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Motorstorm Apocalypse review

The latest instalment of Motorstorm has arrived, seeing you race round a city while it crumbles around you. With the recent sad events in Japan it was no surprise to see that Sony had delayed this title until sometime in the future, however a new date has now been set for release, so we would like to tell you why it should grace your machine now the new date is almost upon us.

Motorstorm Apocalypse’s main focus for the single player takes the form of the festival, a three-day event which is fused in between races with comic book style cutscenes. These particular cut scenes don’t really seem to have any relevance to the actual game; however they do serve the purpose of introducing you to the characters you will control during the on-track action, namely Mash, Tyler and Big Dog.

All three of the characters serve to ease you into the game, therefore playing as Mash sees you start off in rookie mode, then as you progress through the races you will then move onto Tyler (Pro) and Big Dog (Veteran), which obviously means you will be finding winning the race a lot more difficult at the end of Day three than you did at the beginning of Day one.

The other interesting part of the Festival is that in each race you will be thrown into all manner of vehicles, therefore in one race you may be in control of a supercar, while others will see you behind the wheel of monster trucks, buggies, ATVs, superbikes, hot hatches, muscle cars and low-riders. Plenty of variety we’re sure you’ll agree.

Thankfully the handling of the cars is pretty decent, even when using your boost to catch up on your rivals; you will find that they seem to have a much better grip on the road than in previous games. Cornering is also a lot more forgiving than it ever was before. Holding down X is still the way to activate your nitrous, however as before; holding it down too long will see your vehicle disintegrate into a million pieces. If you are smart you will plan your route to drive through water, this way you can cool your engine down and hit that boost button for a little bit longer.

Given that Motorstorm Apocalypse is all about racing during an earthquake, it’s certainly a bit different from any other racer you will ever have been used to. As you work your way around the track buildings will fall, bridges will crumble and tunnels will collapse in front of you. Something else to take into consideration is that the tracks will take on a completely different look, therefore while during your first lap you may have raced on a certain path, on the second lap that route may have changed considerably.

There is no doubt crashing your car will become a regular occurrence in Motorstorm Apocalypse, therefore the racing becomes just as much about reflexes than is does about skill. You opponents are out to take you off the track, while nature is also against you, throwing explosions and all the other aforementioned diversions in your path. Thankfully respawn times are quick, so if you do crash more than desired, at least you can get back into the action in the blink of an eye, even if though you may  lose a few places in the process.

So you have opponents trying their best to destroy your chances of winning and also nature doing everything in its power to do likewise, what else could possibly go wrong? Well, how about the private militia known as Dusklite? These guys use their helicopter to fire rockets at you and basically help nature along by destroying buildings and anything else they target in their sight. The Dusklite you see, aren’t too happy about people still being in the city, so they have taken it upon themselves to make you leave, using brute force.

As you can imagine all these events happening around you make for quite the action packed screen, and if you throw on some stereoscopic 3D glasses this just doubles the frantic nature of the racing, although it at least gives you an extra edge during the race. Unfortunately 3D TV’s are still not really in most households, if you do eventually splash out though, then you may not get a better 3D compatible game than this one.

A racing game, no matter how manic would certainly not be complete without a multiplayer mode, and with sixteen-players to take you down and nature still playing its part, Motorstorm Apocalypse is certainly one of the most action packed online games you will play this year. The developer has taken it upon themselves to include a new ranking system, which awards you experience points based on how you race. This new rank system is also accompanied by a perk system which awards you with skills and abilities to compliment the way you race and also unlockables, which give you access to new designs for your vehicles. When you combine all of these together it’s fair to say this is enough to keep you playing for the foreseeable future.

MotorStorm Apocalypse is certainly a good looking game, the effects of nature on the track are incredible to watch, while despite the fast pace of the racing, the game still runs at a smooth pace with little to no lag. Couple the wonderful presentation with the thumping soundtrack and this all adds up to the best game in the series yet.

There is no doubt that realism went out the window when it came to developing Motorstorm Apocalypse, however in doing so the developer has come up with a unique, frantic and excitable experience which is well worth anyone’s time. Just remember to watch out for that falling building.

Rating: Outstanding

Motorstorm Apocalypse is out Thursday, you can grab your copy here.

Edited On 29 Mar, 2011

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