With the launch of the Playstation 3, gamers around the world ogled at the site of the entertainment giant’s latest creation. Gamers and Sony enthusiasts from all around drooled at the very thought of Blu Ray gaming, itching to get a taste of that next generation glory. Our friends at Evolution Studios have finally brought us some eye candy to salivate over.
Motorstorm has hit the PS3 with full force. Whether you are a fan of the racing genre or just a casual gamer, you can’t help but love the fluid game mechanics that is Motorstorm. The game itself is built around the idea of off-road racing and offers numerous vehicle classes to choose from. No matter what your fancy, there is a ride that will tickle your insides like an undercooked spaghetti dinner.
Motorstorm brings you six classes of vehicles: motorcycle, ATV, dune buggy, truck, semi and stock car. Each class of vehicle has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, while driving a motorcycle, you will want to stick to the high ground, following jumps, ramps, and more packed terrain (not to mention to stay away from those big rigs). If you are playing as a big rig, your playland is taking the low ground. The mud infested, metal-on-metal melee gives you the edge and once you get the truck in motion, not much can stop it.
One of the best things about this game is its track design. Visually, each track is built with precise accuracy. The layouts give you a number of different options on how to get to the end. This makes for a very interesting race, to say the least. By taking the high ground, you can gain awesome speed on a bike or ATV, and without having to battle traffic down below, this is obviously the best route for small vehicles. Motorstorm’s innovative track design levels the playing field on this subject in a couple of ways. First off, taking the path less traveled is longer than staying down below. This allows bikers to go fast like they should, and trucks to go slower and still be on an equal playing ground. One of the best things about Motorstorm is also its most notable drawback. Although these track are innovative, gorgeous and fun to drive, they lack distance and quantity: Motorstorm only offers up a total of 8 tracks, each of which gives you an average lap time of around a minute. The guys at Evolution could have at least given us some mirrored racing to give the “illusion” of more tracks, but this unfortunately did not make the final product.
From Bikes to Trucks to Semis, Motorstorm has them all!
Now, lets talk about the gameplay and mechanics. From the way your suspension rocks as you travel over the moguls, to the awesome slow-motion wrecks that take place all too often, Motorstorm offers up the most solid, realistic off-road experience to date. This is truly the most stunning racing game to date, making Gran Turismo HD look like an infant when it comes to interactive environments. As you travel through the mud, you can see your vehicle sliding for control, and in many instances, it will bog down your ride if you are not well-equipped for the job. There are a number of destructible items in the game as well, ranging from barrels strewn about the track, to a full blown auto graveyard in the center of one of the tracks. Although this game falls short of perfection, it most certainly offers all the key elements to a great racing sim.
The most enticing element in this game is the feeling of speed. Place yourself in the cockpit, crank up your home theatre for one of the best soundtracks to date, and go for gold. Even if you are not a fan of racing sims, you HAVE to love the carnage in the wrecks, slow motion works of art that would make Van Gogh shed a tear of happiness. This title is going to make you feel like you are in the action. After all, isn’t that what gaming is all about?
Motorstorm is one of the first PS3 titles to try to put the Sixaxis controller to good use. With a quick swap in the settings menu, you can change the control of your ride from the analog stick to full-tilt motion sensing. I personally play this game on my home theatre system (50” Philips Plasma, Bose Acoustimas 7.1 surround sound) and I have to say, I have a pucker mark or two in my chair from the hairpin, precision courses and awesome carnage.
Last but not least, we come to the online play modes. This is the one salvage point to the shortness of this game. With the online elements this game brings, the carnage really comes to life. Strap on a Bluetooth headset, and you are ready for some serious trash talking, almost a necessity in this game. There is nothing like giving your opponent a friendly “nudge” to send their vehicle hurling off a cliff in that fine Arizona desert. Motorstorm offers great online fun with up to 12 players and still a fluid frame rate.
All in all, Motorstorm gives a solid performance and any current or upcoming PS3-owner should buy this game. Motorstorm nudges onto the “must have” list with great pride. I can’t wait for the sequel.