It’s been a year since the release of Monster Energy Supercross 5, the official game of the category that bears the name of its major sponsor, and here we will analyze what changes the new version has brought to 2023. Monster Energy Supercross 6 does not reinvent two wheels, plays completely safe in what works with satisfaction and changes little to the structure of the game, and the result has two central points: the first is that for those who have not played the previous and Like the sport, this is without a doubt the most solid and consistent motocross game on the market today. but at the same time, for anyone following the franchise, it’s going to take a lot of effort to notice any meaningful difference between what it was and what it is now.
In summary, Monster Energy Supercross 6 is a game based on its practice motocross competitive on rough tracks with machines properly tuned for mud, dangerous jumps, dust and tight corners on difficult, trap-filled circuits. More than speed, it’s the know-how in knowing how to deal with mishaps that determines who will be the winner and who will have to go to the garage, sometimes on foot. It is a series developed by Milestone Srl since 2018, the same as the brands MotoGP, Ride and Hot Wheels Unleashed and, therefore, it is one of the most well-known developers in the field of motorsports.
The game has some very conventional and expected modes, ranging from single matches for one or two players offline or up to twelve people online. time-consuming functions, the famous time attack; as well as areas for training and improving technical maneuvers. There is a track editor which, I admit, takes a lot more time than we imagine we would spend with a perfumery like this, which also applies to customizable gear that can even be shared in the community. These and other nods to social issues, as well as a very generous – albeit demanding – tutorial that this year features seven-time class champion Jeremy McGrath as a great mentor, are interesting ways to keep us connected to the game for a long time.
The big draw for single player, however, remains in career mode, split into three major events ranging from the introductory Futures series with few races and even more limited viewing options. go through the Rookie, which adds a few layers of spice especially between races. and then we are able to compete at a Pro level with races that differ more from each other, practice and qualifying sessions, competing with a direct rival and other small things. These tournaments, however, do not necessarily bring an increasing scale of difficulty per se, but rather an increase in challenge due to the requirement of deepening levels of career tracking and management.
The difficulty itself is selectable from the start, and each level limits the use of automated mediators to a very generous progression model. It’s like when we learn to ride a bike and we have those training wheels that give us a little more stability and security to take a step forward. For those who are not familiar with the series or even need to get their hands on it again, it is recommended to start, of course, from the most basic level, even to avoid immediate disappointment. For veterans, however, it’s worth going straight to one of the other two levels above, not only because the shortcuts make us a little more sloppy, but mostly because the automatic controls are more of a hindrance than a help to those who know what to do.
For example, in the video that opens this review, I decided to start with the basics and show the Futures tutorial and series in assisted mode. It’s getting annoying how the game defines braking and resuming acceleration points, which can lead to bad results. I like, for example, to attack the corners more aggressively and I prefer to work on the trend especially when overtaking. As much as this results in pathetic crashes on several occasions for passing the point, it’s the way I feel most comfortable investing in tight turns. When the brake kicks in before I need or plan, in addition to losing attack, I even cross flower beds and not infrequently literally stop the bike on its way. If in games like Ride this assistance helps to make perfect strokes, here where improvisation is a resource, it ends up hindering the player’s style.
The same goes for acceleration and resuming speed, where the game decides on its own when it’s time to return to the load. It’s not uncommon for the bike to break too early and throw us into a ravine in an abrupt manner causing a ridiculous fall. If the balance of the co-pilot is anything less of a concern, surely the controls that try to predict behaviors are not worth it unless the player is more experienced in a technical and restrained style. The recommendation is to avoid the facilitators – which can be turned off at any time, individually, which is great for those interested in a more aggressive learning curve – and invest directly in the training modes to gain control of the vehicle as soon as possible , without crutches.
Another element that has changed little in recent years is the rider customization system, which is still understandable for motorcycle brands since it is a licensed product, but not so much when it comes to our personal representation, much less than many others. ways to create your avatar that we see in games of this and other genres. There are some faces (some hideous) presets, options for height, eye and hair color, female or male body and… that’s it. On the other hand, uniforms are more abundant, either due to the multiplicity of sponsors and related brands, or because of the purchase of cosmetics with the money earned from victories and professional success. As we will only be seen in podium scenes, it is best to invest more time in clothing than in the physical appearance of the subject.
Another big area for modifications is related to the stars of the show, the motorcycles, thanks to an endless number of items from different brands present in the game. While some parts are just cosmetic changes, others bring some features with improvements. Each brand brings the same extra points not to make one better than the other, but it is possible, with a few hours of dedication, to walk away the crazy at the peak of his abilities. Added to this are other skills in the pilot tree that improve skills such as more precise turns, more stable jumps, cleaner maneuvers or less physical vulnerability to injury, experience points gained as a result of victories of course, but also specialization in certain targets such as number of passes, risky jumps and more in a list of supplementary tasks.
None of this, however, is different from what it was already in the 2022 version, with minor changes here and there, interface tweaks and such. So what’s new, apart from our driver’s voice? There’s a new rhythm mode, which is basically a straight line where the goal is to find the best and most accurate jumps, but once you get to know both tracks it’s nothing but repetition, especially once you get the hang of it. and the training ground has a structure or two different from last year, which hardly changes the dynamic of walking more freely across open pitches, mounds of beaten earth and the odd bit of tarmac. For cross-platform gaming enthusiasts, the cross game it’s proving more robust than ever and looks much more functional and stable than anything we’ve seen before, which helps find people to play with. In this review period there were a few full games that I managed, but nothing robot they do not resolve.
What I expected from the improvements, however, still seems timid. The game physics has some good advantages in making us responsible for the pilot’s balance, which makes a big difference, but it still has some simple mistakes, mainly in the collision model. You can simultaneously run over an opponent like a tractor and, on the next curve, fly like an Olinda doll when you touch a lane limiter. If on the one hand every fall is a genuine piece of comedy, on the other hand it is disappointing to fall without feeling that you deserved it. The mechanics of rolling back a move in a few moments works to get around these discrepancies, but the patch doesn’t seem to compensate for the feeling of being as light as a plastic toy. Another very disappointing element is the AI, which is sometimes stupid and just ignores that we’re there, sometimes seeming to play as dirty as a Charmless Dick.
Visually, Monster Energy Supercross 6 also doesn’t bring any notable changes and maintains a balance between very realistic and genre-appropriate environments, with competent weather effects and cohesive textures, but which feels ten years frozen in relation to human models, except a somewhat robotic fluidity of movement. As for the sound, it has its advantages in spatial construction and if playing using Pulse 3D does not exactly bring us a deep 3D experience, at least we have a good perception of the position of the opponents. Some songs have that independent element that I really like, but it doesn’t take long to forget it’s there, maybe because they seem to be the same all the time.
As something new, in short, the game evolves little, bringing few updates in all aspects and falling short of latent potential, especially in elements already seen from the first game. If last year’s version still had some good differences thanks to a technical update for the current generation, the 2023 version shows an uncomfortable characteristic in the annual sporting events to innovate little, partly due to the limitations of the brand itself that must be transferred, since you don’t see possibilities for different mechanisms or fictional and conceptual elements given the realist anchor of the whole thing. separate simply by comfortably keeping what looks unified, even if it’s far from perfect. For a game that represents such a dangerous sport, Monster Energy Supercross 6 ironically lacks the chutzpah to surpass what came before it and, more importantly, push its own limits.
Game reviewed on PS5 with code provided by Milestone.