Monster trucks are the automotive embodiment of a slightly tipsy dad coming home after a wedding: spirits high but knocking over all the garden gnomes. They’re big, loud, and a little destructive – but lovable oafs, nonetheless. It’s hard to hate a giant, five-ton truck wearing a novelty hat.
Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 quaintly leans into this kind of wackiness with a series of large, themed open worlds celebrating a silly yet earnest stable of official trucks shaped like dogs and zombies, but its anticlimactic exploration objectives and the vanilla, chore-like structure of the competitions on offer unfortunately make for a surprisingly boring drive.
The lack of spark is quickly evident. After a bafflingly basic tutorial, I was suddenly and unceremoniously dumped into the first of several open-world environments, leaving me to press pause and shuffle through menus to uncover what I was actually supposed to do.
Steel Titans 2 splits its action over two separate career paths, but neither of them are very interesting. There’s the arena and stadium-based championship career, which resembles traditional, real-world Monster Jam events, and then there’s the World Career mode, which is literally just a series of exactly the same arena and stadium events but with a waypoint challenge or circuit race based in the open worlds included occasionally.
There’s also a smattering of things to go and find in these maps, but doing so has proven annoying and unrewarding. You can’t “discover” a secret in the wrong truck, but even in the right truck nothing I’ve found so far has been particularly interesting. Only Monster Mutt Poodle can open a specific hot pink barn to temporarily make a new jump available, for instance, but the jump only appears to exist as a means to collect a floating inverted triangle. According to the game, floating triangles unlock more trucks – but ultimately it’s just stuff on a list to tick off in a game that’s already a repetitive slog.
The Greatest Racing Games Ever