After years of subpar releases, niche sports are back to seeing games released that are worth playing.

From Steep to OnRush, these impressive games have once again given hope to fans that they aren’t as forgotten about as they once seemed. The one sport still feeling that way, however, is off-road motorcycle racing.

While there have been various Motocross and Supercross games released, none have really given fans that joyous feeling like the titles of the past like Motocross Madness 2 and MX Simulator. That’s where Monster Energy Supercross 2 comes in.

Aiming to continue the trend of worthy extreme sport titles released recently, the latest off-road racer from Milestone hopes to take the best features from its last installment, and improve enough to make the latest release an unforgettable ride.

But does it have the power to push through the pack or is this just a back-marker?

Almost Perfect Gameplay

For any racing title, the most important thing is how the game feels. If it’s an unpleasant experience on the course, then nothing else matters to anyone playing.

Thankfully, Monster Energy Supercross 2 shines when it comes to the gameplay.

The game can be easily picked up and played by anyone, but it’s also deep enough to require plenty of time in order to become the best. To really control your bike, you have to not only maneuver the bike with the left stick, but you also have to control your rider’s weight using the right stick. Just leaning your body a little bit too far either way will leader to dumping your bike, and falling behind the pack on the track.

To make things better on the track, the line you take and how you hit your jumps matter more now than every before in a Supercross game. If you hit a jump or set of jumps the wrong way, you’re likely to find yourself losing position rather quickly.

Where the gameplay falters – and why it’s almost perfect – is in the collision and physics system. To put it bluntly, there isn’t one. If you happen to land on another racer after a jump, you just slide off them instead of causing an accident. The only real collisions the game detects are if you run into one of the barricades surrounding a course.

From a modes standpoint, the game has everything that you’d expect from a racing game. There are quick races, online multiplayer, career mode, the Compound, and more.

Starting with the Compound, Monster Energy Supercross 2 gives players a large open area to explore and ride around in order to get the hang of the gameplay. From learning how to handle weight distribution on jumps to how to take sharp turns, taking the time to practice at the compound is key to becoming a success on the track when the lights are on.

Moving on to the game’s main offering, career mode, players can take their created rider on a journey to Supercross greatness.

Broken up into weeks, you have a couple days to schedule various activities before the race. These activities range from minigames like training to media and promotional days that really do more harm than good in the mode. If I could make a suggestion – and I’m going to anyway — everyone should skip doing the media or promotional events as they just involve your player posing while you get to watch.

The training actually helps you prep for your race by allowing you to improve your skills before taking to the track. Challenges – the other interactive pre-race activity – are simply head-to-head events with an AI racer that allows you to earn experience.

Though a neat idea, the off-track aspects of the career mode don’t really make the mode much more enjoyable than if they weren’t there at all. If anything, they come across as simple filler just to have something there.

A Visual Treat

This may sound like an overstatement, but trust me, it’s not: everything that you see and hear on the track in this game is as good as any game you will play this year.

Rural environments, especially when various weather elements come into play, really shine as you see the mud splatter off the tires and the puddles form during a race if it starts to rain. The bikes all look like they were imported directly into the game, and the audio makes you feel like you’re at an actual event. From the revving of the engines at the starting gate to the camera work inside the stadiums, you could trick someone into thinking they’re watching a real race with the commentary turned off.

Speaking of the commentary, that’s really the only downfall of the game’s presentation. Before the race, you get a nice introduction from Ralph Sheheen and Jeff Emig. Unfortunately, as soon as the race begins, the commentary disappears. Though the sounds of the race are incredible, it would be nice to hear some sort of commentary during a race. It’s something that most race games, not just Supercross 2, seem to struggle implementing.

There isn’t the largest selection of courses to choose from, but the game’s Track Editor helps alleviate that issue by allowing players to make the greatest tracks they can dream of. You can even download custom tracks from other players in order to experience them yourself.

Verdict

Monster Energy Supercross 2 is a game that does a great job at welcoming new fans to the series while also helping returning players master their craft. The somewhat stale roster of riders may turn off some fans as will the lack of polished off-track elements of the career mode, but the action on the track is enough to help you get over that. Throw in the endless offering of tracks that you can have thanks to the track editor, and you can find yourself lost in the game for quite some time.

With Monster Energy Supercoss 2, it’s clear that Milestone is on the verge of something truly special.

  • Gameplay
  • Game Modes
  • Presentation
  • Longevity

Summary

Monster Energy Supercross 2 is a game that does a great job at welcoming new fans to the series while also helping returning players master their craft.

Overall
3.5