Unleash the beast.

Title: Monster Energy Supercross 3
Platform: Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Milestone SRL
Publisher: Milestone SRL
Release date: February 4th 2020
tl;dr: Ride in the dirt without the dirt
Price: £40 / $50
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

The Monster Energy Supercross is a motocross sim racing game that first saw life in 2018 with Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame. This was then followed by the sequel, Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 2, in 2019. And here we are in 2020 with Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3

Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 is a motocross racing sim where you ride around on a dirt track trying to make a path for yourself the pack of aggressive riders. Simple, right? Not as much as you’d think.

Starting a race feels like trying to get through the doors of a Wal Mart during Black Friday; narrow tracks and too many riders make it difficult to stay in a successful position. Your best bet is to ram other racers so you can have room to breathe and race; otherwise, they’ll be the one trying to push you off the tracks. Trying to catch up to the top of the pack requires skill, dedication, and patience. Unlike arcade-like games, sim racers require a bit of time and dedication to acclimate properly to the vehicles and the tracks. No two racers are alike (except the same series) and seeing as two wheels vehicles are a bit tougher to handle, the learning curve here is steeper than car racers.

However, unlike other racing sims, Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 has a few tricks up its sleeves to help newcomers while remaining a true to life experience for hardcore players. First off there’s a bevvy of difficulty settings, starting at Very Easy to ease newcomers. You can also tweak your experience so that while the difficulty is a bit more approachable, you can still tweak your experience with a Realistic setting; not to say that the experience isn’t close to realistic out the box, but it makes things harder.

An interesting feature which gives the game a bit more flexibility and approachability is the fact that you can decide how long your Career mode can last. The way that it works is that you either set up for One-Shot (race in the Main Event only), Semi-Pro (requires players to go through Qualifying Events and then the Main Event) or the Real Thing (players have to go through Qualifiers, Heat, Last Chance Qualifier and then the Main Event). Considering if you fail to take a top spot in the race, you have to re-do the same race over and over until you succeed, being able to determine the number of races to go through an interesting feature for both newcomers and hardcore supercross players.

Another fun point is that as you’re about to tackle a jump, you’ll see an arc of arrows of what the jump should be executed. Thinking of it as the guiding arrows from Forza Horizon for example. As motocross fans know, jumping and landing are key to climb the ranks. If you happen to land early or too late, chances are you’ll crash and burn; fret not as it barely takes a second to respawn so you won’t fall too much behind. Or you can always make use of the rewind feature, however, you’re penalized at the end of the race for using it.

Another fun mechanic is no matter the position you finish, if you can perform jumps and land properly, the game rewards you with experience points; so even if you’re dead last, or close to the tail end of the pack, a great performance will earn you a decent amount of points.

While I can certainly understand racing sim, whether it be on 4 wheels or two wheels, are meant to be difficult as they are a virtual counterpart of the real thing, Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 is still tough even on the Very Easy difficulty. While it is the ideal starting point for newcomers to the genre and series, even on the easiest difficulty setting it is hard to stand out from the pack, let alone go from last to the top 3 without any hiccups.

One of the game’s strongest point is the content. Players can tackle three different careers: 250 East, 250 West and 450. Once you’re done with the lengthy Career mode or simply need a distraction, you can do a single event, race for the best time in Time Attack mode, visit the Compound where you can ride freely, put your skills to the test with a Championship mode or take on the game’s multiple challenges in Challenge Mode.

Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 looks the part. Each stadium looks different and feels “alive” as alive can be, just don’t expect the same wow factor from other racers. The mud effect is on point and the raindrops on the camera as you’re playing is pretty good, but don’t expect it to win Best visuals. I do am looking forward to the first next-gen iteration of the franchise to see how far they can push the visuals. The soundtrack is a mix of hip-hop/rap, rock, electronic tracks; a nice eclectic mix to get your blood pumping for the races; however, the soundtrack is drowned out by the engine sounds and racers tumbling and crashing.

While playing Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 reminded me that I’m still itching for an arcade-like motocross game à la Freakstyle, this game made me fall in love with the genre all over again. While it can seem daunting as sim racers can be, the game is flexible to newcomers with various tweaks and there’s enough content to keep new and returning players coming back for more. A bit of dedication will get you a long way. Don’t miss out.

The Good

  • A ton of content
  • Fun and accessible…

The Bad

  • …but requires a certain amount of dedication

Family Focus

Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 is rated E for Everyone.

This review is based on a review copy of the game provided by the publisher