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Game review: Monster Energy Supercross 5 (Xbox Series X)
Wed, 23rd Mar 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Supercross is a sport that isn't very popular here in New Zealand, but it has a large following over in the United States.

Well, now the sport has gotten its fifth official game released this year called Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 5.

Even though this is the fifth game in the series, this is surprisingly my first foray into the franchise. I used to watch some Supercross a few years ago, although I dropped off when my Sky Sport subscription expired in 2014.

Unlike the old MX vs. ATV series, Monster Energy Supercross 5 concentrates on motorcycles only. You cannot drive ATVs or any other vehicle in this game which is a bit of a shame. That said, this is strictly a one sport style of videogame.

If you are not familiar with Supercross or its videogame series, Monster Energy Supercross 5 does a good job of introducing new eyes to the sport. However, this is not a simple racing game you can just pick up and play because driving the motorcycles is harder than it looks.

The first thing you will notice about playing this game is that it features a realistic style of controls and physics. It's not a game where you can just hold the right trigger and cheese your way to the finish line. Instead, the tracks are expertly laid out, and you have to find the best route in order to finish on the podium.

What makes this game fun to play is that you need to both balance the motorcycle and the rider. If you fail to balance your rider on the motorcycle, you are bound to fall off multiple times. However, there are many control assists you can turn on to make your gameplay experience easier or harder, depending on your own preference.

When I first played Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 5, I wasn't really good at racing at all. Thankfully, the game has an extensive tutorial mode with pro Ricky Carmicheal called the Futures Academy. Here, Mr Carmichael teaches you all the ins and outs to win in this game.

The challenging thing about this game is trying to jump and balance your motorcycle. The tracks have a lot of hills and ramps, and it's up to you to try and figure out how to effectively drive over them. The game takes a lot of time to master, although it's fun to play once you know what you are doing. You really need to learn to use both the analogue sticks to balance the bike and rider while you're racing.

The only thing I couldn't master was how to race when lots of people are bumping into you. There are 22 racers on the track at one time, and sometimes it's hard to overtake people when there are lots of other bikers trying to do the same thing. You are bound to crash and collide with other racers a lot if you cannot hold pole position.

In terms of game modes, there are a lot of areas to partake in Monster Energy Supercross 5. While many will start off in the aforementioned Futures Academy, the majority will spend their time in the Career mode. The Career mode is split into Futures, Rookie and Pro disciplines.

Besides racing and winning championships, the Career mode also allows you to learn new skills and do more training events. You can even get injured in this mode if you fall off your bike multiple times! The training modes are quite fun because you can do tricks and other jumps to improve your driving skills.

Another mode hidden in the Career mode is the compound. The compound is a free-roaming area where you can do even more challenges. For example, you can try and collect the letters of SHAPE, or you can do tricks such as backflips, frontflips, and whips.

Outside of the Career mode, you can also test out your skills in Multiplayer. There are many online modes to play in, plus there's also cross-gen play. Not to mention the game also has fun split-screen gameplay, so I was able to race against both the AI and my brother. There are also both single events and championships available in split-screen.

One of the best modes in the entire game is the Track Editor. Here you can create your own race tracks so you can add as many jumps and ramps as possible! The track editor is similar to Tony Hawk's skate park creator as you place objects on the ground. It's not hard to create tracks as the tutorial teaches you everything you need to know.

If you don't think you are good enough to create your own track, you can simply download tracks that other people have made. The online community is pretty active as there are tons of new tracks that you can download.

While Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 5 has some enjoyable moments, I don't think it's a game that will appeal to everyone. For example, the Career mode can be boring and repetitive because you are racing the same tracks over and over again, and for some reason, you are required to do seven or eight laps of the same track, which can feel tiresome.

Graphically, Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 5 does not look like a next-gen experience at all. Even though I played the game on Xbox Series X, it looked like an early-gen Xbox One game at best. Unfortunately, the game isn't photorealistic like Gran Turismo 7 or Forza Horizon 5.

While Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 5 is a good game for fans of Supercross racing, I don't think non-fans will find it interesting. The Career mode is repetitive, and there's not a lot of varied gameplay offered. Only hardcore dirt racing fans will find this game to be enjoyable.

Verdict: 7.5/10

A code was provided to us for review purposes.