Review: MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore (PS4)

mx-atv-supercross-encore-review-banner

Title: MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PlayStation Network Download (9.49 GB)
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Nordic Games
Developer: Rainbow Studios
Original MSRP: $29.99 (US), €29.99 (EU), £24.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore is also available on Xbox One and PC.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

I’ve already reviewed MX vs ATV: Supercross on the PS3 and now a long time later we have a PS4 version, but does the audience want an encore or have they already left.

mx-vs -atv-supercross-encore-04 mx-vs -atv-supercross-encore-08

Gameplay:
I decided to jump into the good old Free Ride activity that was very lacking in the PS3 game largely because you were confined to the indoor stadium tracks. Thankfully, this time I could also race round in a dirty quarry or a large sandy beach area and perform some stunts.

The game includes:

  • 12 Outdoor Nationals tracks from MX vs. ATV Alive
  • 2 Open World environments from MX vs. ATV Alive
  • Free Ride – Explore the world by yourself or with your friends online.
  • Waypoint – A fan favorite available for the first time with the Alive environments. Find the quickest path to reach all of the gates before your competition does.
  • Brand new and updated 2015 apparel, licensed from top Motocross companies

After failing miserably and seeing my rider slam into the sand or mud over and over again I decided to peruse the other activities in the Single Race mode which features National, Supercross, Waypoint, and Rhythm Racing. All of which will be familiar to players of MX vs. ATV Alive, apart from the last mode which is new to this version.

From what it looks like, Rhythm Racing a very bumpy drag race and sadly not much fun. To tell you the truth, much of this game seems to have lost its groove. I chose my wording carefully there as that’s what these particular racing games are all about. Finding the best lines and landings with precision and momentum will mean a satisfying victory, but losing that momentum forces you to bob up and down on the undulating jumps like a fishing trawler in a storm.

… lessen the idiocy on the track …
In the older version I managed to find that groove and had some fun but this time round it just isn’t clicking, I’ve still won many of my races in the expanded career mode but some of that was down to the idiotic A.I. racers that would inexplicably make a u-turn and head back the way they came, or worse still, just drive into the large foam crash barriers that spill onto the track for everyone to get hampered by.

Upping the difficulty does lessen the idiocy on the track but then you have to fight off more A.I. riders that seem to grasp this elusive groove which evades me still. Could it be that my upgradeable vehicle isn’t up to snuff compared with the demanding jumps? Apparently the higher difficulty helps but not enough to warrant a solution.

mx-vs -atv-supercross-encore-11 mx-vs -atv-supercross-encore-06

Having had a quick go at an event before this game came out I was very worried, it had tons of issues and bugs and just didn’t feel right. Sadly some of those problems seem to have crept into this final build. Most I could have ignored but not the slack controls. I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record but it’s really bothered me.

Good news for this version is that you can race on plenty of classic outdoor tracks which helps bring a nice variety to the game and fends off the inklings of banality that I couldn’t shake last time. Bad news is that the ATV’s are still a bugger to control and can’t even nudge a bike off the track very well at all.

… the same messy ragdoll physics when a rider crashes …
Visuals:
MX vs. ATV on the PS4 looks crisp and clean. There’s still some pop-in and oddities but it looks smooth and fast. However, considering this is by all accounts the exact same version, just cleaner textures, it doesn’t look good for a PS4 game.

It has the same messy ragdoll physics when a rider crashes and the track still gets torn up by the riders, but it doesn’t look or feel as impactful this time round. Every stadium is still packed to the rafters with a continually cheering crowd that look even worse in a higher definition.

Audio:
The crowd sounds are still good, just like the PS3 version and the bikes sound okay. If anything, the audio seems a little better this time round which is great to hear.

mx-vs -atv-supercross-encore-04 mx-vs -atv-supercross-encore-05

Online/Multiplayer:
You have the options of either two-player split screen local multiplayer or online with up to twelve players, if you are lucky enough to get a game going. I spent many a night driving round an empty lobby track waiting for players to join. No one ever did, but at least I managed to jump into the bland ever-cheering audience on a few occasions.

… without the feel and fun …
Conclusion:
MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore is the very same game as the old PS3 version but with new modes and features, just without the feel and fun. It looks a bit nicer when compared to the PS3 version but far from what I expect to see this far into the PS4 lifecycle. It does offer much more in terms of tracks and modes that were desperately lacking last time which is very nice to see.

The game reminds me of when you find a good old arcade racing machine in a dark corner of a strange shop. Your nostalgia kicks in and you feverishly grab some quarters. The screen is nice and clean and you’re fooled into thinking it looks better than it did back then. The race is about to start and you grab the joystick and press on the buttons, only to find they’ve rusted and are intermittently unresponsive from all the years of play.

Score:
6.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Flag_of_the_United_States.svg
Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg
Flag_of_Canada.svg

 

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

If you send a friend request please add ‘PS Nation’ in the subject area.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook
  • Great review Chazz, glad I’m not the only one that feels this way. The whole thing lacks atmosphere. The outdoor national tracks are a nice addition, but the AI cannot drive them well at all and the framerate drops to something really bad at times. I can’t find people in the lobbies either!

    • ChazzH69

      Thanks Thomas, it’s a real shame as this series was fun. I’m hoping this was just a quick cash-in and not their main project.