Game Review: Monster Jam – Path Of Destruction (Xbox 360)
Release: November 9, 2010
Genre: Racing / Driving Simulation
Developer: Activision Publishing
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP
MSRP: $39.99 US – Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: E – Everyone (Mild Violence)
Strap into your five point racing harness and don your protective head gear because Monster Jam: Path of Destruction is the most authentic monster truck racing game to date. With eight realistically modeled arenas staged with authentic track designs and twenty-eight licensed world famous monster trucks – each with its handling tuned to match the actual truck – this may be as close as many of us get to racing one of these car crushers.
In addition to the standard Monster Jam fare, Stunt Challenges are much like tutorials teaching drivers how to perform stunts such as Sky Wheelies, Donuts and even Back Flips and Barrel Rolls. Gate Rush and Time Crunch are check point races with Monster Jam logos appearing as “gates” in Freestyle arenas and Circuit Racing tracks, respectively. Trying to crash through them all while racing against the clock makes for a tough challenge when trying to keep the truck upright. Team Racing pairs you with another driver in Circuit Racing allowing cooperative multi-player play.
All of the fan favorites are here; Grave Digger, Maximum Destruction, Grinder, Mohawk Warrior, Monster Mutt & Monster Mutt Dalmatian, Blue Thunder, El Toro Loco, Bulldozer, Avenger… and if you ca’t find a truck to suit you, go build your own in Digger’s Dungeon. Here you can choose a basic monster truck body style and paint it, add decals and accessories to create your own monster truck. While your custom trucks can’t be used in the multi-player side of the game, they can be used to work through the entire single player career. We have spent hours designing various trucks and test driving them. (My four year old is partial to the pig themed truck we named OINK! – complete with snout, ears and a curly tail.) There are literally over a thousand parts available to customize your truck.
Having never actually driven a monster truck, I’m unsure what it would be like, but this game simulates how I imagine it would be. The trucks all feel “right”. They drive the way I would expect them to. And each truck is true to the real thing, for example, Grave Digger’s suspension soaks up nearly any landing – just like the real truck – while others have more bounce. The difference from truck to truck can be felt and it’s easy to settle into one that feels comfortable and handles to your liking.
The stadiums are spot on with track layouts which are fun and realistic. A vast improvement from the previous Monster Jam game where obstacles were too few and spread too far apart. The scoring in the Freestyle Events is also much improved and now mirrors the scoring at actual events. Just as with real monster truck races, the gearing in your truck can be adjusted for speed, power or show adding even more control to how each truck handles.
Missing from Path Of Destruction is the open world Free Roam mode from the past. Even though this will be missed, the trade-off for Digger’s Dungeon is worth it. While the trucks and environments are much improved, there are some minor clipping problems – tires sinking through the ground, landing upside down on invisible objects, etc. but they are few and not game breakers.
During events there are times that the announcer seems to be watching a different race – making comments like “Another disappointing run” even though I finished in first place or remarking about destroying a motor home while driving through a rack filled with boats. After crashing in a circuit race, the respawn point is sometimes way off the mark and the camera tracking gets a little bothersome if trying to back up just a little – but none of this sours the sweet, sweet goodness of horse-power and giant tires.
Even with a few little flaws, this game rocks. If you are a racing fan – try this game. If you are a Monster Jam fan of any age – buy this game.
- Authentic monster truck racing
- Local or online multi-player racing
- Design your own truck
- Lots of familiar track & trucks
- Announcer seems to be watching a different event sometimes
Final Score: 9 out of 10
Digger’s Dungeon and Head to Head Screen Shots Source : www.MonsterTruckCollectors.com