Monster Energy Supercross 4 PS5 Review | Adaptive Triggers & Refinements

Posted on Mar 10 2021 - 6:03pm by Gaf Hussain

Game development is tricky and complicated at the best of times, but add a pandemic into the mix and a whole slew of problems can arise. You’d definitely not want to be responsible for a franchised game that releases yearly that’s for sure. Too bad for developer Milestone, because they were faced with this epic challenge, did they leap over the muddy hill or faceplant into it?

Monster Energy Supercross for or SX4 for short is a title that was always developed for the super fan. It is a niche sport within motorsport but has a loyal fan base.

As a yearly franchise, the changes this year are iterative at best, but there have also been some substantial tweaks and additions where they were needed most. Sadly not in the difficulty, it is still as hard as ever and you need to master the racing lines in particular with the jumps. If you can’t master this, you will always appear in last place, even on the easiest difficulty.

Thankfully this year, the developer has introduced an upgrade system for your custom racer. You can compete in training events throughout the Career mode. After each major race even you have the option to try 6 different disciplines and only have 3 attempts. A retry uses an attempt and even exiting out of one. You can’t select another discipline to practice on. That is it. You can earn up to 3 stars for each one which are used as upgrade points to improve your racer and bike. Thankfully they are fairly simple and will improve your ability, it is a shame they are locked behind these 3 attempts, meaning if you are bad at something, you are punished and can’t practice it in the career mode until you get better. These include learning the flow of a track, overtaking, tricks and driving through gates in under an allotted time.

In addition to the upgrade points, you also earn currency, these can be used to purchase bike upgrades which are immense! You will never have enough and always long for the next piece. On top of this the currency is also used to heal your racer. Falling over in a race now has consequences, and if you are bad as me, you will either have to fork out the cash to heal them or be injured for 2 race weeks. Again being punished for not being as good at the game.

It is key to feather the throttle and not go at full speed as well as shifting your weight to allow for maximum air when jumping and then landing safely. I am still not keen on the ‘scrub’ mechanics, especially on how you have you push the analog sticks in opposing directions, it cause more problems than it seems to be worth doing.

The career mode may not be for everyone, so there are more options. It looks like the developers heard the praise for the Compound mode and expanded upon it. Larger environments with the ability to race with friends on the same map and more things to find. It could be a game in itself some day, but would need a lot of work and I would suggest looking to Burnout Paradise for inspiration.

Visually the upgrades are not where you’d expect a new generation game to be. The PS5 has all this horsepower and it isn’t really used to full effect. I expected flawless framerates with the best rendered and interactive mud in a game, but that claim to fame still lies with Naughty Dog and Uncharted 4.

Something I was really impressed with was the adaptive triggers, and anyone playing this on PS4 or elsewhere is truly missing out. It feels like the triggers are almost one to one mapped to the bikes suspension and you feel every jump and even when the terrain goes from wet to dry. The feedback is non-stop and accurate to what you’d expect to feel from a motorbike.

This years title is a mixed bag to use an old phrase. There are improvements but also unwelcomed additions that add a layer of difficulty to an already challenging title. The overall presentation is sub par with no voice acting to guide you through the career either. Compound mode and the adaptive triggers make the game, so if you are wanting to play this, do not play it on a PS4, only play it on the PS5 if at all. Again, super fans only.

RATING
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