The PS3’s launch racing title, MotorStorm, is back for a third race and this time they are taking the race to the concrete jungle. With a new location, new vehicle classes (supercar, superbike, muscle car, chopper and the hot hatch) and a revamped graphics engine, can MotorStorm Apocalypse bring the thunder a third time or is it the end of the world for the series?
SWEET, SWEET APOCALYPSE
Urban Location - Located in a cloned version of San Francisco’s Bay Area, Apocalypse opens up new areas for races to take place; abandoned beaches, suburban neighborhoods and on the roofs of city skyscrapers.
Natural Elements Constantly Changing the Course - New to Apocalypse is the constantly changing geography and terrain of the race course. The city has been hit with a major natural disaster causing the courses to change during the middle of races. Torrential rains can be flooding the course one moment, and the next a giant earthquake can topple buildings and collapse streets creating obstacles and alternate routes.
Residents and Security Force Opposition - Nature isn’t the only thing that’s new keeping the racers on their toes during a race. Even though the city is ravaged by a natural disaster, some of the inhabitants didn’t flee the city and are looting the area. At times they’ll even throw objects in the way, grab onto vehicles’, and even ram them off course using abandoned cars and trucks. Then there’s the security force in charge of evacuating the city and trying to keep everything under control. They won’t bother the racers much, but if a riot breaks out in the city and the racers are in the middle of it, they’ll take shots at them. They’ll even level abandoned buildings to try to get the racers to leave the city.
Vehicle Customization - A new feature added into the series, Apocalypse allows racers to customize their vehicles. From new fenders and wheels to disk brakes and exhaust systems, vehicles can be customized to perform better in races.
Perks - Every game has some type of perk system and Apocalypse is no different. Each racer will be able to choose from a load out of three perks that will alter the specs of the vehicle. Some perks will lower the rate at which the vehicle heats up, increase cool down periods, increase tire grip and even create shockwaves when players wreck to cause other racers to wreck as well.
4 Player Split-Screen - Often overlooked in most games, sometimes (such as these past two weeks) split-screen will be the way to go when playing multiplayer. Apocalypse offers a 4 player split screen mode for multiplayer action.
No Drifting - For some reason there’s no drifting in the game. There’s the E-brake sure, but when applied, the various vehicles do not drift. Even vehicles like the rally car/truck, dirt bike and the dune buggy, vehicles that have the ability to drift, do not drift. Now you might be thinking, "Why do you need to drift when there aren't that many corners?" Some of the course tracks are pretty wide and can cause vehicles to veer off course and out of bounds. Now if there was the ability to drift, the play could exit out of the corner faster and not have to worry about veering off course and losing time.
As of this writing, the PSN is back up. During that time online multiplayer hasn’t been tested for review. MotorStorm Apocalypse features 16-player races, a ranking system, betting, medals and part challenges. As soon as the PSN is back online, I will test these features and add them to this review to complete it.
MotorStorm Apocalypse is the next step in the evolution of this series. By bringing natural elements that can change the course during the race, inhabitants and security forces to try to deter the racers, customizable vehicles and perks, MotorStorm Apocalypse continues to bring the fun, despite not having a proper drifting system. If you loved the first two games, then you’re sure to love this one as well.