Another year, another (takes deep breath) Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 5. This yearly release has already dropped, and while I’ve been struggling to get my thoughts together on it, I realize that my struggles are with the series, and its downward trajectory in quality.
Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 5 or Monster Energy Supercross 5 is a supercross motorcycle racing game. Not only is it the official Supercross racing game, it’s also one of the best dirt bike racing game series out there. While most games of its type are usually arcade adjacent, Supercross 5 strives to be more of a simulation than an arcade experience. Unfortunately, while it certainly has the look to be the premier Supercross title, it’s just not fun to play.
One of the biggest indications of a racing game’s fun, for me, is how vehicles handle. While events and other activities are important, racing has to be the most important factor to consider in a game that’s about racing — and Supercross 5 just isn’t fun to play. No matter what settings I tweaked—from simulation heavy, to one that was less concerned with realism, I struggled to find a way to even enjoy the game. And that’s coming from someone who played a good deal of its predecessor, Supercross 4.
I also found myself flying off of my bike far more in Supercross 5 — something that I attributed to my failure to properly distribute my rider’s weight. However, even with a lot of practice, my rider would be flung off for hitting the smallest bump. There is a new rewind feature that helps alleviate some of the frustrations there, but it’s limited to three uses, and has a slow recharge. Even so, I would definitely use it multiple times during the usually eight plus minute races. The AI in Supercross 5 isn’t the best, either. There’s a tendency for AI to cheat in racing games, but the bots seemingly perform physics-defying feats, while otherwise being completely incompetent riders.
In Supercross 5 there are several ways you can play, both online and offline. Single player has single event races, championships, a time attack, free roam, and a career mode. Career mode has you starting your supercross adventure from the very beginning, where you participate in Futures qualifiers before you’re even considered for the Rookie circuit. Once in the Rookie circuit you’ll not only have to place consistently, you’ll have to do so while monitoring riders’ injury and even their fitness level. You can also play against other players online by creating a lobby, or browsing other players’ lobbies to see what kind of activities they’re getting up to.
The track editor returns in Supercross 5. The ability to create hilly bike tracks has been an activity gamers have enjoyed since Excitebike on the NES, though Supercross 5’s implementation is a little bit more robust than that 8-Bit implementation. To help ease the learning curve there’s a track editor tutorial included which shows you the basics.
This yearly refresh of Monster Energy Supercross just isn’t enough, and even manages to be a step back from its predecessor. This may even be the worst Monster Energy Supercross released so far. This was a game I played for hours, and I spent all my time struggling to find my enjoyment.
A Steam key was provided to us for this review.