Are you ready for some cartoonishly fun, obstacle crunching, 66-inch wheeled monster truck mayhem, but are not entirely patient enough to wait ’til Saturday, Saturday, SATURDAY? Well good news “sports” fans, Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 is your front row ticket to the show and you can play it any day of the week.
Unfortunately for most of us, we don’t have the spare $250k to own our own four-wheeled colossus, but now you afford the virtual experience at a fraction of the cost.
Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 is, first and foremost, a very silly game. How it’s possible not to feel more than a little ridiculous when you’re at the wheel of a school bus that’s larger than most schools, while trying to pop a lazy flip or spin around in circles until you fall on your back like a giant drunk turtle?
Controls can take a bit of getting used to. The left thumbstick turns the front wheels, while the right thumbstick turns the rear, resulting in a truck that would be agile enough to pull off a three-point turn in a one-way underground carpark. Everything seems a lot lighter than it should be, as though the moment you hit the gas, you also turn off gravity. And once you’ve slipped the surly bonds of Earth, it’s almost impossible to touch back down. This isn’t so much monster trucking as it is semi-controlled crashing!
There’s a fairly sizeable roster of trucks to find and unlock here, including some crowd favourites for those in the know. Grave Digger, Zombie, Megalodon and El Toro Loco all make an appearance here. They’re iconic real-world beasts brought to digital life for your smashing pleasure. It’s only a little bit disappointing that the amazing, the astounding, the unbelievable, Truckasaurus couldn’t participate in this game. It’s 20 tonnes and four stories of car-crunching, fire-breathing, prehistoric insanity that would’ve been next to perfect for the silliness of Monster Jam Steel Titans 2. Maybe one day a developer will have the guts to stand up and say “Get me Truckasaurus, and get me a passable Marlon Brando impersonator!” We wait in hope…
The action is split between a couple of different game modes. In the arena you have a series of time challenges, including races and trick contests that tend to be pedal-to-the-metal type affairs which you can win through either extreme skill, or pure blind luck. The box smashing events tend to be the most fun of the arena activities, as you leave a forest’s weight of monster truck processed pallets in your wake.
The open world events pit you against some bot-controlled truckers in checkpoint raves around a relatively small map. Crazily enough, finesse is the key here as even the slightest nudge from an opponent will send you tumbling around like loose change in a dryer. These events, along with the open world areas, are the probably the most fully realised parts of the game, with monster themes to match the monster trucks.
“Once you sit your virtual keester in the driver’s seat of one of these monster toys, physics becomes your plaything.”
Once you sit your virtual keester in the driver’s seat of one of these monster toys, physics becomes your plaything. Well, to be fair, this game makes a passing glance at the laws of physics in general, but what you’ll learn is that some of these laws can be bent. Others can be broken.
There’s never really a sense of being in control during your trucking experience. You tend to be in a constant state of crashing towards the finish line. Most of the time you’ll know exactly why you failed successfully, but there’s nothing you can do to fix it. You just have to hope that, next time round, you won’t be the one sliding across the finish line on your roof.
Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 can be a fun, bite-sized, experience of monster trucking that never takes itself too seriously. It knows that when you have a giant truck with wheels the size of an inner-city studio apartment, and you dress it up to look like a pink poodle, serious isn’t really the vibe you’re going for. Relax, have some fun, pump an excessive amount of octane through the engines and settle in for some well supervised destruction.
Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 is available now on PS4, Xbox One and Switch.