With THQ gone and MX vs. ATV: Alive
a distant memory, fans of the game may have been left wondering whether they would ever be able to get back on the dirt track again. Well, luckily for them, Nordic Games swooped in and bought the rights to the MX vs ATV
games, along with some other favourites. Then came the announcement of MX vs. ATV Supercross
, a continuation of the series that Nordic promised would bring back many original features from past games that fans loved so much. Have they succeeded in doing that, though?
Upon starting the game, you are met with a menu that wouldn't seem out of place in an old ps2 style game. Similarly with the loading screen showing the controls for the bikes, it all has a very retro type feel to it. Unfortunately, the graphics themselves are not up to scratch. For a game coming out at the tail end of 2014, the look of the game feels very old, and not competitive with other racing type games out at a similar time. The tracks look very grainy and dull, due to their dirt nature, but the game does nothing to make these look bright, interesting or attractive. The crowd has very few details and seems to blend into one big mass instead of individual supporters. Where the detail is impressive though is in the bikes and quads themselves. From the detailing in the graphic kits, to the wheels and exhausts, and even the outfits of the bikers themselves, this is where the game redeems itself and MX vs ATV
fans will more than appreciate this attention to detail.
A veteran MX vs ATV
gamer will no doubt be able to jump straight into the tracks (as the game expects you to do) and grasp the control with ease. To a new gamer though, the controls may seem sharp and fairly jerky at first. While the bikes are definitely easier to control and seem smoother than the quads, the handling of both is something that comes easier with the more time spent playing the game. Tricks are fairly easy to execute and getting the hang of them again gets better over time, but there doesn't seem much encouragement to do the tricks during the race; the focus is more of winning the race itself, so performing the tricks often seems pointless apart from for personal enjoyment. You have 17 tracks and a number of different careers for you to partake in with four levels of opponent skills, which means both new and old players can find a CPU suitable to their ability.
While the 17 tracks and careers may be finished fairly quickly (with little replayability) and free play offering little more, multiplayer is the next stop for players looking for more from the game. You can play in local multiplayer, where the other 10 racers are still CPU, or online where you can race against up to 11 others. The playlists set up for this are easy to jump in and out of, but obviously the more players that are in a race, the more fun that can be had. With just you and one other person, the race can get dull fairly quickly, but if you are constantly fighting for your place against 11 other gamers, that is where the fun begins, and the game really shines.
The customisation on the bikes is fairly limited, and there is not a lot you can change on your bikes in terms of making them look unique. Parts are unlocked by completing and winning races, to improve the speed, brakingm and chasis on the bikes amongst other things. There are set designs to pick from for the bikes, but you feel that if more detailed customisation options were provided, then it would have led to more enjoyment from creating exciting and individual designs. There are more than 40 riders for players to pick from whose outfits and accessories can be changed, but changing the rider has no affect on the race at all apart from being for the gamer's own personal preference.
One thing that players may feel is slightly lacking in the game is music. While this may not matter to some people, the engines of the bikes often drown out any music that is playing in the background. The cheer of the crowd when you gain a place is barely audible, and the constant revving and running of the bike's engines may get annoying when the music is not prominent. Sometimes, it is hard to tell if music is even playing, apart from on the game's menu where the same continuous track repeats over and over. In a racing game, music can help to set the atmosphere, tension, and mood for the race, but unfortunately it does not do that job this time around, and is definitely something that could have been improved upon.
There are only 30 achievements for you to get in this game. Some wrecking
achievements will seem familiar to MX vs ATV
fans, but there's plenty to get your teeth into here. For gamers wanting to try the series for the first time, you only need to finish 3rd in the careers
, which shouldn't pose a problem, especially if you turn the skill of the other opponents to Rookie. Some of the online achievements
will take longer, and require some skill, but nothing that should't come over time (or with a little bit of boosting along the way). There are one
100G achievements for the achievements hunters to have a go at, but nothing on this achievement list should put off potential purchasers.
Fans of the previous MX vs ATV
will notice lots of similarities to the previous game in Nordic Games' new attempt at the series. The key to this game is to stick with it, and the more you do play, the more familiar the controls and tracks will feel to you. Often, the game plays off luck and memory more than skill, where remembering where a jump or turn appears is more important than being able to jump off it the best. For new players wanting to try out the genre, this is as good a game as any to be your stepping stone in, but beware that it may take some getting used to. Unfortunately, with not a lot to encourage you to come back to the game once the careers are finished, MX vs ATV Supercross
will only keep you entertained for a short while, especially if the online is not consistently busy. While it isn't an awful game; it certainly isn't a great game. It strikes as something that would be fun in short bursts, and a laugh to play with friends split-screen or online. Nordic Games said that this was a game created by passionate riders and gamers for passionate riders and gamers, and that is exactly what MX vs ATV Supercross
is.The reviewer spent approximately 8 hours on the game, riding and jumping their way through career, single and multiplayer races, earning 11 of the 30 achievements along the way. This Xbox 360 review copy of the game was provided by the publisher.