Review – Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 4
I reviewed the first Monster Energy Supercross game in 2018 (which I hated, mostly due to it being a poorly optimized Switch port), and somehow, we are already in its fourth iteration in 2021. I didn’t exactly pay a lot of attention to the franchise after my first poor initial impression with it, but after playing some really well-crafted dirt bike racing games published by Milestone over the past few months, I was eager to give Monster Energy Supercross 4 a shot. Especially considering it does have a full-fledged PlayStation 5 build.
I may have not paid attention to the franchise for a while, but Monster Energy Supercross 4 starts off like basically every single other modern Milestone racing simulator. You create a character with a shallow editor, choose your vehicle, learn a few things from the tutorial, realize that the controls are way more complicated than what you were expecting, then select between a quick race, online multiplayer, or the créme de la créme of any Milestone game, a well thought out career mode.
Monster Energy Supercross 4‘s career mode features what you would expect from a game like this: long-lasting seasons, an occasional exhibition event to spice things up, sponsors, and the like. I wouldn’t erecommend jumping straight into that mode after beating the tutorial, as the game features a very punishing difficulty curve even on lower difficulties. You need to properly learn how to transfer your body weight during curves and jumps in order not to lose your balance or lose unnecessary speed, as other bikers will overtake you without a single care in the world.
Race a few times in the career mode, then enjoy wasting your time in the game’s excellent track creator. This can be used as a training ground for you to understand the different kinds of curves, terrains, and traps which will show up during races. Monster Energy Supercross 4 features a sizeable amount of licensed content which will keep you busy even if you decide to treat it as a pick-up-and-play arcade game. Thank the near nonexistent loading times, courtesy of the PS5’s SDD.
The PlayStation 5 version of MXGP 2020, the previous Milestone release for the system, featured improved visuals and effects over the last-gen build of the game, but wasn’t exactly a great showcase of the console’s graphical capabilities. The same can be said about the PS5 version of Monster Energy Supercross 4, but thankfully, the game does look and run better than its slightly older brother. Its framerate is a lot more stable, with the game running smoothly no matter how busy and nonsensical the track design is. It might just look like a very pretty PS4 game, but it’s still a welcome improvement. So is the usage of the DualSense’s adaptive triggers.
Another thing that impressed me in a positive way is the game’s sound design. Most AA racing games follow the same formula of featuring decent rock tunes when in between races, and being completely devoid of music while in an actual race, letting the engine noises do the talking. That’s not the case in here. Monster Energy Supercross 4 features a pretty good Refused-inspired soundtrack that is blasted through the speakers during races as well, mostly due to the fact this is an extreme sports game at its core.
This is still far from what I expect from a proper next-gen racing game, but Monster Energy Supercross 4 is a pretty good game in its own right. It’s brutally challenging at first, but rewarding. It is chock-full of content, with a sizeable career mode, lots of tracks and licensed bikers, and a great track editor to boot. It certainly is much better than the PS5 version of MXGP 2020, and a lot better than the actual Monster energy drink.
It looks and runs better than MXGP 2020. Not exactly an impressive showcase of what the Playstation 5 can achieve, but still a significant improvement over last-gen versions.
A very similar control scheme when compared to the one featured in MXGP 2020, albeit with a bigger emphasis on tricks and maintaining balance in really punishing courses. It also utilizes the Dualsense’s features.
A shockingly catchy alt-metal soundtrack which is played during races as well. The announcers sound ecstatic and the engine noises are realistic.
Fun Factor: 7.5
Monster Energy Supercross 4 is not very newcomer-friendly, but it rewards your patience with its neat career mode and licensed content. Its track creator is also excellent.
Final Verdict: 7.5
Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 4 is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X and PC.
Reviewed on PS5
A copy of Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 4 was provided by the publisher.