Monster Truck fans will finally have a little something to talk about with the release of Nacon and Teyon Studio’s Series X edition of Monster Truck Championship toting some massive visual upgrades and super polished gameplay mechanics to beef up all the excitement.
Last November the original game debuted on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, receiving a mixed bag of reviews from the gaming community due to visual quality and overall shortage of content. It also didn’t help much that it debuted without the official Monster Jam license. However, the game did receive a wealth of recognition for capturing the truest essence of the monster truck sport with its impressive true-to-life gameplay mechanics. Now with the leap to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, Monster Truck Championship appears to be making up for some lost ground since its original debut.
For starters, it’s clear that MTC has gotten a much needed facelift in the graphics department, sporting amazing new visuals from trucks to tracks. Gone are those occasional background pop-ins and frame drops that would occur a little too often during races and the overall 4K 60FPS(frames per second) is ultra-smooth. In spite of the lack of license, the rides and arenas themselves have never looked better. Players will have access to 16 customizable vehicle types with over 50 options and plenty of sights to see with 25 gorgeous circuits spread across different cities.
When it comes to the monster trucks franchise the sounds of the sport are crucial and for the most part the guys at Teyon have done a pretty decent job of capturing the hype. That said, it would have been nice to pull just a little more “wickedness” and deafening sound out of those big block engines and the arena crowd atmosphere and track commentary tend to leave a little for the wanting.
Thankfully, Monster Truck Championship sets the bar where it counts the most when it comes to gameplay. Realistic driving and physics including independent front-and-rear wheel control help to deliver the ultimate true-to-life experience for enthusiasts. If you’ve ever attended a monster truck event and have always wanted to know what it would feel like to get behind the wheel then look no further. MTC delivers.
There are five types of events in “Quick Play” mode for players to jump into: Race, Time-Trial, Drag, Freestyle and Destruction. Here, players will have the opportunity to experience the nail-biter finishes of circuit racing, race against the clock to achieve the best time in trial mode, drag race head-to-head against rival trucks across a series of knockout stages, or wow the crowds with insane tricks and death-defying stunts in both freestyle and destruction modes.
For those looking for a slight immersive more immersive experience, “Career” mode is where you’ll likely be spending most of your time. Here you will put all your skills to the test participating in a point-based series of multi-staged events with the goal of dominating the National League of Monster Trucks and ultimately earning your chance to play in the Major League where you’ll have access to greater rewards and opportunities.
Every event will consist of a series of stages where you will collect points based on where you position in those particular stages. As you earn enough points you will gain access to more events until you reach the league’s finale and ultimately unlock the next stage of your career.
As you tally wins throughout Career mode you will be able to turn your earnings into upgrades back at the Garage where you can perform upgrades to your suspension, gear box and engine as well as add custom paint jobs, decals, wheel and body options to pimp out your ride.
With continued success, “sponsors” will start to reach out to you with opportunities to earn substantially more money and/or upgrades by fulfilling the criteria of your specific contracts with them. Most of the time you’ll be required to win “x” amount of stages or races, perform specific tricks or score a set amount of points during competition. With all the extra income you’ll be able to strengthen your brand by seeking out “technicians” and “specialists” who will give you an added edge over your competition with modifications to things like engine torque, RPMs, truck grip and impact, as well as buffering your overall all income or reducing repair costs.
Outside of Quickplay and Career Modes, there is Multiplayer mode where you can go head-to-head against seven other live opponents. Competing online can be an absolute blast at times. However, the lack of active lobbies seriously affect your overall multiplayer experience here.
All said though, Monster Truck Championship is a solid racer that honestly sets the bar for other games within this genre, even without the official license. The game looks beautiful on the latest gen consoles and the physics and handling are unrivaled. The latest versions of MTC should be a lot of fun for hardcore enthusiasts and casual gamers alike. Although there’s plenty of room for improvement, Monster Truck Championship earns a solid 4 GiN Gems running on next-generation consoles in our books.