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Review: Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 is Meaty Monster Truck Mayhem

Screenshot: Monster Jam Steel Titans 2

I was never into monster trucks when I was a kid. But playing Monster Truck Championship late last year gave me a new enthusiasm for the big wheeled motorsport. There aren’t that many monster truck games, so I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to play Monster Jam Steel Titans 2—which is probably the biggest monster truck game on the block. Despite my enthusiasm, I found Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 to be a mixed bag.

Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 is all about monster trucks. It’s a motorsport game that has a variety of events like racing, freestyle, and demolition focused events. It leans less simulation and more towards arcade—which is great for a game that gives you points for doing stunts like moonwalks, stoppies, bicycles, etc. If you’re looking for a more simulation styled monster truck game, Monster Truck Championship might be up your alley. But Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 definitely has more content, even if I’m not exactly thrilled with how that content is presented.

Screenshot: Monster Jam Steel Titans 2

I love that Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 is full of stuff to do, and trucks to unlock. There are several different categories of monster trucks as well as about a half dozen different event types to drive them in. There’s a career mode, where you can compete in events to unlock new areas in an open world hub, and advance through the 21 chapters. You can even explore the hub world to find secrets and collectibles.  There’s also a Big Show mode that has you compete in the smaller circuits before advancing to the big time.  And when you’re done with the Career and Big Time mode, there are Career + and Big Time+ for a bigger challenge. If you want to play with friends, you’re in luck this time. Splitscreen multiplayer returns in this sequel, but now you can play with others online—something you couldn’t do in the first game.

No matter which way you play it, there are about seven events you can participate in. There are a few racing events, like head-to-head that has you race one on one with other cars in a knock-out style bracket. Circuit racing is more traditional racing with marked path, while waypoint racing gives you a waypoint and gives you discretion to get there however you can. There are a few score-based stunt competitions, like freestyle and two-wheel skills. There’s also the timed destruction mode that has you drive through objects and over cars to attain a high score.

Screenshot: Monster Jam Steel Titans 2

There are 38 monster trucks you can eventually acquire by playing the Career and Big Time mode. Each of these trucks are part of a larger category of trucks, with each category having a special ability.  Some of these abilities are mundane, like extra boosts, but others allow you to literally push the competition out of the way. There are a lot of fan favorite monster trucks to eventually unlock, and even some that I recognize by name. Each truck also has a first person cockpit view, if that’s something you look for.

I love the amount of content, I just wish it was more fun to play. The trucks in Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 just don’t feel weighty enough. It’s definitely an arcade styled experience, but I’ve been spoiled by games like Dirt 5 that managed to balance the feel of different terrain with non-hardcore physics and managed to be great fun. I rarely had fun playing Monster Jam Steel Titans 2, and I really put effort into trying to enjoy it.

Screenshot: Monster Jam Steel Titans 2

I really wanted to like Monster Jam Steel Titans 2, and it has a lot going for it. I just wish I had more fun playing it. But there really aren’t that many options when it comes to monster truck games, and Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 feels on the other end of the arcade/sim spectrum than Monster Truck Championship, a recent monster truck game I really enjoyed. It may just be a matter of taste, though, and it has a lot of content.

 

Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 is available tomorrow on Steam.

 

 

 

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