Monster Jam Steel Titans is a brand new game by Rainbow Studios which comes under the umbrella of THQ Nordic. Previously Rainbow Studios was known for developing off-road racing games such as the MX vs ATV franchise and many other off-road titles such as Cars and Motocross Madness. Monster Jam Steel Titans is studio’s first attempt at creating a video game focused on monster trucks and this is our review of the game.
Monster Jam Steel Titans is essentially an off-road racing game which is based on the colossus off-roaders Monster Trucks and features different events included in the Official Monster Jam events. Although the events are inspired by the real deal, sadly we do not have official events and championships from the real-world events in it. Adding the official events and drivers would have made this game an amazing pick for any fan of the Monster Jam.
The game features a pretty decent set of events inspired by the game original Monster Jam. There are arena events, stadium events and even outdoor races which will allow you to flex your mighty muscles in open environments against other racers. There is a huge open world environment where you can explore the world and try out your monster truck in different environments.
The game features a detailed Career mode which is the main event of the game. In this Career mode, you will increase your rank and unlock more tracks, new areas, new monster trucks, and even new upgrade options. You start right from the very basics from Outdoor Racing and then move on to Arena events, Stadium events and then finally the most prestigious World Championship.
Each series in the Career mode is a combination of multiple events which depend on the series type. Outdoor events are all based on racing in open environments while arena and stadium include indoor events such as head-to-head races, destruction events, and freestyle stunts. Each event will require you to change your strategy to win as competition is pretty high in the game, especially in later championship series.
Apart from the free-roam exploration and the Career mode, you can also jump in a quick event of your choice at any time with your favorite monster truck. You unlock new courses, arenas, stadiums, and monster trucks while playing the Career mode and once they are unlocked, you can jump in any quick event on these tracks with settings of your choice. This gives you the freedom of how you want to play the game.
At the start of the game, the tutorial mode will teach you everything that you need to know about playing the game. A large number of tutorials will introduce you to various mechanics such as different race types and how to perform specific stunts. These tutorials are very helpful because they also offer you a chance to hone your skills. The Monster Jam University is in the world map so you can explore and practice the tracks and the stunt areas at your will.
Coming to the main show stoppers of this game, players will find their favorite monsters truck in pretty decent detail in the game. Nearly all the current monster trucks are present in the game such as Monster Mutt, Max D, El Toro Loco, Captain Curse and of course, Grave Digger. No Monster Jam game is complete without the Grave Digger and we have two variations of this legendary Monster Truck in the game. However, that being said, some trucks are missing in the game such as BigFoot so I am guessing that they might arrive for the game at a later stage in the form of DLC. Some of the new trucks are also not present in the game such as the BroDozer.
The gameplay mechanics are also pretty basic and there is nothing to remember here. I will strongly recommend that while playing the game, you switch to advanced two stick steering because the single steering makes driving in a straight line nearly impossible because of how the handling is set up in the game. You can reduce the steering sensitivity a little bit and also switch to two stick steering which will allow you to control both the front steering and the rear steering separately giving you more control over the truck.
You can also upgrade your monster truck in the game. You will find five categories which increase how the truck performs. You can upgrade the engine, transmission, suspension, tires, and chassis of your favorite monster truck. Each time you upgrade a component, you will notice significant improvements in your truck in the specific department and since each component is vital in different events, you must keep a balance and upgrade all the components of your truck.
Another cool feature in the game is that as you are racing around the tracks and arenas, performing stunts and landing massive jumps, your tires will often break down which will initiate a little mini-game which allows you to quickly fix the tire after stopping down. This is a pretty cool mechanic and adds a little challenge to the game as you will need to watch out for tire breaking downs as well.
One of the things that did not click with me is that I would have liked the trucks to feel heavier. Also, the destruction levels are not that good. Destruction is one of the favorite aspects when it comes to Monster Jam. Everyone wants to see monster trucks crushing down cars and other vehicles in their path however this is pretty weak in Monster Jam Steel Titans. The trucks feel very light and sometimes they bounce off surfaces like they are made of paper.
Apart from this, the gameplay is also very choppy in visually heavy areas and the frame drops are very significant. This annoys you and ruins the gameplay because as you are trying to land that perfect jump, some fireworks will go off in the background and the game will start stuttering causing you to miss the perfect landing spot hence losing vital points especially during the arena and stadium events.
The controls of the monster truck are also not that easy to master as sometimes you will end up turning too much or sometimes you will simply miss the corner and shoot ahead. You will need to find the perfect controller layout for yourself and even with that, practice driving around a little bit because the controls are a bit clunky and require a decent amount of practice to get a hold of.
Monster Jam Steel Titans is a decent entry in current off-road racing video games and will surely keep the fans of the franchise entertained in the long time. The game offers a decent amount of game modes and the open world free roam is a nice addition to increase the playability factor of the game. The monster trucks are detailed pretty well and the game also comes with a decent selection of trucks featuring fan favorites. However, the clunky controls and choppy performances seriously hinders gameplay and kills the entertainment factor that the game has. Get rid of the bugs and you have yourself a solid monster truck game.
Final Score: 7/10