Monster Energy Supercross 2:
I’m going to be super honest here. I usually avoid most games from Milestone. There is a valid reason for that, and that is usually because they never really set my world on fire when it comes to how the games play. I remember playing some of their wares back in the Xbox 360 days, with things like Ride 2 staying in the brain for being anything but groundbreaking.
Milestone always feel like the “almost, but not quite” company. It is also the reason why I totally swerved the original Monster Energy Supercross game because of my concerns for who made it. Mind you, the fact that my two wheeled gaming enjoyment is usually restricted to Ubisoft’s excellent Trials series may not make me the best man for the job, but onwards and upwards
There isn’t really a story mode, as such, but unlike the “plug and play” feel of most sports games nowadays, Milestone have integrated a career mode into the mix. This starts you off on the much lighter engine size, progressing you further up the ranks until you get to have a go on the big boys, showing the world what you are made of. I used to enjoy these kind of game modes, but I think it is just a testament to old age or something that I seem to avoid them now in favour of a more instant gaming fix. The only way that will change is if the actual mode has a “hook”, that thing that’ll keep me wanting to come back for more because it grabs me and just refuses to let go.
MES 2 just doesn’t have that. It tries to make things more authentic by allowing you to plan your schedule to make best use of your time, a tactic Codemasters used in their heyday to great effect, but it still has that aftertaste of a gimmick put in to pad the content out. You can upgrade your character through practice and up his popularity through media presence, allowing for credits to be obtained, but like most games involving an XP/currency grind, most things you want can be out of reach enough to not want to bother getting them, and will remain so, simply because you can’t be bothered, which is a shame.
In all the years of gaming I never genuinely thought I’d say this. I quite like the way this plays. Milestone have always been on the wrong side of playable to me. Too tedious to be instantly enjoyable or too loose to feel like it’s worth the effort. MES 2 has really surprised me. Sure, I know there is an almost rhythmic requirement to get through the courses, but for a change, it adds to the pleasure. You know going into this that you need to learn the ropes (or the wheels) to get the most out of your bike and as long as you’re aware that you can’t really be an instant expert at riding motocross, you’ll be fine.
The online side of things has issues, such as disconnections and some dodgy frame rates, but these aren’t too often. The only thing holding me back from being a believer is the more personal preference. I enjoy four wheels more than two and that is something that won’t change. I’d rather be bursting round a track on Forza, but if I ever did change, I’d be ok picking this up to have a blast on.
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