If you think that title is long, you should check the logo which also somehow managed to fit in “FIM World Championship” right next to that giant Monster Energy logo. Monster Energy being all over this, which I suppose adds to the realism as that’s probably what Supercross is like in real life. Not in this house though, as I write this while drinking a can of Red Bull.
Supercross 4 (which I will now refer to it) is the latest racing game from Milestone, whose previous game Ride 4 I found quite enjoyable. This one though moves from the tarmac to the dirt and boy is it a challenge.
You shouldn’t come to this game expecting anything other than a hardcore simulation. It’s not even in that middle ground of Forza, towing the line between true sim and arcade fun. Right from the opening Tutorial race if you’re new to the series then expect to be all over the place. In fact, it may take quite a while (at least it did for me) before you truly to get to grips with the handling model. Having to balance your rider on the bike, making jumps perfect enough so that you land on the downward slope is a trick that is the key to winning those races. And with a ton of racers all in the relatively small track space, it becomes a barrage of bikes and bodies you’re going to need every advantage, even on the easiest difficulty setting.
Starting with the new Career mode. You start off in the “Futures” category, which essentially feels more like training. It doesn’t matter where you finish at the end of the races and is seemingly just a warm up for the main event. The structure of it is quite good. Before every race you get 3 attempts at practice events. These can train you on overtaking, slalom, jumping etc. Every training level gives you the chance to obtain 3 stars, and these can be spent on points building up your riders skills. Once you’re out of chances though and it’s on to the races.
Admittedly I can’t remember the last time I actually saw a Supercross event. Maybe never? But I did chuckle at the fireworks and sparklers that go off during your guys entrance, where even the guy whose last in the standings can get a John Cena-like entrance was hilarious to me. Presentation and graphically then it’s very nice. It does look a bit awkward when riders get flung off their bikes into the stratosphere, but that’s a quibble I’ve always had with ragdoll physics. Music as well is quite good. While the last Milestone game I played (Ride 4) was quite sterile in its presentation, this is quite the opposite. Rock music playing throughout the races. And at the main menus is music I can only really describe as “dubstep country”.
While the Career mode is the main point of single player content, the Compound was actually my favourite part of the game. The Compound then is an island where you can just race and ride to your hearts content. Scattered throughout are collectibles to be found as well. It reminded me of those Gymkhana areas in the Dirt series. Little playgrounds where you can practice skills and just mess about.
There’s certainly plenty of stuff here to do. As well as the career and compound there’s the track creator, which does exactly as it says on the tin. The ability to customise your rider and bike with money earned in career. And of course the online mode which works perfectly fine! If there’s one downside I can say about this overall package is that the loading times are way too long. I was playing the game on a base PS4, though I still expect them to be better than they are. There were times I felt the load times were longer than that of Last of Us Part 2.
Packed with content, Supercross 4 is exactly what fans of the sport would want. A challenging career (maybe too challenging for some!), good online support and plenty of creator options, make this a delightful package.