice touch. There’s a ton of customisation options when it comes to your bike and rider though, which gives you the opportunity to really personalise and express yourself.
One step forward, trips on the next
The game looks good, exactly the same as MXGP 2019 in fact, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s all the other little things take make playing it an exercise in frustration.
For a start, Monster Energy Supercross 3 is rather dull, and the repetitive commentary really doesn’t help it. The developers really try to make it more exciting, but due to the fact that every track looks and feels similar, there’s only so much one can do to add some excitement to it. With MXGP, you at least get varied locations that often feel different due to the surface you’re racing on. Supercross also doesn’t have the same track degradation, which keeps the racing more thrilling all the way though. Controlling the bikes also doesn’t feel as smooth as is in the MXGP games, but that can be my imagination.
The game is also very buggy in the state I played it in. Often bikes and opponents would ghost in and out of the track, and once or twice the game’s soundtrack (which isn’t too bad) effectively stopped, and it only got sorted if I restarted the game. Nothing is game breaking, but it is annoying and the lack of polish really doesn’t help with a rather mediocre experience.
Struggling to keep pace
Monster Energy Supercross 3 isn’t bad, but I am rather disappointed. With Milestone Srl showing what they’re capable of with MXGP 2019, this almost feels like an afterthought or a contractual obligation. There’s a lot of potential in the series, but it needs refinement and polish, something that the SX game unfortunately lacks.
Unless you’re a superfan of Supercross, I would suggest looking at the other offering if you’re looking for a game the involves a lot of dirt and bikes that go BAAARRP!