Monster Truck Championship (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 01.12.2021

Review for Monster Truck Championship on PlayStation 4

Monster Trucks have long been relegated to secondary elements within other racing titles, yet they manage to deliver memorable and fun experiences in doing so. In The Crew 2 the Monster Truck experience is some of the most fun to be had, for example. As stand-alone titles, Monster Trucks have rarely done well. The Monster Jam series is one of the most well-known; a substandard experience compared to others who deliver better Monster Truck gaming within their games. Developer Teyon is bringing a more grounded experience to those insane arcade racers. No loop-de-loops or nitro boosting over rivers here, but real trucks, real events, real locations. But is there an audience for such a thing? Cubed3 finds out.

The meat on the bones here is a career mode made up of a series of tournaments, collecting winnings along the way and using those winnings to upgrade and tweak their machines of mayhem, or even pick up whole new trucks. There are some extra sim elements around this where the racing team can be developed. Taking on different team members who come with a cost but provide passive bonuses when in the tournaments, such as improved handling or lower entry fees for taking part in the tournaments. Then sponsors can be brought on, setting out challenges within the races that then provide rewards following their completion.

Screenshot for Monster Truck Championship on PlayStation 4

This is all there is to the career mode sadly, there's no sort of story or FMVs linking the developments together, just a series of tournaments. The events within the tournaments are thankfully a whole lot more fun. Each has a sequence of events that are either a Race, Time Trial, Drag Race, Freestyle, or Destruction. Races are self-explanatory, as are the Time Trials. The Trucks tear up real-life tracks from across the USA, from Las Vegas to Texas. Drag Races sees two competitors rev to get a head start, then speed off in a contest to reach the finish. Freestyle is just as the name implies. Trucks out in the arena rack up points by performing chains of tricks. Though no triple somersaults or flying hundreds of metres into the sky. This sim racer is delivering just the realistic types of tricks that can be seen in the real world. Finally, Destruction gives a time limit to speed through an arena, driving over and through abandoned cars, motorhomes, caravans, and various obstacles.

Screenshot for Monster Truck Championship on PlayStation 4

Regardless of which, mastering controlling thundering machines is essential and no easy feat. These aren't supercars and the physics of a machine like this is an entirely different kettle of fish. In races, a slight bump can spin out the truck, resulting in it 180'ing. Clipping into other vehicles can drag it to a complete stop. These are hardly supercars; they crash and careen with all the grace of a heavily pregnant Hippo. Speeding up a ramp to flip into a somersault is nothing like arcade racers, the trucks turn slowly and spin slower, often resulting in the truck ending up on its side or flat on its back.

Making money whilst progressing through the tournaments means improving the Trucks by purchasing new parts. Better engines, brakes, transmission, tyres, and suspension to enhance the speed, acceleration, handling, and braking of the car. Then, the most important thing, the cosmetics. There are 20 different chassis to choose from, including comedy style giant wolf heads, UFOs, and jets. Paint patterns, stickers, accessories and more to craft a killer machine.

Screenshot for Monster Truck Championship on PlayStation 4

For those who don't want to step through each of the stages of becoming a Monster Truck'ing icon, there's Quick Play and Multiplayer modes to just jump straight into the action. The quick play allows multiple trucks to be tried out before their purchase in career mode, amongst other little elements. The Multiplayer is online only, with no split-screen local available. But it can be played with up to eight players online.

There's a strange dichotomy to the experience. Anyone that has been to a real-life show knows they're big, loud, and bombastic. Rock music blares, engines roar, fireworks explode. Here, the events feel dead in comparison. Sure, there are some fireworks launched from time to time, but there is no huge roar from the crowd and no licenced soundtrack of bangers to enhance the experience, making the whole experience feel empty. The experience is further impacted by lengthy loading screens and annoying little delays between stages.

Screenshot for Monster Truck Championship on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

For the Monster Truck fanatics in attendance, those that know the difference between "Hook Up" and "Hooking Clay" or between a "Slap Wheelie" and a "Sky Wheelie", there's going to be something to enjoy in Monster Hunt Championship. But, while there's some fun to be had, the game just feels lacking. The experience is more fitting with arcade-style mechanics compared to the sim-style elements, and by delivering these sim elements it makes the game feel as slow and clunky as the vehicles.

Developer

Teyon

Publisher

Nacon

Genre

Driving

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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