I’ve seen important notices on games before, but after my time spent with Evolution Studio’s latest, Motorstorm RC, I was already thinking up my own, it goes something like this:
Warning! Motorstorm RC is dangerously addictive. Do not play this game if you value spending time with your family. Especially do not play this game at work, you will be fired for lack of productivity. You have been warned!
That kind of sums up how I feel about Motorstorm RC really, it’s fun, looks great and thanks to the Vita’s social integration, it’s very hard to put down. But what is it all about?
We have all seen the other games in the series before, however RC takes a completely different approach, looking more Micro Machines than Motorstorm, this though is certainly no bad thing. What Evolution has done is take an arcade-style racer and pile it onto your Vita and PS3, along with so many compelling features that it’ll have you hooked from the word go.
Taking a top down view of the action, Motorstorm RC has you steer your little car with the left stick, while the right controls your acceleration. Your task is simply to speed around each of the tracks in various events, getting the best time you can and then sharing this with your friends via the online leaderboards. What’s wonderful about this game is that no matter what event you are taking part in you’ll be met with an ghost indicator representing your friends and closest rivals times, speeding along the track for you to defeat. There is also an indicator which represents the gold trophy time, giving you an idea of how well you need to do to ace the event. It’s already addictive enough just trying to ace events, but adding your friends and closest rivals into the mix is just a genius touch.
The main Motorstorm RC Festival, where you’ll spend most of your time, is broken down into four areas, each based on previous games in the series. Therefore, Monument Valley sees you racing on tracks based on the original Motorstorm, while the others include Pacific Rift, Arctic Edge and Apocalypse. The variety here is fantastic, since area has tracks with their own unique challenges and hazards.
As with most racing games, each event is broken down into various types of race. What this means is that one minute you will be racing against AI opponents, while the next will see you speeding against the clock, trying to get the fastest time you can. Any time you take part in an event you will be aiming for medals. There are three medals in all, with how well you do to beat the target set for you at the beginning determining the amount of medals you win. The reason winning medals is important is that they will unlock new events, meaning there will come a point where you are unable to move on if you have not earned enough medals. Not only do you win medals during races but you will also unlock a whole load of goodies, from new cars to new skins, enabling you to customise your vehicle to suit your tastes.
If you wish to take a back seat from the competitive side of the game, then Evolution has included a playground, where you can drive around in any of your RC cars, tricking it up on ramps and skate park-like obstacles. Even though there is no pressure to beat your friends times here, you are still constantly reminded of them thanks to a little notification box popping up on the screen whenever a friends beats your time. There are also plenty of little secrets in the playground, although my favourite part was spent trying to drive my car through a basketball hoop- who’d of thought that would be so addictive.
On the visual side the game looks great, the cars are quite small, however they fit the scale of the tracks perfectly. There are plenty of effects too, with each car racing around the track, kicking up dust and leaving tire marks in its wake. Crashing into obstacles causes these to fly onto the track, leaving hazards for other drivers and while colliding with AI doesn’t cause any damage as such, it does slow you down and on occasion sees you stuck behind them as you desperately try to break free. Motorstorm RC does allow you to tweak a few elements of the gameplay, the camera can be adjusted by pressing the triangle button, getting you in closer to the action if you feel the cars are too small.
As well as the action, the menus are also well presented, being easy to scroll through using the analogue stick or optional touchscreen controls. Wherever you are in the menus or game you are also presented with a great soundtrack which fits the action perfectly. Putting some headphones in and sitting back, listening to the sounds of the music and effects will help draw you into the game even further, although don’t forget to take heed of that warning at the beginning of this review.
There is no online multiplayer in Motorstorm RC, but while this would have been a nice addition, thanks to the brilliant integration of friends times and ghosts throughout the whole game, it’s not really an issue. One of the main features running throughout most of the games we have played on the Vita post-launch so far is the social integration and nothing captures this more than Motorstorm RC.
We have been unable to test the PS3 cross functions at the moment, however we know that you’ll be able to share save games between the two. Motorstorm RC also works across PSVita and PS3 systems, allowing users to race against each other no matter which of these systems they are playing on, which is pretty fantastic if you think about it.
Motorstorm RC is launching for the incredible price of £4.79 on PSN, a price that will not only get you the PS Vita title, but the PS3 version too. The features and gameplay alone would be enough for us to recommend this game as a must have launch title, but add in the price too and it really is a no-brainer. Buy this day one or you’ll be missing out on a fantastic game. that’s all there is to be said.
Rating: OutstandingReview Policy(Version tested: PS Vita)
Motorstorm RC is released on February 22, 2012 alongside on the PlayStation Network.