Monster vans are the automotive embodiment of a barely tipsy dad coming house after a marriage: spirits excessive however knocking over all of the backyard gnomes. They’re large, loud, and a bit damaging – however lovable oafs, nonetheless. It’s exhausting to hate an enormous, five-ton truck carrying a novelty hat.
Monster Jam Metal Titans 2 quaintly leans into this sort of wackiness with a collection of huge, themed open worlds celebrating a foolish but earnest steady of official vans formed like canines and zombies, however its anticlimactic exploration aims and the vanilla, chore-like construction of the competitions on supply sadly make for a surprisingly boring drive.
The shortage of spark is shortly evident. After a bafflingly fundamental tutorial, I used to be immediately and unceremoniously dumped into the primary of a number of open-world environments, leaving me to press pause and shuffle by menus to uncover what I used to be really imagined to do.
Metal Titans 2 splits its motion over two separate profession paths, however neither of them are very attention-grabbing. There’s the world and stadium-based championship profession, which resembles conventional, real-world Monster Jam occasions, after which there’s the World Profession mode, which is actually only a collection of precisely the identical area and stadium occasions however with a waypoint problem or circuit race primarily based within the open worlds included sometimes.
There’s additionally a smattering of issues to go and discover in these maps, however doing so has confirmed annoying and unrewarding. You’ll be able to’t “uncover” a secret within the flawed truck, however even in the precise truck nothing I’ve discovered to date has been notably attention-grabbing. Solely Monster Mutt Poodle can open a selected scorching pink barn to quickly make a brand new leap accessible, for example, however the leap solely seems to exist as a way to gather a floating inverted triangle. In line with the sport, floating triangles unlock extra vans – however in the end it’s simply stuff on an inventory to tick off in a sport that’s already a repetitive slog.
The Biggest Racing Video games Ever
Truck dealing with is satisfactory nevertheless it positively lacks the sense of weight and inertia present in Monster Truck Championship. The final driving is okay and the impartial rear-wheel steering managed by the precise stick actually differentiates it from most different racers. The quick course, head-to-head racing feels finest, the place you’ll be able to whip the vans into fairly satisfying and aggressive powerslides. Nevertheless, issues unravel considerably as quickly as you tip over, or methods are required. Admittedly Metal Titans 2 doesn’t place itself as a simulation, however for five-ton vans they positive swirl about like sweet wrappers caught in an updraft.
An arcade method to dealing with isn’t inherently dangerous, nevertheless it positively makes the freestyle occasions simplistic affairs. Scoring an ideal 10 is a cakewalk when all you must do is pin the throttle, level at a ramp, rip a few backflips, and roll round. It received’t look fairly however the factors will rack up. I by no means wanted a plan; all I ever needed to do was ship it excessive, tumble round, and by chance accumulate a combo large enough to be unbeatable.
In distinction to final yr’s Monster Truck Championship, the profession modes in Metal Titans 2 are woefully superficial. The sector championship is the worst offender and actually lacks pleasure. There’s zero sense of being an up-and-coming driver; I simply mashed by a menu and moved by a laundry record of occasions. There’s no crew administration, no truck creation or customisation, and no actual sense of how far by the season you might be, aside from a progress bar you must give up the mode to view. The barebones presentation simply shoves you from occasion to occasion till there aren’t any extra of them, after which it’s over, with zero indication you’ve really received something.
The stadium championship that follows is barely higher on account of the venues being larger – so the race and freestyle layouts are extra attention-grabbing – nevertheless it’s nonetheless largely soulless. F1, WRC, and even Monster Truck Championship made me really feel like I used to be a part of an operation. Metal Titans 2 simply airdrops you right into a truck for a minute or so at a time. It’s simply shallow and trite in comparison with its friends.
The opposite facet of Metal Titans 2 is its wild and over-the-top open world maps and its “World Profession”, which is themed round curated units of Monster Jam vans. The Monster Mutt vans, for example, get an enormous fantasy canine park full of big kennels and a race observe formed like an enormous bone, and the spooky vans get a gothic, Halloween-inspired surroundings full of pumpkins, graveyards, and shipwrecks. It’s a cute contact that positively embraces the foolish personas spray-painted throughout these well-known Monster Jam vans, nevertheless it does make it really feel like Metal Titans 2 is making an attempt to have one foot in the true world and the opposite in a methanol-huffing fever dream – notably for the reason that World Profession mode is padded out with loads of repeats of area and stadium occasions.
Metal Titans 2 is brilliant and saturated, however the flickering shadows are terrible and stuff just like the clipping, the overall lack of a watersplash impact, and spelling errors within the menus makes all of it really feel fairly half-hearted. Truck element is respectable, however developer Rainbow Studios has made the peculiar resolution to fully bury Monster Jam’s most iconic vans as distant unlocks. Which means that by the point you safe vans like Grave Digger and Megalodon, Metal Titans 2 has future out of issues to point out you. That they’re not even accessible in fast play seems like a snub to notably younger children who in all probability simply wish to freely hoon round of their favourites with out leaping by 75 hoops to take action.