Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 6 looks to jump back into the spotlight – Hands-on impressions

Supercross 6 gets a lot right, and fixes its flaws from the past.

Screenshot via Gamepur

The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship circuit has gained a lot of steam and popularity in the United States over the past few years. And, it’s also trying to make gains in the gaming industry. Publisher Milestone has released an annual Monster Energy Supercross game since 2018. The first title of that franchise made significant headway in the world of sports and racing games, but there have been some slips — or crashes, to be more exact — in the franchise. Now, Milestone has a chance to get back on track with Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 6.

Back on track

Image via Milestone

Monster Energy Supercross 6 makes use of the Unreal Engine, a system that can yield some pretty mixed results, particularly with regard to racing games. NASCAR 21: Ignition, which dealt with a series of turning and crash bugs, among others, is a good example of just that.

For Supercross 6, Milestone touted that this year’s game would feature a refined racing experience. This includes improved AI, a tweaked physics system, and different animations that will activate depending on the terrain of the track. One major issue that I had with Supercross 5 was that the AI and physics systems didn’t feel in tune, and that would lead to some pretty wacky pile-ups and crashes.

That doesn’t seem to be the case this year, as the AI does look more consistent — sure, the computer will take bad routes at times and fall of course. But, at least the AI doesn’t trip over itself on regular cadence regardless of difficulty, a pleasant change from 2022.

What else is new?

Image via Milestone

Aside from the gameplay changes, Milestone has added a series of other features to Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 6. Crossplay has been introduced into the title, as has a new online ranking system. Not to mention, the developers have also added a new competition titled Rhythm Attack, which is a 1v1 race where two players race side to side. Unlike a traditional 250 or 450 race, there are no turns — the only objective is to go as fast as possible and stay on the bike all while hurling towards the finish line.

Additionally, Milestone has upgraded free roam with the Supercross Park, which is also available in career mode. Here, users can find collectibles much like in past games. But, users can also participate in single-player games, train, and gain experience racing in a number of different biomes that are found throughout the region.

Look, it’s not easy to keep things fresh in a sports/racing franchise that releases a new game every calendar year. If you played Supercross 4 & 5, I think it’s fair to say that things might have felt a bit stale. But, the tweaks to the AI and physics make the game feel and play differently. Not to mention, the addition of crossplay helps with matchmaking and keeps the franchise in line with what other racing and sports franchises have done in recent years with expanding online play options.

Start your journey into supercross

Image via Milestone

Career mode is back for Supercross 6, one that’s a run-of-the-mill experience for games of this nature. Supercross 6’s career mode includes a career path that dumps players into the Futures scene. From there, drivers must grind up to the top tier of Monster Energy Supercross by winning races and completing objectives.

Upgrades to drivers follow a fairly traditional path. Users must acquire skill points by completing in-game objectives and then plug those points into a skill tree that controls a driver’s attributes.

Milestone doesn’t do anything groundbreaking with career mode. But, one component that could be appreciated — mainly because I don’t think it’s used enough in other titles — is that drivers can get injured in races. Injuries do lead to impacted race performance. Sure, some sports titles like NHL do feature in-game injuries that can sideline users in career mode, but others neglect this very real consequence of participating in athletics on the regular. It might not seem all that important, but at least Milestone did take injuries into account to reflect realism.

The verdict

Image via Milestone

For what it was, I actually did enjoy playing Supercross 5 last year. However, its flaws could not be neglected. While this year’s title does take the safe route — no wild story in career mode, nor a massive change in visuals — Supercross 6 is an improvement from last year. The addition of crossplay builds on the addition of cross-gen multiplayer that was implemented in Supercross 5, while the refinements made to the racing experience make for more fluid and realistic racing.

Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 6 is, overall, a solid game. In fact, it’s the most complete title in the franchise in years. And, its various game modes and features does keep the experience fresh.