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Monster Energy Supercross 5 makes a steady, but not wide, jump on the dirt – Hands-on impressions

We’ve had a chance to test out the new Monster Energy Supercross game: a title that has a hefty price tag, but a lot of potential.
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Milestone has a big couple of months ahead in terms of releases, starting off with Monster Energy Supercross 5. The fifth installment of the franchise is the official video game for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross tour. AMA Supercross, which holds events featuring the best motocross racers from around the world, has garnered a larger following across the United States in recent years, and has become a steady presence on national television on NBC.

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This year, Milestone touted a number of new additions that are geared towards bringing the franchise into the current-generation of consoles. But did Monster Energy Supercross 5 nail a jump, or did it fall flat on the track? Let’s go over our impressions on Milestone’s new title.

A look into gameplay and the AMA

Monster Energy Supercross 5 comes with what a lot would expect out of an official AMA Supercross game. The title includes real drivers that compete in the tour, plus tracks from across the country.

Milestone touted that Monster Energy Supercross 5 would have a more improved gameplay experience, thanks to new animation and physics tweaks that would make moving across the track and pivoting a lot easier. It might sound a bit vague, but I will say that while the gameplay changes might look subtle at first, the changes have made a difference.

Moving around the track is more fluid and easier as compared to Monster Energy Supercross 4. This rings true with whips, which are very important when it comes to changing the direction of the bike after a jump, in order to stay steady and avoid falling over. Last year, I felt this was too big of a problem, as it made tipping over with the bike just a bit too easy. With whips and scrubs tuned for Supercross 5, this is less of a setback.

There are still some animation and gameplay issues, though, with Monster Energy Supercross 5. Yes, motocross whips and scrubs animations do work better as compared to my experience from Supercross 4, thus making it easier to land these moves, and adjust the bike on the fly. On the other hand, it just feels a bit too easy to transition into a holeshot from the onset of a race, especially on the lower difficulties. I should note that the AI in Supercross 5 just can’t get a handle of itself at times. Mass crashes occur too often, at least in my opinion, in Supercross 5. As a matter of fact, getting ready for a jump in the middle pack and watching all the bodies go up in the air looks more like a scene out of Call of Duty or Battlefield, as opposed to a motocross title.

Granted, the above clip was captured on an easier difficulty. But with all of that mayhem happening so quickly, perhaps tuning the AI to prevent all of that chaos might serve as a better introduction to new motocross fans.

The modes

As far as the game modes go, players have a number of options, starting off with the brand-new Futures Academy. This mode is highly recommended for newcomers, as this tutorial, lead by motocross legend Ricky Carmichael, will walk users through the controls of the game and combos needed for more complex moves. 

Monster Energy Supercross 5, much like last year, also comes with a Career mode that gives players the opportunity to sit in the seat of a professional motocross driver, and compete across the United States in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross tour. 

Supercross 5 also comes with a free roaming mode, as players can join up with friends, or go through by themselves, across wide open strips of the Monster Energy Supercross compound. The map features dirt tracks, grassy hills, and flat roads that are perfect for first-time players to get acclimated with the game engine. The free roam mode also includes a treasure hunt, in which users must locate and collect special items that can unlock a special in-game reward. 

Monster Energy Supercross 5 also features online and local multiplayer. Both received upgrades this year, as online multiplayer features crossgen play, and a “drop-in, drop-out” feature that gives players the ability to jump into an already-active race and replace a bot, or another player who dropped out. As far as local multiplayer goes, users will now be able to utilize split-screen racing.

An overall look

Monster Energy Supercross 5 needed a clean-up after a stale launch last year. It delivered in some areas, especially with some of the movement animations. Additionally, crossgen multiplayer and the drop in additions should help, in some respects, with matchmaking for online play. Personally, I didn’t have a whole lot of fun with Supercross 4, but the changes this year have made the experience a lot more enjoyable.

Now, is this game worth $60? That depends on how much of a motocross fan you are. The title has enough features – split screen and free roam, amongst others – to appeal to casual racing fans. Plus, it also has a decent amount of customization options, including the ability to create custom tracks. However, the game’s engine can be unforgiving, and quite frankly, frustrating at times. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun, but there is a learning curve with Supercross 5. If you’re fine with all of this, and the hefty price tag, go for it. Otherwise, it might be wise to wait until Supercross 5 gets discounted.

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Chris Studley
Chris is a staff writer for Gamepur who lives on the East Coast of the U.S. Chris has covered sports games, including the Madden, FIFA, NHL, NBA 2K, and MLB The Show franchises, for Gamepur since 2020.