Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 5 review

Milestone /

Title: Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 5
Developer: Milestone S.r.l
Publisher: Milestone S.r.l
Platforms: PS5 (reviewed on), Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: March 17, 2022

Recently I had the opportunity to play the fifth installment of the Monster Energy Supercross games on the PS5. As my previous motocross game was Excitebike and I haven’t had Monster Energy in years — as my doctor liked to remind me that it will, in fact, kill me — I haven’t really jumped at these. But I was always curious. Turns out, from an outsider’s perspective, it’s not bad.

Getting started allows you to make your own racer. I made a character that looked like a healthy version of me but with the name “Toyota Beef”. You either get it or not, it’s fine. From there, you figure out what bike company you want to rep and with that your career mode starts.

After a brief tutorial showing you all the various ways you can fall of your bike, you’re given a difficulty selection and, as someone unfamiliar with the controls I was so thankful for the one on the left.

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Now, don’t get me wrong, I fell. A lot. But it was just because I was sloppy and raced like it was Mario Kart until I realized how important it is to slow down on turns.

Controls in this game are much more important than about any other racing game as a lot of it comes down to how you position yourself on a landing. Coming down at the same angle as where you’re landing will sometimes work for your benefit, or it could cause you to faceplant horribly. Surprisingly, Excitebike prepared me for this. Likewise you can do tricks with various movements of the joysticks. You don’t have to, but if you’re sponsored, doing tricks can net you extra money which you can then use for other stuff in game. Mostly customization.

As a big customization dork, my primary goal is unlocking various things for my rider. In fact, I don’t know how the game knew I was a parent but I unlocked the ability to put “Daddy” on the back of my pants. I’m pretty sure that’s what that means right? No other reason to have “Daddy”…? Either way. I got daddy pants.

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While we’re looking at this picture though, I want to talk about the track itself. The dirt in this game actually feels dirty. Not just visually, and not just the fact your tires, bike, and whole self get dirty over the course of the race, but how it feels to drive in it.

As you drive over places other people have driven, the ground feels looser, as if you’re slowing down. You sometimes turn like a boat around heavily used turns. There are some outdoor stages that have sand in them and hitting them suddenly feels like you’re trying to steer in Hydro Thunder.

I went ahead and filmed a race so you can see how it looks in motion. You’ll also notice that there is a feature where you can rewind time.  As you race, you fill a meter. You can spend part of that meter to go back in time a way in case you make a spectacular mistake such as the one I make towards the beginning when I hit a ramp with too much power and ended up giving away my whole ass to someone in the crowds as a souvenir.

From a visual standpoint, having similar-looking tracks was something I thought was going to get boring quickly, but learning how to handle various ramps, obstacles, and terrain made it feel like I was racing and solving a puzzle at the same time.

Also, if you have the option to pick what system you play this on, play it on the PS5. This game uses DualSense technology so well. I could feel the clutch when I let go of it at the start. I could feel the wheels slip and the rumble of the engine. I felt when it fought me when I accelerated in a way that my bike didn’t really agree with. It really added to the experience.

The sound, graphics, controls, all worked together to form something I genuinely enjoyed despite normally only having a heart for arcade racers. This game kept me engaged and entertained and getting firsts left and right after I got used to it.

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If I had to really find fault though, there’s a big one. While the game itself plays remarkably well and is intuitive (once it reminds you what real physics feels like the hard way), the interface is horrible. I genuinely do not understand where to go in most of these menus and every time I feel like I should, I’ll select something only to find myself buried deep in the wrong set of menus. For something with not a lot of game play options, there seems to be a ridiculous amount of meaningless menus that could be cut.

Luckily, this is where you’re rarely going to spend a lot of time so it’s not that bad to the entire game. But as far as menus go, it’s one of the worst I’ve ever encountered.

Monster Energy Supercross – The Video Game 5 (PS5) Score: 8/10

Despite having a clunky interface, the game itself is wonderfully well crafted. The dirt and terrain feel very real and learning to control yourself is both challenging and rewarding without ever getting frustrating. The DualSense controls are an absolute benefit to playing the game on the PlayStation 5 by allowing haptic feedback to the bike itself in a very well crafted and realistic way. Character customization suffers pretty hard but beyond that and the interface, the experience itself is really well done.

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.