MotorStorm is pretty much the public face of Playstation 3. Chances are if you’ve been in an electronics/appliance store over the last few years you would have seen one of Sony’s previous installments of MotorStorm on display for everyone to enjoy. The frenetic mash up of off road cars racing alongside motorbikes on some truly extreme courses make for an adrenaline fueled race that is beautifully rendered in hi-def glory.
It’s been a few years since the second installment however, and anticipation was hight that Evolution Studios would pull out all the stops on the third title on the franchise.
Then the quake and tsunami hit Japan and all signs of the sequel vanished seemingly overnight. I guess calling it MotorStorm Apocalypse didn’t sit well when Japan’s world was literally crashing down.
Now that the game is here, It’s easy to understand just why the game’s release date was put on a temporary hiatus. The entire story-line revolves around a city loosely based on San Francisco as it endures a series of devastating earthquakes. The apocalyptic wasteland holds nothing to the actual events that devastated Japan, but who can blame Sony for putting the brakes on, at least temporarily.
Thankfully MotorStorm Apocalypse managed to survive.
As a racing game, it falls squarely into the arcade racer box. Any purists will avoid this like the plague, but for the majority of gamers, MotorStorm Apocalypse is just what the doctor ordered. It’s a fast, fun and oh so addictive racing game that puts the action (and beautiful graphics) in a first first place.
Sure the cars don’t always handle so well, and the occasional crack in the road will lead to you car exploding, but there is no feeling in the world that can beat racing over the Golden Gate Bridge as it buckles and sways during a massive earthquake.
The racetracks are all well thought out, with plenty of ‘short cuts’ to be explored and an ever changing environment that forces you to change your race line on the fly and skyscrapers and containers come crashing down around you.
The boost bar is essential to winning, especially when you get past rookie level – where the rubber banding will almost guarantee that you win – but using it is a skill in it’s self. Use it too much and the car will overheat and explode. Use it going into a corner and you’ll crash and burn. Drive through water or get some massive air – an easy thing to do – and your car cools down.
The story-line will force you to drive certain vehicles on certain tracks, which means you’ll enjoy some of the races more than others. But the story-line is only one aspect of the game. You can set up individual races, and set the specifics to what ever you desire, or go for multiplayer with split-screen or on the Sony network – if you dare!
All in all MotorStorm Apocalypse delivers pretty much everything it promises. It’s easy to pick up and hard to put down and will leave you with a smile on your face.