I’ve never been very interested in monster trucks. In fact, I’ve never seen an event in person, on TV, or online. I’m just not a truck or destruction kind of guy. I do, however, love driving and racing games which is half of what Monster Jam Steel Titans is (the other half being destruction and freestyle events). I am also the type of person who is constantly curious and will try everything at least once before he judges anything. I try not to pre-judge anything before I try it. Monster truck games have been around since at least the NES days but Monster Jam Steel Titans is the first time I’ve gotten around to trying one in my quest to sample everything I possibly can. While I had enough fun playing it, this game isn’t so good that it’s going to suddenly convert me into a Monster Jam fan. Its solid enough for what it is, but it isn’t going to make me a fan of the genre or rush out to play the genre again. For monster truck fans, there’s a solid amount of content here but the lack of one big feature (multiplayer) may be a deal-breaker for some gamers.
The gameplay in Monster Jam Steel Titans overall feels pretty good but there are definitely some things that need to be improved. On at least three occasions, I hit something that caused my monster truck to go flying further than any truck should ever fly. Other than those obvious bugs (which I’m guessing will be patched soon) though, Monster Jam Steel Titans feels pretty solid gameplay wise. If anything, the controls are actually maybe a bit too easy considering how difficult monster trucks are to drive in the real world. As a complete newbie in this field, I thought I would have a lot of trouble controlling my monster truck. However, other than the freestyle mode I had very little trouble in that area (thanks to the pretty comprehensive “Monster Jam University” tutorials). It seems that Monster Jam Steel Titans is going for the casual market more so than trying to be a hardcore driving experience. Don’t expect a challenging monster truck simulation game because you’ll mostly get a reasonably fun casual experience from Monster Jam Steel Titans.
One big negative for many players will be the lack of multiplayer (not even split-screen multiplayer is included). I don’t personally play a lot of multiplayer games (I mostly just stick with Rocket League) so it doesn’t really affect me very much. However, not including online play in a 2019 game (especially a racing game like this) is a pretty big negative. Due to this, you can only race against the decent but not very difficult A.I. drivers, meaning the game could easily become boring pretty quickly. Even though I personally don’t care that much about playing a game like this online, the lack of multiplayer in a racing game is almost unacceptable and will cause a lot of gamers to look elsewhere.
The lack of multiplayer may be a pretty big downer for a lot of gamers, but there is still a solid amount of content in Monster Jam Steel Titans. The game includes many different game modes (regular races, waypoint races, rhythm, freestyle, stunt challenges, and destruction modes), 25 different trucks (including some well-known ones like Grave Digger which even I have heard of), six different careers, and twelve different stadiums. I enjoyed some of the events, tolerated others, and absolutely sucked at the rest. My personal favorites are the racing events, especially the waypoint ones that allow you to plot your own course to each checkpoint. The rhythm races are kind of dull since I was terrible at timing my jumps (the whole point of this event) but still had no trouble finishing first almost every single time. The non-race events were the modes I enjoyed the least, mostly because I am terrible at them (this is also the reason why I’m not a big fan of skateboarding games). They work fine and those with more monster truck experience will likely enjoy them more than I did. Content wise, I wish they would have included an online mode and a few more stadiums and race tracks would have been nice.
While there is a good amount of content here, I’m not sure if it has enough for a $30 price tag. With the lack of multiplayer, I think a $15-20 price would have been more fitting for this game. To be honest, Monster Jam Steel Titans feels like the mediocre first entry in a probable yearly series of games that will likely get better and better. Multiplayer probably should have been one of the priorities for the first game and the lack of it really hurts the game’s value. There is a lot of single-player content, but some of it could use a bit of work if this game gets a sequel. Overall, as someone completely new to monster trucks I was relatively entertained by Monster Jam Steel Titans (and it was surprisingly easy to pick up and play) but I think it is a bit overpriced and it didn’t hook me enough that I’m going to all of a sudden become a fan of the genre. Monster Jam Steel Titans is a solid if slightly overpriced game that will mostly appeal to monster truck fans that don’t mind the lack of multiplayer.
Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Rainbow Studios and THQ Nordic for the review copy of Monster Jam Steel Titans that was used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.