Monster Truck Championship is a monster truck racing game developed by Teyon and published by Nacon. The objective of the game is simple enough – win races to become the champion.
There are 4 different gamemodes. Race pits the player against seven other opponents on a circuit. This mode tends to remind me of destruction derby, especially during the first few corners. Drag races are one on one, where the driver has to be faster their opponent to finish the race first. It all starts from having good RPM at the start, by holding down the brake and keeping the accelerator on the green. The better the start, the more of an advantage the driver has. Starting too early counts as a false start. Get two of them and it’s an automatic loss. Demolition and freestyle put an emphasis on stunts – speed doesn’t matter here, if they can’t do any tricks. The goal is to get the highest score by driving through objects, doing backflips, donuts and other tricks. Keeping a great combo is key here. There is also time trial, which is pretty much a normal race, just without any AI drivers obstructing the path. There’s nothing groundbreaking here. Having a mini map, especially on multi path levels would’ve been useful. It’s hard to judge which path would be faster, other than by trial and error.
The career mode has the player competing in different events. Upgrading the car and picking useful teammates and sponsors is the key to winning. Events usually have two to three stages, with finales having five. There are three championships in total. The stages repeat a lot, with the only difference being lap count or time given to do stunts. It gets repetitive fast. The AI doesn’t get harder either, it stays the same until the end of the game. The reward for beating the final championship is a car body and some cash, nothing else. Difficulty can’t be changed without starting the career all over again. I felt like the hard difficulty was a bit too difficult for me at the start, but the normal difficulty felt too easy near the end – I was sometimes more than a minute faster than second place. There’s really no challenge by the time the vehicle is fully upgraded. I feel like the game could greatly benefit from user-created content. because there’s just not enough maps. Having a map editor would greatly add replayability.
Driving itself feels a bit challenging, but fun. ABS can be toggled and transmission type can be changed. I find having the option to steer both front and rear wheels separately really interesting. I rarely used the latter, because steering them usually made the truck spin out. They were useful in making some of the tighter turns, though. There’s also some car damage, with parts falling off when colliding with the wall or opponents. Wheels, suspension and engine can break, which makes sparks and smoke come out. They just slow the truck down, without ever really breaking or falling off.
MTC has a Multiplayer mode. The only modes here are race and drag. Race can be played both with and without AI. Lap count and AI difficulty can be changed, but the race end countdown can’t. It’s 10 seconds, which is not enough for most to make it over the finish line, especially in full lobbies. Drag race is limited to 2 players. It requires both the players to hold the handbrake, after which the countdown starts. Some of the stages in this mode are not balanced at all, with one having faster paths than the other. Chance of winning depends a lot on luck.
Cars can be customized in the garage. There are both cosmetic and mechanical upgrades. Customizations range from the car’s body and new rear, front and roof parts. We can also apply liveries and change the colour of the vehicle. The upgrade system is not very advanced, parts such as engines, suspension and wheels are unlocked by earning points in the championships. Newer is always better, there’s no downside to using them over older parts, other than the game getting too easy.
Nacon provided us with a Steam code for review purposes.
Monster Truck Championship is a fun game, albeit a bit short and lacking in content. It’s great for a few hours, until the repetitiveness starts to show. Driving the same roads over and over, with an AI that doesn’t get any harder the more you play. It’s a game that would greatly benefit from user-created content to keep it alive.