For years now, I’ve been hankering for a good monster truck game.
I don’t know why – it’s not as if I’m an avid fan of the sport or anything. But monster trucks are just cool, and I’ve always thought they’d offer something different in a sea of GT racers. Last year’s Monster Jam: Steel Titans was an improvement over the terrible Monster Jam: Crush It!, but it still left a lot to be desired. Thankfully, Teyon is here to save the day with Monster Truck Championship, what is likely to become the first good monster truck game. Finally.
Most recently known for its surprisingly decent Terminator: Resistance, Polish development studio Teyon is new to this racing game malarkey. Don’t let that put you off though; Kylotonn, the studio behind the most recent WRC games, is overseeing its development. One and a half years of work has been put into it so far, with the aim of making it the most realistic and spectacular monster truck game so far. And from what little I’ve played of Monster Truck Championship, I can already tell it’s going to be better than anything that’s come before it.
While it wasn’t available to me in the preview build of the game, career mode will be Monster Truck Championship‘s main draw. It will allow you to make your way through numerous leagues on your quest to be the best monster truck racer around. Along the way, you’ll earn money for your efforts, which you’ll use to buy new trucks and upgrade and customise them to your heart’s content. So, nothing out of the ordinary.
Of course, outside of career there’ll be the obligatory quick race mode, too, which will allow you to set up races, drag races, time trials, freestyle and destruction events with the settings of your choosing. And there’s multiplayer. Split-screen is unfortunately a no-go in Monster Truck Championship, but you’ll be able to take the action online and compete against up to seven players. You can show off the vehicle you’ve made in career mode as well if you wish.
Monster Truck Championship has your usual selection of modes, then, but it’s the on-track action that really separates it from the pack. For a start, it’s rare to be able to simply race monster trucks on a circuit. It’s fun, too, taking into consideration the vehicles’ unique physics; they’re not particularly fast, but their high centre of gravity make them a challenge to keep under control. Then there’s standard drag races, and freestyle and destruction events which are more about throwing your vehicle around and showing off for the crowd.
While you’ll probably get the hang of racing monster trucks pretty quickly, to master freestyle and destruction events you’ll probably want to get some practice in. It’s easy to find your truck on its side or even upside down after trying to pull off a backflip or another fancy manoeuvre. But if you have the skills, you can correct yourself quickly and style it out. You can control the direction of both the front and rear wheels, allowing you to perform cool donuts, drive diagonally, and more. It’s up to you to experiment, and find the limits of the vehicle you’ve climbed into.
I’ve honestly been pleasantly surprised by Monster Truck Championship. After all the terrible monster truck games released in the past, I hoped it was going to be good but I tempered my expectations, just in case. And while I haven’t been able to try its campaign mode, or go in-depth with its customisation system, I’m optimistic that it’s going to actually be a good, if not great, game. It looks nice and has a nice variety of events, but most importantly, it controls well.
16 monster trucks will be available in the final release, and they’re as outlandish as you’d expect. A toaster, for example, or a big dog’s head. Each will have 50 customisable elements, and there’ll be a whopping 25 arenas in which to compete, including real world locations such as Las Vegas. So, if you’re after a different racing experience, look forward to Monster Truck Championship as it gears up for launch.
Monster Truck Championship will launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC this October. A Switch release will follow in November.