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Game review: Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 (PC)

Tue, 18th Feb 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Motorcycle simulation veterans, Milestone, get down and dirty for some two-wheeled racing with Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3.

The game allows players get to partake in the official 2019 Monster Energy Supercross season. The game features races in both the 450SX and 250SX classes across 15 official circuits and stadiums.

Whilst Milestone's motorcycle physics are second to none, producing a near perfect simulation of bike for the likes of the Ride, MotoGP and MXGP franchises, in the past, game visuals have been a bit of a mixed bag. More recently, the Italian developer has been complementing their nigh-on perfect motorcycle sims with suitably impressive visuals. Supercross 3is no exception.

From little details like bikes and riders getting caked in mud during races to the cheering crowds, a lot of polish has been put into the game. The game engine provides some great lighting, making the stadiums look very realistic.

Whilst MXGP focuses on outdoor circuits, often incorporating natural terrain, Supercross circuits are stadium-based with tighter turns and narrower tracks width. Supercross is less about motorcycle speed and more about the technical skill of the rider.

Supercross 3is not an easy game to master. This is not helped by the combination of the riders and the wet turning the track surface into a constantly deforming muddy quag.

The bikes are very responsive. Weight shifting forwards and backwards is essential in order to properly propel the machine over the leaps and jumps. Not only is this on a hair trigger, proper timing is paramount. If the leaning is also switched on, precise control into turns can also be achieved.

I found racing on the tight tracks difficult at first, the game requires discipline to keep speeds low enough to maintain control but fast enough to beat your competitors. Liberal application of the throttle and accelerator are not going to cut it. The real tech-heads can tweak their ride to get the best set-up for their riding style and the track.

Racing and maintaining control of a motorcycle is a complex affair. To enable novices and veterans, alike, to get the best of the game, players can opt to enjoy the help of assists or go it alone. There's the usual choice of manual or semi-auto gear changes. Players can also choose to individually control front and rear brakes, or let the game sort out the proportional braking for you.

Realistic physics is another setting that can be switched on for the pros, and there's also the option to take full control of not only rider weight shifting forwards and backwards, but also side to side. The more control that players have access to the better times they can achieve, but it'll likely be too much for beginners.

Jump timing and rhythm is also a big part of the game. There's an optional visual cue that I found invaluable to ensure I correctly timed my jumps and didn't end up in the barriers.

Supercross 3 comes with all the racing modes that you'd expect. There's a single player career, whereby players create their own rider. The championship mode allows players to take part in the official 2019 Monster Energy Supercross championship controlling either their own rider or one of the pros. For a bit of practise, there's Time Attack and a huge open compound, packed with challenges and event, to hoon around in at your leisure. For those really wanting to test their metal, there's a series of challenges to master as well. Of course, the game caters for online play with both public and private lobbies.

The game allows creative players to customise their bike suit and rider. Extending the game, the track creation editor allows players to create and share their own custom track layouts. If you don't feel up to creating your own track, there are literally hundreds of player-create tracks to download and try.

Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 3 is yet another superb motorcycle game from Milestone. The game's slick presentation and amazingly realist visuals are complemented by a comprehension dirt bike physics and control system that is both challenging and rewarding. If you like the thrill of off-road motorcycle motorsports, this is the game for you.

Verdict: 8.5/10  

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