March 24, 2023

Few developers stay as busy as Milestone S.r.l. and now the Italian studio that specializes in racing games has returned with another yearly installment in its Monster Energy Supercross series of dirt bike sims. Monster Energy Supercross 6 aims to be the flashiest of the series, as noted by supercross legend Jeremy McGrath’s heavy involvement in the tutorial and revamped career mode. It’s both an eye-catching addition and a loud statement that the series is better than ever and has plenty to offer.

Last year’s release was certainly more iterative in nature, allowing for refinement of the core gameplay. Not much has changed about the satisfying racing itself in Monster Energy Supercross 6 (the first-person mode is still the most intense way to play), but the overall package has been beefed up thanks to a better offering of modes and features. The tutorial is thorough once again and caps off with time trial races against McGrath, challenging the player to show all that they’ve learned and put it together to truly graduate. It’s a satisfying way to learn the ropes and demonstrates how much polish has gone into nearly every aspect of the experience.

McGrath’s presence is also seen throughout the career mode, as he roots for your created racer and gives advice and goals to strive for. This gives the mode an added structure beyond just competing in its 17 races, which is great because of how indoor supercross can be a lot more repetitive than outdoor racing since the scenery doesn’t change as much. While it used to be pretty bare-bones, the yearly additions to the mode have finally paid off because it’s now a fully-featured campaign featuring attribute boosts to unlock, rivals to compete against, and injuries to overcome. Milestone’s progress has been slow but steady, and that’s evident here because this entry is a culmination of all that work.

A revamped compound, now called the Supercross Park, also features McGrath front and center. The much larger open area is a joy to ride around in, especially since it’s a literal fresh of breath air compared to the indoor tracks, and is where McGrath tasks players with different objectives. There are also training challenges, which tie into the career mode as you can improve your physical condition to perform better in races. While past compounds were largely forgettable and not worth engaging with, this is a major step in the right direction and actually worth booting into between races because of how it ties into the career and is more than just a meaningless distraction.

Monster Energy Supercross 6 also continues Milestone’s efforts to make the game more accessible while offering the depth of a more hardcore simulation. It does a great job of offering many assists, including features that let players rewind and see the best route trajectories, while also limiting them so players have to learn and improve their skills. For example, rewinds are on a cooldown timer and can’t be spammed or used as a crutch. There’s a satisfying loop of dropping aids one by one until you’re in the most unforgiving and technical racing experience, which is the kind of buildup every sim should aim for.

Rhythm Attack is a way for players to test their skills and is one of the new modes that has two riders racing down rhythm sections. Seeing how the rhythm sections of tracks are the most technical and easiest to mess up, it becomes a thrilling contest of who can better manage their rider’s weight and carefully maneuver the sections in the fastest manner possible. It’s an enjoyable diversion, but only a temporary one, as there is not much of a structure to it and only two courses. It could add real value to the game if it gets fleshed out in the future through a local split-screen mode or online time trials, but it’s currently just novelty that only warrants a run or two.

With several significant upgrades that make its core modes more compelling, Monster Energy Supercross 6 is the sizable upgrade that this yearly franchise needed. Easily the best game in the series so far, it will be exciting to see where Milestone takes it in the future since the studio has continually looked to improve its modes and mechanics. It’s truly fitting that Jeremy McGrath is now involved in the series as it finally feels like the King of Supercross itself.

SCORE: 8/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 8 equates to “Great.” While there are a few minor issues, this score means that the art succeeds at its goal and leaves a memorable impact.

Disclosure: The publisher provided a PlayStation 5 copy for our Monster Energy Supercross 6 review. Reviewed on version 1.002.000.

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