We weren’t particularly impressed with last year’s fourth entry in the Monster Energy Supercross series. But what a difference a year makes.
As ever, this year’s entry in the Monster Energy Supercross is more of an evolution than a revolution, but that doesn’t stop it from impressing thanks to the many improvements that have been made. In fact, Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 5 is undoubtedly the best entry in the series yet.
The core of the game remains the same: you’ve got a career mode, some quick play features for those who just want to jump straight into the action, a track builder, a free-roam area, and online multiplayer. Multiple changes to career mode, however, make it more engaging than ever.
Like last year’s Monster Energy Supercross 4, career is now split into three distinct phases: Futures where you develop your skills, Rookie where you race 250cc bikes in the East and West, and Pro where riding 450cc bikes means you have to be at the top of your game. As you progress through these three phases, new features open up too, such as injuries and rivalries.
The injury system is a bit backwards, to be honest, with you able to take part in an exercise between events to help your rider heal. Entering the free-roam compound, you’ll be challenged to collect the letters S-H-A-P-E, Tony Hawk’s Skateboarding-style, while also completing a duo of other tasks. Succeed and your rider will be in better shape, despite putting more strain on their restless body. It’s silly, but at least you get to have a bit of fun.
Other activities to partake in between main career events return, too, such as training sessions and special events. Along with a new journal system that provides pages of challenges for you to complete, there are more opportunities than ever to collect upgrade points, which can then be distributed across numerous trees to improve your rider’s abilities.
Ultimately though, it’s the improvements made to the core experience of Monster Energy Supercross 5 that make the most difference. With handling that’s more responsive than ever and enhanced physics, never has it been more enjoyable – or intuitive – to play. You feel more in control, and that means you can be more confident in your actions as you try to get the rhythm of the track just right. And for those who still struggle, steps have been taken to help them on their way.
From the new Futures Academy mode that takes players through the basics and even offers pointers for more advanced manoeuvres, to assists such as the flow aid that aims to guide your momentum, Monster Energy Supercross 5 tries to welcome new players to the best of its ability. What’s perhaps most beneficial is that the over-keen A.I. from last year’s release has been reigned in, making each difficulty setting more distinct.
Whether you’re new to the world of supercross or an experienced veteran, then, Monster Energy Supercross 5 can be tailored to your preferences. If you want more realistic physics, aggressive A.I. and no assistance on the track, go for it. If you want a more laid-back experience, making your bike easier to control and your opponents happy for you to fly by them, you can do that too. It’s up to you.
On the subject of A.I. though, that’s about the only area where Monster Energy Supercross 5 could still do with some work. While it’s no doubt better than it’s ever been, your competitors remain a little drone-like at times, barging into you around corners and generally having little awareness of your actions. It does little to bring the experience down, though.
If you’re a supercross fan, it’s very easy to recommend Monster Energy Supercross 5. As ever, if you own one of its recent predecessors, it doesn’t really offer much that’s genuinely new. But improvements across the board, from handling to career features, make this the pinnacle of the series; it’s a must-have for ardent fans of the sport, and great for those looking for a way-in.
Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 5 Review – GameSpew’s Score