Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 3 Review – Some Kind of Beast

    Title: Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 3
    Developer: Milestone S.r.l.
    Release Date: February 4, 2020
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: Milestone S.r.l.
    Genre: Sports / Motocross

Monster Energy Supercross is back, with the third title sponsored by the popular energy drink, Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 3. And no, this isn’t tied to the Death Stranding universe. Over the years, developer Milestone has helped the series improve, so a lot rides on the presentation of this latest installment.

Jumping into the game, I was eager to learn about its newest features. Luckily for me, that wasn’t too difficult to find as this entry contains female riders for the first time in the series. I personally think we should have this option from the very first game, but it’s finally here. Players will find dedicated animations and character customizations for each gender, which includes various options to fine-tune your rider. Interestingly, the character’s height is noticeable as they sit on their bike, which was a nice touch.

The game features 100 real-life people across all classes as players choose between a sponsored team or an official Supercross team from the 2019 championship. As a fan of the series, this is something that I have been waiting for, so I was glad to see the option. This allows me to begin my career and ride next to my favorite factory rider in the same team.

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Career mode has been expanded with a more up-and-personal experience, which gives the feeling that players are a part of an official team. Both 450SX and 250SX classes feature all the official riders and teams, so it’s good the game allows players the option to customize their appearance to fit the part.

Everything on a character can be personalized, which can be made up of your own color-pallet preference or directly from the top brands worldwide. That is, assuming you have the credits for them. This layer of detail extends to the bikes: From footpegs, hubs, to various liveries, there’s a lot to customize here, and I gladly sunk many hours into creating the perfect rider and bike.

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When it comes to gameplay across the various modes offered, there seems to be a little for everyone. It looks like Milestone is split between pleasing a strong fan-base that demand more realism, against the desire to attract newcomers to this sport. With this in mind, the physics engine has been completely changed. Not redefined or re-worked, but altogether scrapped and built upon new foundations, with new ideas in mind.

Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 3 offers smooth and fluid gameplay, although there have been some changes made to weight distribution given to riders and bikes. Comparing gameplay to the previous titles, particularly to the second one, the bikes seem more cumbersome while in the air. When you set yourself for a scrub or a whip in a specific direction, countering that initial course is basically impossible. This completely changes how you set yourself for a jump, but while on the terrain, the bike feels natural and realistic.

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For better or for worse, this is one change that shifts the whole experience, establishing a further challenging and more technical game flow. These changes will be necessary for those searching for the perfect rhythm. The game rewards players with a learning curve, but it’s one steeper than some might want to put time into. Although this offers a dense gameplay experience, it does require a focused approach.

If it were up to hardcore fans, Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 3 would be nothing but high realism and detail. However, don’t go in thinking that’s what you’re going to get here. If the A.I in previous installments weren’t challenging to you, then that won’t change here. Still, entry-level options have been tweaked in single-player events, allowing new players to adjust their experience. Flow Aid is back, a line that conveniently helps players with the best trajectory, as well as the Rewind option.

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The visuals have also seen a slight improvement. The most noticeable tweaks are the re-worked changes in dry and wet terrain, as well as improved particles, such as raindrops. Rider animations have also been updated, but these can seem a little out of place at times. Still, this is more about the bikes than anything, and their feel and designs are still full of detail.

Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 3 features dedicated servers for their online experience, which is a first for the series. The online experience was far less laggy than I remember in previous entries, which was I was very thankful for.

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The title also sees the return of the Monster Energy Supercross community track creation feature, where players can download and upload user-created tracks. The compound co-op option is also an excellent addition as it lets you race freely with your friend across the Supercross test area in California. This area is vast, with grand structures, extra challenges, which is perfect to practice those whips with your friends.

An additional online feature allows players to act as a race director for Online Competitions. This opens many possibilities as you can set your own rules and see it all unfold. I’m glad to see the developer do what they can to engage with the community of players, and the online features highlight this push.

Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 3 follows the recommended optimizations to the letter. Tested with an RX 580 4GB at 1080p, we managed to retain 60fps while having all the settings on high, with slight drops to mid-50s. Lowering Temporal AA to medium got us that smooth increase, even without overclocking the GPU. The same experience can be obtained with Nvidia’s counterpart, the GTX 1060.Monster Energy Supercross The Official Videogame 3 3

Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 3 may not be what the hardcore simulation gamers wanted, but it opens the door for rookies and fans of the sport looking to play out their riding dreams. The new gameplay features come with a learning curve, respecting old and newcomers alike. With the official 2019 calendar of riders available, dedicated servers, new features on career mode, and various new additions, I really feel like everyone is invited to this race.

Score:
/10
A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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