Developer: Evolution Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
North American Release Date: 3 May 2011
European Release Date: 16 March 2011
Trophies: 1 , 3 , 8 , 36
The third MotorStorm on the PS3 has taken an apocalyptic theme, and the name of MotorStorm has never been more deserved as you fight through hell and back to survive.
If youíve ever played a MotorStorm game before, then youíll know exactly what to expect. However, the way in which Apocalypse handles it is quite unique. The steering is drastically improved, the handling and way in which you maintain a steady flow throughout the race has been tweaked to be much more enjoyable. In addition, collapsing buildings, tornadoes that throw cars at you, helicopters, earthquakes, and gunners trying to do everything in their power to turn the race into a playground of burning and twisted metal and fire. Itís your job to stay ahead of that, and that element is what makes MotorStorm: Apocalypse so enthralling.
No, that car did not fart...
Thereís always something going on, be it a building collapsing, a helicopter flying through the air, or the stupid locals trying to chuck grenades at you, thereís always something on the screen to entertain you that just adds to the mix of adrenaline, speeding up the race. The mix of fire and water also adds another layer of complexity, meaning that you have to be careful when to use your boost. That ledge might give you the extra height or might be a short cut, but if youíre in critical mode with your boost and that ďshort cutĒ has fire scattered all over it, or some locals and a helicopter decide to fire some lead in your direction, it might just cost you the race. Be careful, and while you always want to get to the finish line as soon as possible, going too fast in some tracks can be the worst thing you could do. Unlike in previous games, Apocalypse is about so much more than just winning the race. Itís about a brutal mix of insanity as you burn your way through a track that falls apart as you speed through it. And if thereís three massive trucks, all trying to get in that small space that only one of you can fit in, then itís ram, or be rammed, my friends. And boy is it fun to ram and punch (depending on your vehicle and the other vehicle, of course) your opponents to a sudden crash or even causing them to fall off the building. Itís hiliarious stuff, especially when youíre in the middle of the air, trying to all land in a difficult spot, and you all end up totalling each other. The game often takes itself very seriously in its context and story, but in moments like these youíll realize just how much fun it can be to all crash yourself in the middle of the Apocalypse.
However, this game is significantly easier than the past entires, which is both a good and a bad thing. The learning curve is smoothed out and is a hell lot easier to get accustomed to. However, the desperation of trying to get in that first place is gone here, as the benchmark for many races is 5th place instead. Not only that, many opponents seem to slow down when you get far behind, and seem to crash more. And when you boost ahead, they seem content to let you stay in that position. And quite frankly, I highly doubt that in a real apocalypse that your opponents would be so forgiving.
Apocalypse does a fantastic job of setting the standard for racers, and is more than a pleasure to experience as you crash your way more often than not through the track. The gameplay is slick, tight, and best of all: fun.
Goodbye to beautiful beaches and rainforests, hello to the crumbling cites of America, where the buildings that tear themselves away from the ground to crush you, the civilians shoot at you, and where a mistake will not only cost you the race, but your life.. Welcome to the apocalypse, baby.
Whatís your first thing that comes to mind when you read those words? If itís pure chaos, beautiful madness in a frenzy of cars, buggies, ATVs and monster trucks, all willing to kill to stay ahead of hell, then youíve got the perfect image in mind that sums up MotorStorm: Apocalypse.
You might be surprised that this game is actually superior to its past games, considering that most of the locales arenít as varied as before. You wonít be racing across beaches, lush tropical jungles, hot volcanoes and mudcliffs. Most of the racing takes part in industrial areas, the city streets and even on top of skyscrapers. While this isnít exactly for the best, the way in which it is handled causes you to wonder what you saw in the past games compared to now.
That's the way you treat those bitches that get in your way...
You might be surprised to learn that this game actually has a story. You play the role of three different characters, Mash "The Rookie", Tyler "The Pro", and Big Dog "The Veteran". Each of these characters offer a different perspective of the gameís story as well as an altered difficulty level, which offers multiple play throughs. Instead of just selecting the levels and tracks that you choose to race in, after each race you will be progressed to the next one, with some text and dialogue that allows you to catch up on whatís happening. Itís a good way to get the story flowing, and the tracks that are given to you are varied and in complete different locals, which allows you to taste the full spice of life that the apocalypse has to offer. New additions include superbikes, hot hatches, and supercars, each with their own certain advantages and disadvantages. In some cases itís up to the personal player in choosing the perfect ride for themselves, or the track in-particular.
One of the best things about the single player campaign, however, is that the race track constantly changes. You might be burning your way across a certain path, but then suddenly a building collapses in front of your very eyes, forcing you to change your direction within a split second to avoid crashing. The track is completely altered, forcing you to go an entirely new direction, or in some cases drive under or above the obstacle. Itís a great sensation to wonder when the track will change, offering some new burst of excitement just when you thought the track was going to get dull.
The tracks constantly collapse around you...for better or worse.
Sadly, in terms of the game's story thereís no real backbone to substantiate any genuine reason to care about the tale. The story is merely a flimsy hook to hang the progression of your career and edge you along. Then again, not many racing games actually employ any form of a story at all, so the mix up is nice to see once in a while, even if you wonít really be getting much out of the story at all.
MotorStorm: Apocalypse provides a great single campaign, albeit a poorly shaped story, that gives you pleasure to constantly experience. The tracks are well designed, the variety brilliantly maintained, all of it soaked in the brutal reality of a real apocalypse.
The core element of MotorStorm: Apocalypse and maybe even the best multiplayer I have ever experienced in any online racer, itís that superb.
You can race with up to 15 other players online, and that creates even more mayhem and destruction than before, as your online opponents seem to love ramming you as much as you love ramming them.
As with every online game, thereís ranks to gain, achievements and medals that you can earn that boost your stats, and even create new loadouts for your game. In fact, this is probably the closest any racer can get to have FPS aspects within its multiplayer. And boy does it work well. These loadouts can give you some extra boost, better drift, and so on. You have to adjust it to the actual vehicle that youíre driving, as it would be pretty pointless to gain extra drift for a mudtruck.
In addition to standard racing thereís a mode called elimination, which creates even more madness in order to struggle out of the danger zone. The way it works is by every 30 seconds or so eliminating the player in last place, and even then if the last two players are close together, it holds a ďsecond chanceĒ system, which will kick the player that falls drastically behind the other. Itís even more fun than the standard race, and provides so much entertainment. And be wary that all the earthquakes, crashing buildings, etc, take place in multiplayer too, so if you want to time that ram of yours to send your opponent flying into hell, do it before they do. Thereís no mercy in the apocalypse.
Another great aspect of the multiplayer is that unlike so many games now days it provides offline, split screen multiplayer, that including online split-screen as well.
All in all the multiplayer in MotorStorm: Apocalypse is fantastically crafted and will unquestionably provide you with hours upon hours of entertainment and joy. Prepare to get lost in a realm of fun, insanity and mayhem.
The gritty urban visuals continuously impress, and the frame-rate never fails, even when a hundred and one things are exploding in your face at once. You wonít experience much Ė if at all Ė lag, even when playing online, or in the middle of a single player race. The loading times do leave a lot to be desired, however. Itís a pain to just sit there and wait for the race to load when you know that it really isnít that big of a file. But regardless, the game runs smoothly, the textures are nice and crisp, and the visuals awesome. If youíre one of those few people that actually owns a 3D HDTV, you can try the game in the third dimension. Sadly though, I donít have thousands of dollars to burn, so I canít deliver my own opinion on the matter. I can say, though, that the game would look awesome in 3D, with all the water getting splashed on the screen.
The audio is ace, the soundtrack less so. Thankfully, the developers decided to be smart and allow you to play your own custom music while in any race. So instead of the awful mash of random music thatís carelessly slapped together, you get to listen (or at least in my case) to the likes of Metallica, Nirvana and Rise Against. Itís great stuff, especially when a song equalizes in tune to the track
Donít expect an easy platinum, but Iíd say that you can bag this one without too much trouble. At the rate of how superb the online is and how often youíll probably replay the single player, thereís no reason why you shouldnít get this soon enough.
MotorStorm: Apocalypse delivers a mix of a flaming ball of insanity tumbling down to a highway of superb action with a splash of a story to keep the ball rolling. Sure it isnít that good and the loading times leave a lot to be desired, but this is by far one of the best, if not the best racer that weíve had in years, offline and online, and this is coming from a person who dislikes the genre. If you only buy one racer, make sure as hell itís this one.
Tweaked to near perfection
Crafted well, but the story is a tad iffy
Hot, sweet, sexy, and moist. The perfect combination
Crisp visuals and brilliant audio. No complaints here.