Monster Truck Championship Review (PS4) – Monster Smash

Developer Teyon’s Monster Truck Championship is ready to smash its way into your video game library. Is the game ready to roll, or does it need more time in the garage?

 

Read on to find out

 

 

Monster trucks are awesome machines. Massive tires that can steer front and back, with cool bodies and paint jobs, being powered by a big block engine of some sort, probably supercharged with little to no exhaust. Noisy. Powerful. Mean. Fun to watch as they crush cars or jump and bounce around arenas. If you’ve never been to a monster truck show, you owe it to yourself to go to at least one, and if you do, you’ll probably want to go to even more. As fans of monster trucks ourselves, we were stoked to download Teyon’s Monster Truck Championship and see if it could live up to the actual experience. We were not disappointed.

Driving a Monster Truck Takes Practice

Before taking off on our Monster Truck Championship career, we knew we would need to get a good feel for how these monster machines handled, so we jumped into the tutorials to get an idea on how to drive these things, and man it was trickier than we anticipated. This isn’t some easy to handle arcade experience where you can just put the pedal to the metal and keep it there. You’ll need to learn throttle control or you’ll be rolling, flipping, and crashing a lot. We played the tutorials using two different methods: the Dualshock4 and then our Thrustmaster set-up with a Wheel Stand Pro, 3 pedal T3PA add-on and TH8A shifter. Both had their pros and cons, but the steering wheel gave us better control options.

We found that, as we raced around a given track or arena, the truck had a tendency to steer way too slow. This can be adjusted for both the wheel and the controller, so make sure you adjust that to your liking. We found the throttle and steering to be easier to control with the pedals, but we were efficient enough with the controller to say that either way works well. Don’t expect to just jump in and start dominating, though, as the machines take a little getting used to. The bounce, drift, and pure power of some of these machines can be really hard to master.

Setting Up A Monster

There are two basic type of events in Monster Truck Championship and you’ll want to experiment with the settings to find a combo that you work well with. Races are fast and too much body travel will work against you while stunt driving is just the opposite. That body travel will help you to bounce even higher when jumping and can make some tricks easier to pull off. Luckily for us, Teyon gave us two different set-up slots so we can have one just for racing and one just for stunt driving.

Race events consist of a straight up race against a set number of opponents, a time trial where it’s you against the clock, and a heads-up drag race between you and one other machine. Now, don’t think a drag race in a monster truck is the same as a drag race in a top fuel or funny car. Monster truck drag races are actually on a short track, with twists and turns, as well as some having jumps and obstacles. The race itself consists of eight drivers, in three rounds, with the winners from each round moving on. This is an insanely fast and fun way to race monster trucks, and quickly became our favorite race types.

Monster Truck Championship Career Mode

The road to the Monster Truck Championship trophy is a bit of a long one, but is a fun trip. The series is set up in three levels: National League, Professional League, and Major League. You need to win the championship in each league in order to be promoted to the next one, so be sure to master the handling of the machines before jumping into the career mode. Practice really is key to winning consistently, but don’t feel bad if you need to restart a race because you lost control. Keep in mind that restarting a drag race takes you back to the beginning of that event, so if you are in round three, you’ll have to go back to round one if you start over.

 

A career event generally consists of several stages and may include a freestyle event, or any of the race type events. You’ll earn points for how you finish each stage, with the overall standings an accumulation of all of the points earned. Winning every stage isn’t always needed, but the competition can be very consistent, so you’ll need to win a couple of them. There are eight different racing venues to visit, each with their own unique race tracks or stunt stadiums. The cities are real, but the tracks are all fictional. A track creator would have been an awesome addition to the game, and this is a missed opportunity by developer Teyon to add some replayability to the game.

Monster Truck Championship is an Incredible Looking Game

The graphics for Monster Truck Championship are top notch. The game is very polished and the aesthetics of the game are impressive. The machines themselves are very detailed, with unlockable skins and body parts, as well as a couple of pre-order bonuses that are cool to look at and fun to use. The tracks are also well detailed, with ruts and uneven surfaces that can really throw you off. The stadiums are spread out and give you plenty of room to build up speed and hit that high mark on your jumps, and if you have damage enabled, body parts can go flying on those hard landings. These machines are tough, but that damage can add up over time and the body, engine, and transmission can only take so much.

Monster Truck Championship Brings Multiplayer Racing

The multiplayer for Monster Truck Championship is limited to either eight player racing or two player drag racing, with no online stunt events available. It would be odd to sit around and wait for a minute and half for someone to finish their run, but why not have each player as a ghost to the other players, and have them all running on the same track at once? It would make for a fun mode, and you would get to see how the other drivers pull off some of their own stunts, possibly giving you an idea on how to do them yourself. This seems like another missed opportunity for replayability.

Developer Teyon isn’t exactly known for their racing prowess when it comes to creating video games, and are better known for first person shooters like Terminator: Resistance. For this to be their first entry into the racing foray, is both surprising and refreshing, and shows how talented their development team really is.

While we wouldn’t call Monster Truck Championship a monster truck racing simulator, we would call it a smashing success when it comes to achieving monster truck fun.

8


Monster Truck Championship review code provided by publisher and reviewed on a PS4 Pro using Thrustmaster peripherals and a DualShock4. For more information on scoring, please read What our review scores really mean.