STAFF REVIEW of Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 3 (Xbox One)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
by Adam Dileva

Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 3 Box art Since its inauguration, it seems that we’re going to get a yearly installment of the Monster Energy Supercross games. Now, if you’re a fan, you’ll no doubt be looking forward to the yearly titles, and now the third is finally upon us. Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 3 is just that, the defacto experience for the sport complete with an abundance of in-game advertising that makes you want to go buy a pallet of energy drinks. Given that the series has turned into a yearly outing, fans will obviously be eager to learn what’s new, and like most yearly franchises, there’s always a few small improvements, but is it enough for one more lap around the track?

With over a hundred riders, you’ll get to relive the 2019 season and even join the official teams across 450SX and 250SX within 15 official stadiums. While I don’t follow the sport, I’ve played my fair share of supercross games, so having authentic stadiums and being able to join the official teams is a cool detail that it has against the competition, as you can race with, and against, your favorite riders.

For the career mode itself, you’re essentially going from race to race, trying to place as best as you can. From time to time you’ll get to choose whether you want to race for a team or a sponsor, each with its own objectives and rewards. The better you place, the more you’ll earn, meaning you can purchase new gear to customize your character. Now and then you’ll get invitations to take place in a special race or event, but the career progression is as basic as it gets for the most part. Some variety would have been great to have to break up the monotony of simply racing back to back.

One of the biggest new additions is the option to create your racer in the beginning, but as a female if you wish. New ground and in-air physics are boasted to be new, giving you more control, as is new models and animations. For the models themselves, the faces still look lifeless and the hair awkward, but the animations do seem to be quite improved overall. Not only the riding motions, but the intro and podium sequences look smooth and realistic in their motions.

As for the new physics and controls, I’m still on the fence about how I feel about it. On one hand, you do feel like a pro racer when things go to plan, cutting tight corners, landing the perfect jump on a down slope, pulling off a perfectly horizontal scrub over a huge jump or nailing that holeshot before the first corner, but half the time you’ll spin out, land on an opponent’s head without any recourse, and lose a ton of momentum in the whoops sections when you don't gauge the amount of speed you need properly.

In general the controls feel decent, as you can shift your weight however you desire, on two wheels or in the air, but this only comes after a handful of hours of practice. The tutorial that is given is barebones as it gets, essentially teaching you how to lean and press the gas, leaving you to figure out the rest on your own. I really wish more care went into teaching how to holeshot better, setup yourself on jumps properly and banking into sharp turns. Yes, you’ll be able to aim where you want to go and step on the gas, but it’ll take time to master the smaller nuances to start to begin to win races, as it’s not always about going full pedal.

When you do eventually make a mistake and screw up, there is a handy rewind feature should you want to retry that corner or landing again, but you’re given bonuses for not using it. I almost always play racers in third person, but Monster Energy Supercross 3 feels like a much more authentic experience when played in first person, either showing your handlebars and fender, or even as if you’re wearing your helmet and looking out the visor as you would in real life.

Aside from your career mode where you’ll probably spend the majority of your time, you also can participate in championships, time attacks, single races and still be able to ride around your compound freely. There are even some challenges to complete in the compound for rewards and increasing your skills.

Track Editor is where you can create any tracks you could possibly think of. You’re able to upload your creations, download others and vote for the ones you like. That being said, people have figured out ways to create incredibly short tracks that give massive amounts of money and experience, whereas others have created some truly interesting and challenging tracks.

Multiplayer of course returns as well, and seems like it has a bigger emphasis this year with its dedicated servers. You can race in public lobbies, create private matches for your friends or even dictate the races that others will play as a Race Director. Here you can choose and edit nearly every option, like race settings, camera, penalties, starting positions and more. With a group of friends, Race Director mode could really be entertaining for everyone to play together with. You’re also able to hop into the compound with friends to free roam, checkpoint race or treasure hunt, so it’s clear that they want people playing online more and for longer with this year’s entry.

Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 3 adds a few new features this time around, though none make it feel like a drastically different game from the previous year(s). While it may just feel like another lap around the track, it is a slightly smoother go this time around.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 7.5 / 10


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