Gaming review: Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear

Gaming review: Monster Jam Steel Titans 2

A monster truck game that correctly identifies that reality is boring

Published: 09 Mar 2021

If you play modern racing games and think 'I wish the suspension felt more like it was made of blancmange' then Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 may be the videogame for you. Here is a game where you'll spend at least 50 per cent of your time bouncing wildly out of control having clipped some divot or other.

Much to our surprise, Steel Titans 2 actually takes the handling of a monster truck seriously. Well, as seriously as you can take a vehicle that has a window in the footwell so you can see where you're going during a wheelie. You can even pick between independent control of the front and rear axles, or bind the two together on a single control pad stick if that sounds a bit too much like trying to rub your head and pat your stomach.

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Fortunately the game also recognises that there's only so realistic anyone wants a monster truck game to be. That's why after a couple of hours of tearing around an open world based on fairly anonymous rural America, punctuated with visits to the various real-world Monster Jam arenas, the scenery changes to a sci-fi alien planet and later the twisted terrain surrounding a haunted castle. It certainly makes a change from a mud-filled stadium in Wichita.

Some events are more engaging than others. For every gleeful checkpoint chasing romp across open terrain, there's two minutes of driving monotonously around a dirt arena smashing port-a-potties. Freestyle trick events, which are sort of like a Tony Hawk game if he strapped a 9.4-litre V8 and knobbly tyres to his skateboard, can be particularly frustrating. In a sport where the vast majority of the vehicles end up completely denuded of their bodywork, it can be difficult to work out if what you just performed was a stellar combination of tricks or just a big crash.

Ultimately, Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 is not a great game, the cycle of race and stunt events gets repetitive quickly and graphically it looks about a decade old. This is one for hardcore monster truck fans only, so unless you happen to be called Dale, you can probably safely steer clear...

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