Chances are, Monster Truck Championship is not a game that you would expect to see me talk about here. Yet, here we are. We live in strange times right now so why not?
Anyway, I was offered the chance to play Monster Truck Championship very early so I wasn’t about to turn it down.
After spending a lot of time playing more serious racing games, I saw this as a refreshing change of pace.
That being said, this is not a review of Monster Truck Championship. Instead I’m just going to go over my surface level impressions from playing the game. There are some criticisms but this isn’t going to go very deep. I mean, we’re talking about Monster Trucks here…
If you want to hear my thoughts while watching game play, then check out the video of my impressions below.
If you’d rather read than watch, you’re weird. However, I’ll accommodate you anyway, just scroll past the video and read on.
Monster Truck Championship gameplay impressions video
Monster Truck Championship overview
If you’re looking for a super deep analytical experience, then this game is not for you. Though, I mean that in the best way possible.
Here’s the gist, you start the game with a big truck, enter a championship, try to win all the different events in that championship, earn money, upgrade your truck, and then move on to the next championship. Simple and to the point.
Okay it is a little more complex than that. Players also have to add technicians and staff to their crew. Each member of the crew enhances the truck in different ways but there are trade offs. For example, bringing on an engine tech may give the motor more torque; but that person has to be paid so as long as their on staff they will take a 5% cut of your winnings.
Players also have to pick out their sponsors. Each sponsor has goals and if the player meets those goals they get bonus money. The harder the sponsor goals, the higher the payout.
Going into this game I didn’t really want to have to worry about a deep dive into the nuances of driving a monster truck. I just wanted to get in, go, and smash stuff.
That’s exactly what Monster Truck Championship gave me.
Monster Truck Championship event types
There are five different event types in this game and each championship will give you a mix of them.
The first event type is racing which is pretty self-explanatory. Just race other trucks and try to come in first. Though, because we’re dealing with monster trucks all the courses have crazy jumps and other obstacles.
The second event type is time-trial which is basically just racing against the clock instead of other trucks. I personally think they should have left this out of the game but I’m sure some people will get enjoyment out of it.
The third event type is drag racing. Though, this is not the type of drag racing you may be thinking about. There is no straight-line quarter-mile strip involved. Instead two trucks race on a short course with a switch back turn that has players racing back in the direction they started from.
I think I had the most fun with this because it was the most pure part of the game. Drag race events are also done in brackets so players will run three races to win an event.
The fourth event type is “freestyle”. The player is put into a big arena with lots of jumps, kickers, ramps, ditches, and objects. The goal is to get as many style points as possible before the time runs out by doing stunts. Similar to Tony Hawk Pro-skater games, there is a point-multiplier for chaining stunts together.
The fifth event type is called “Destruction”. This is another self-explanatory event. Just like in “freestyle” the player is put in a big arena setting. However, there are less ramps and jumps and more objects like small cars, trailers, and port-o-potties to destroy. Wreck as much stuff as possible before time runs out. Players can also do stunts to get points in these events as well but it is harder do to fewer ramps to jump.
Monster Truck Championship physics and handling
I know I keep hammering the fact that this is a pretty simple game. Though, there is some depth to it. Specifically when it comes to handling and how players control the trucks.
Monster Truck Championship is a simulator, so there are realistic (but tweaked) physics. It is something players have to think about at least a little bit while driving their trucks or else they’ll just end up on their roof all the time.
Secondly this game actually takes advantage of both analog sticks on a controller. The left stick steers the truck as usual in any other racing game. However, the right analog stick turns the rear axle. This is meant to help get the truck around very tight corners more easily and can help with doing stunts like donuts.
It does take some coordination to steer two axels at once. Though, this game has a training mode to help players get used to it and to teach them how to do all the different stunts in the game.
Monster Truck Championship criticisms
I mentioned earlier that I did have some criticisms of this game so I’ll go into them now. The first one is that Monster Truck Championship is not licensed by any official monster truck sanctioning body like “Monster Jam” for example. That means there are none of the popular monster trucks that fans would know from real-life.
That means none of the trucks I remember from my childhood like “Bigfoot” or “Grave Digger” are in this game. Definitely a bummer.
Second, is the lack of some extra flashiness in the presentation and gameplay. I was expecting everything to be over the top just like the classic monster truck commercials I’d watch as a kid.
There is a little bit of it but it doesn’t stick around. I was expecting fireworks to go off every time I hit a jump. Not only does that not happen, there isn’t even music during events. There’s an announcer but he doesn’t sound like the over-caffeinated, action movie trailer voice on steroids I remember.
It should be said that I consider those things minor to middling gripes at best though.
Monster Truck Championship final impression
I did not play this game a lot but there is not a whole lot here and again, I mean that in a good way. Monster Truck Championship is a great pick-up-and-play racing game for anyone who wants to turn their brain off and take a break from the more hardcore stuff.
As long as you’re not looking for more than that or for representation of monster trucks you might remember as a kid, I think Monster Truck Championship is worth taking a look at.
Download a demo if you can and give it a shot. Personally, I can see myself going back to play this game on a regular basis.
Did you watch monster trucks when you were a kid? Do you still watch them now? What monster truck is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below or tweet to me at @MotorworldHype.