Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 6
Monster Energy Supercross 6 Review - Incremental Gains
Milestone is back and set to release their latest retail version of the popular motocross series, Monster Energy Supercross 6. The fully licensed title will see you set out to take on most of the world’s best riders on some of the best venues and tracks in various ways. I have followed this series since its genesis. While the improvements have been slow and methodical, they have made a difference in the overall quality of the series in a very tangible way over the years.
It’s safe to say that the additions and upgrades in Monster Energy Supercross 6 are noticeable, but do they warrant making the switch from last year’s version? Let’s talk about that in my Monster Energy Supercross 6 review.
Monster Energy Supercross 6 Review
What I Like
The most significant addition to career mode this year is an all-new training park, which includes new modes, new missions, and a revised layout. The other new addition will often notify you about new missions and opportunities. That includes former motocross superstar and icon Jeremy McGrath, which I will explore later.
The career mode in Monster Energy Supercross 6 will feel very familiar for those who have played the series, but familiar isn’t a dirty word here. Of course, you start as a rookie and aim to work through the ranks. The goal is to show a mastery of 125cc, 250cc, and finally 450cc bikes, each with its challenges, advantages, and disadvantages.
As you progress through the ranks, the schedule gets long and tedious, and the opponents become more of a challenge, at least on the highest difficulty, which is what I suggest playing on. You have two options with your contractual status as you move onward and upward. You can sign with an already established team or go it alone and sign with a brand, which is the route I always choose.
By signing with a brand, it allows you to customize your gear and bike as you see fit, which is helpful to accommodate for both your strengths and weaknesses.
You will feel the difference on the track as you upgrade your bike with in-game currency and achieve specific accomplishments. Your ability to accelerate, run at top speed, brake on a dime, and maneuver your bike becomes easier as you upgrade.
Once you reach the apex of your career, it comes down to being consistent and staying healthy, and all of this is aided by a skill tree that can be improved with points you earn throughout career mode. The more you earn, the more you apply and unlock, and the better your bike feels out on the track. There is enough to do in career mode to keep you busy for some time, but it started to become stagnant for me after year two.
Hopefully, Milestone can expand career mode in ways that replicate the career on and off the track.
One of my most significant issues with the series in the past was how my rider interacted with other opponents during congestion.
Examples include all riders fighting for the “hole shot,” turning into a mass of humanity and machinery, or fighting for position in tight turns inevitably resulting in one or more riders flipping around in a ragdoll sequence. However, my favorite is when my rider descends from a jump and ends up riding squarely on an opponent’s shoulders.
These scenarios above have been areas of concern for the title as recently as last year. Still, with the release of Monster Energy Supercross 6, the physics have been altered, enhanced, or changed in ways to make the difference feel tangible. I tested out the physics on every level. While there were some outlying anomalies, nothing came close to my rider coasting on opponents’ shoulders or mass carnage manifesting itself on the track.
The one caveat to all this is that being grouped around a mass of opponents or stuck in a fight for on-track position can make it feel like the action is taking place in slow motion or the controls are not reacting correctly. That said, this is the result the developers were looking for, and at times it mimics the sport in a very authentic way, just not consistently enough.
Even with that said, the physics improvements between the bike and its tire-to-surface interactions feel better than ever before.
As a massive fan of any venue or stadium creator, the track editor will always find its way on this list. Nothing has radically changed with this year’s version, but for those new to the series or who have never taken advantage of the editor, it’s a perfect time to jump in and utilize the tool in its complete form.
The track editor allows you to create your track from scratch, take an already existing track and edit it, and upload it for the community to use. Any concerns you have about the application and its difficulty should be disregarded. Milestone has done an excellent job of creating a very user-friendly experience that almost mimics a point-and-click situation. The best advice I can give is to dive in and play with the editor, as the more experience you gather, the easier it is to set up a course that works and feels right.
For fans of online racing, Monster Energy Supercross 6 offers up a solid selection. So much so that the options here almost warrant a purchase on their own merit. Whether you want to join a created lobby, create your own public lobby, or create a private one and invite a few friends to join and race against the AI, Monster Energy Supercross 6 has got you covered.
You can also create your own online championship series and run it as public or private, and the game will keep track of points and finishes. The game offers a complete online leaderboard, and you can also go online and upload or download livery and helmet designs, logos, and even the latest and greatest track designs.
The real winner here is the person who loves to play offline and online, as the game offers a large variety of modes and challenges for both, and by doing so adds some real longevity to the title.
What I Don’t Like
With 89 wins, 7 combined championships, and a record 13 wins in one season (1996), landing Jeremy McGrath for a role in Monster Energy Supercross 6 was an impressive move that shouldn’t be overlooked. Sadly, how he is implemented into the game is handled a bit pedestrian-like.
With so many accolades associated with Jeremy, I would have loved to see Milestone implement a series of McGrath challenges where you have to match his 13 wins in a season, or his attempt to win another with injury, or any of the other massive accomplishments during his 17-year career.
This could be something Milestone can deliver in the future. Still, we are relegated to hearing Jeremy give occasional tips in career mode and that the training facility has new missions and opportunities. Both he and his fans deserve more, and hopefully we will see it in the future.
I could have gone either way with the presentation for Monster Energy Supercross 6 because what is there is done well for the most part. Still, it has looked and felt the same for the last few releases, and it adds very little to the overall immersion level now, especially for veterans of the series.
The biggest weakness is the post-race celebration and lack of coverage. This becomes problematic during career mode, adding somewhat to a “wash-rinse-repeat” feeling that starts to creep in over your career.
The pre-race ceremonies still play nicely and look outstanding. Still, it is time for Milestone to add some depth to the overall presentation with post-race celebrations, interviews, and a presentation focus in-season showcasing the standings, the injuries, and who is rising and who is struggling.
I will never complain about any sports title offering up a bevy of assists that players can utilize to create an experience in-game that best suits them.
So why did I list assists as an issue for Monster Energy Supercross 6? Well, the braking and throttle assists found in the in-game settings drastically impact the flow of the bike as the tire meets the dirt, and they can be difficult to adjust as you move up in difficulty or choose to negate the issue by turning off the assists as your skills improve.
Please do yourself a huge favor before hitting any track and turn off braking and throttle assist completely and adjust back if needed. When on — especially throttle assistance — the AI dictates when your throttle is engaged while performing a scrub or navigating a turn.
You will often come close to either a standstill in the corners or accelerate before ready if you fully grasp the feel and timing of when to let up and brake. Your approach timing and direction can be skewed, which is never good when timing and approach are vital to your success.
Monster Energy Supercross 6 is not going to knock you over with new additions and new modes but instead takes what is in the game and tries to expand on it in ways that give the title more depth. I spoke about the refined physics engine earlier in the review. While I wouldn’t describe it as a unit-mover, the improvement can be felt, especially for veterans of the series.
Monster Energy Supercross 6 offers another deep career mode to satiate those looking for an immersive experience with longevity while offering up a fully integrated online suite for those looking to take the action online. If suiting up and getting dirty in some of the most iconic venues in the United States is your type of fun, adding Monster Energy Supercross 6 to the rotation is something you won’t regret, and chances are the title might find a spot in that rotation for quite some time.