This title was reviewed on Xbox One, but is also available for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
As unhealthy as it might be, Monster Energy is my favourite drink brand (I could live off Mango Loco and Pipeline Punch), so imagine my surprise when I realise that they sponsored a whole Supercross brand. Imagine my further surprise when said Supercross brand got its own videogame, and even a sequel! I haven’t played many Supercross games, although I was addicted to Big Air Freestyle on the Gamecube, so I have my experience. Does my favourite energy drink brand deliver a solid game? Let’s jump in.
Being based on the Unreal Engine, the graphics here are actually pretty good. Visually, the stadiums are quite varied as each has a different colour of gravel, and the modelling is quite good on the bikes and the riders. There’s also some neat effects throughout the game, such as the gravel kicking up when you ride or your uniform moving with the wind when travelling at high speeds.
Monster Energy Supercross 2 is a racing game, meaning your objective throughout the game is to finish first in a race. Simple stuff really. There is a twist though, as with the game being based on the sport of Supercross or MotoX, all of the tracks are enclosed, off-road circuits with plenty of bumps and jumps, and the off-road environments makes for plenty of opportunities to slip and slide, and this makes the gameplay interesting as you’re constantly fighting the environment, making no race simple.
Where the game really comes to its own though is in its weight system. The right analog stick is for shifting your rider’s weight on the bike, and it adds way more depth than you’d think. Not only can you do wheelies and endos on the bike with it, but in the air you can shift your weight to the side to stay in the air less and spend more time building up speed on the ground. Shifting your weight to the opposite direction you’re turning also lets you slide around tight corners, although doing it too quickly can send you flying. Nailing the weight mechanic is key to success and is honestly satisfying, although if you screw up there’s a nifty rewind mechanic to get you back on track.
Sadly, as much fun as the basic gameplay is, there isn’t much to it in terms of content and variety. Compared to other games from the genre, there’s a lack of modes. Whereas that game had MotoX, an outdoor rally mode, and a plethora of stunt arenas, Monster Supercross 2 only sticks to the MotoX mode, although some arenas are technically outdoors. It also doesn’t help that the main career mode is a little barebones. You do get to pick sponsors and have a weekly schedule which you can customise to fit in training days, but other than that you simply get from one race to the next.
The audio here is pretty decent too. The roar of the bikes and their engines fills the arena and the crowds’ cheering is done pretty well. The game also has some pretty decent commentary, although the music is pretty generic, which is a shame because some more licensed tracks would have went a long way here.
For a game based on a sports brand based on an energy drink brand, Monster Energy Supercross 2 is better than it has any right to be. The game looks great and sounds decent enough, and the gameplay is certainly solid. What elevates the gameplay is the weight mechanic though, which adds plenty of depth. Sadly, the game is lacking in content, with a barebones career mode and a lack of modes compared to what I’m used to, sticking just to the MotoX aspect. Despite that, you’ll have plenty of fun once you actually hit the track.