Monster Energy Supercross

PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC racing/sport

It’s funny how some sports just don’t travel well. The US, surprisingly, has a number of sports that many outside the States just don’t get. Baseball, for instance, and, as much as they try, US football has still to make a significant impact, particularly on our shores.

Another sport that can be added to that list is Supercross. Essentially it involves riders of motorcycles, riding around muddy tracks indoors. First across the line, wins. As a spectator sport, it probably comes across as a quite a thrilling spectacle. This game version however, is less of a ride.

The first annoyance, of many, starts right at the beginning. The actual start, as it happens. Once you’ve chosen a rider and bike, you can start single events, career, or championship mode. Whichever one you chose, the start is exactly the same.

boom reviews Monster Energy Supercross
My mum's gonna kill me for getting my kit dirty again.

Out of a line-up of 22 competitors, you are always in the last lane. Even if in subsequent races you fair well, you’ll always start in the same position. And this isn’t even the annoying bit. The start line is a long bar, that’s initially raised, and when it hits the ground, the race begins. Now normally in any kind of motor race, there’s a traffic light system acting as a countdown to when you go all out on the throttle. Not here though. You just have to watch the bar, and wait until it lowers. In all aspects of the term, it’s a shit way to start a game.

One of the main challenges from the game is that there are a lot of competitors, battling it out on quite narrow courses. Especially when you consider that there are a myriad of tight corners to manoeuvre, throughout it. There’s lots of jostling for position, which even includes landing on top of another rider from a jump, which probably doesn’t happen that often in the actual sport.

As well as the turns, there are jumps; many small – like speed bumps – and a few large to get some real air. They don’t pose that much of an obstacle though, if you ride with some common sense. Thankfully, the overall handling of the bikes is pretty good, although keeping a decent racing line can be tricky with so many other bikes around you.

Also, it should be pointed out that you’re actually riding on mud, which must be a pain to schlep in and out of indoor arenas. Despite doing a number of laps, the conditions don’t change that much, so once you’ve got the knack of one course, you’re pretty much good to go for the rest of the game.

And that’s basically it, sadly.

boom reviews - Monster Energy Supercross
Despite the offer of a free sugary drink at half time, it wasn't enough to attract the crowds for this race.

To its credit, there are a large number of tracks to ride around, but because they’re indoors, every course looks and feels exactly the same. Sure, the turns and jumps are in different orders, but that’s the only differentiation, making a campaign a really dull, bland experience.

Overall the developer’s have probably done a good job of translating the real life experience into a game, but the game itself suffers from the mediocrity of every racing experience being the same. No stunts, no tricks, and would you believe it, no red shells.

It’s also disheartening that a sponsor’s name manages to be attached to the sport. Whatever next – will we all be playing Kit Kat Chunky FIFA 2019? We hope not. Obviously it’s a sport with such a low profile that it relies heavily on sponsorship, but it doesn’t make it any more disappointing to see it in the game’s name.

Despite the sport’s name, as far as the game is concerned at any rate, there’s nothing ‘super’ about it. Sure, Averagecross doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but it is far more accurate. If you happen to be a fan of the sport, then you may be content with what this game has to offer, but if you like a racing game with thrills and spills, you’d best steer clear of this one.

we give this three out of five