When it comes to names, Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Video Game 3 (MESC 3) is one of the most unnecessarily long names ever. Thankfully, the game isn’t as unnecessary as its name.
The third installment in the series, MESC 3 takes pretty much everything from last year’s release and attempts to improve them in various ways. In some parts, it succeeds while other areas just seem like a straight copy job.
The game features an improved physics engine that feels pretty good for the most part. Bikes interact well with the track below, though it’s quite weird that you can land at a sideways angle and have no issues continuing on whatsoever. No matter the skill level, I found myself able to turn during a jump, land a 90-degree turn, and carry on my merry way. Another small gripe I have with the physics engine is that there are times where you can just bounce off the top of another rider after a jump with no one crashing. Kind of unrealistic if you ask me.
At the end of the day, though, hitting the various jumps feels amazing when done right, and the different terrains play a nice role in the overall control of your bike as you ride. And if you are worried about the AI being too slow or easy, don’t. It’s pretty easy to tackle on the lower difficulties but provides quite a nice challenge the harder you make the game for yourself. What’s best is that it does this without ever feeling unfair. You will earn everything you get on the track.
Speaking of tracks, the game features 17 officially licensed AMA Supercross tracks, all of which look identical to their real-life counterparts. What makes these tracks so special is that they all have to be learned. No two tracks are the same, and, if you’re not prepared, you can find yourself falling apart in a race thanks to not knowing how to properly attack a specific section on course.
Other courses include nine different compound tracks that all have their own unique style to them. And if none of those whet your palette, then take yourself to the track editor, and test your talents at creating the best tracks possible. The tracks can then be uploaded for others to play.
A Simple Ride
As far as modes go, the game remains deep for fans of the sport. The Career mode is pretty straightforward, in both good and bad ways.
The mode sees players start in the Compound — as a male or, for the first time ever, female rider — with the sole goal being to impress various teams enough to give you a shot. From there you either sign with a team or go the sponsor route instead like a lone wolf without a pack. After spending time in the lower 250 East or West league, you will finally get the chance to go to the big leagues, the 450 AMA Supercross series.
Again, it’s straightforward but the mode is enjoyable enough that you’ll want to work your way to becoming the best rider on the circuit. I’d be lying, however, if I didn’t admit te disappointment in taking out things like challenges to break up the monotony that some may feel from doing race after race after race.
Other modes available are Single Events, Time Attack, Championship Mode, the Compound, and Challenge mode. Some are more fun than others, but most, unfortunately, are pretty much cut-and-paste jobs from MESC 2.
If you want to take the game online, there are dedicated servers for the first time in the series history which worked pretty well during my time in the multiplayer.
Visually, the game looks just as good as the last two. The bikes look and sound authentic, and there’s something about watching your clothes flap as you ride that’s just so satisfying. Pre- and post-race presentation is pretty top-notch, but it would still be nice to see some dialogue during races, especially in career mode.
Monster Energy Supercross 3 is another good installment in the series. The races are fun, the tracks are authentic, and the modes are enjoyable. The only problem is that it feels like much of the same with no major leaps. If you have yet to get on the Supercross bandwagon, this is definitely a game worth picking up. But if you played last year’s installment, there’s really not a reason to make the $60 jump.
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Monster Energy Supercross 3 is another good installment in the series. The races are fun, the tracks are authentic, and the modes are enjoyable. The only problem is that it feels like much of the same with no major leaps.