The storm has finally arrived. Developed by Evolution Studios and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, Motorstorm represents one of the many games to showcase the Playstation 3 prior to its release. Not only was it a true testament to the visual capabilities of the PS3, but its managed to deliver excellence on nearly all fronts. How did the finalized version compare to what we saw prior to its launch? PCN delves into Sony’s off-road racer for the Playstation 3.
The story behind Motorstorm is quite simple. Motorstorm is a large festival that attracts thousands for a week of racing, anarchy, and raucous music. Think of it as
Woodstock , but with mud and off road vehicles. There really is no story to Motorstorm, yet there are rarely any stories to a racing game of this genre.
The main mode, “Play Mode”, is a single player campaign where you attempt to win a series of events and races scattered across
Monument Valley, Arizona . The simplicity to the Play Mode is almost equivalent to what the story has to offer, which is very minimal. Play Mode features multiple tickets that spread across four different levels of difficulty. When you begin your game, only three tickets will be available. Within each ticket are races. Sometimes a ticket will have four races that you will have to compete in while some may only have one. In order to unlock more tickets, you will have to get within the top three in each race to qualify for new races to participate in.
Apart from unlocking new races, you will be able to gain brand new vehicles that you will be able to put to your disposal as you see fit. Unfortunately, most of the races that you join will already have a predetermined vehicle that you can use, so don’t assume that you can use any of the vehicles on any map in Motorstorm. Rarely, you will come across a race where they give you the liberty of choosing, but don’t expect this luxury often.
One troubling aspect of Motorstorm is the lack of courses and maps. There are only eight maps. Obviously the player will get the feeling of replaying a level multiple times, but this certainly has its advantages during online play, but we will get to that momentarily.
Evolution Studios made some fantastic courses, but they were made in only one direction so that players will not be able to race through a track in the opposite direction, which would add to replay value. It could have been more than feasible to pack in a few more maps thanks to Blu-Ray technology, but we are stuck with 8 maps that become all too dull after about an hour or two.
Quality always comes before quantity however. Though there are few courses, they are some of the best crafted and ingenious maps ever conceived on a console racer. Jumps, mud, rocks, dust, dirt, you name it. When it comes to Motorstorm, there is not a single fallacy in the creative and innovative development of these courses. Each map will have you finding new routes and alternate paths to navigate through.
This is where Motorstorm truly shines. Each map consistently keeps you guessing. The outcome of the race depends on which path you take. Be it the fastest route, or the safest, there will always be a road for you to fallow. Not only that, but the environments have been crafted to beautiful and realistic landscapes that will truly keep the player enticed. The way they managed to incorporate such beauty into a rough and tough racer like this may seem ironic, but are strikingly beautiful and astonishing. There may be few maps, but each one is memorable enough to keep the player coming back for more, just to try out alternate routes and witness the hidden beauty to off road racing.
What would Motorstorm be if you didn’t have a vehicle? Motorstorm has seven different classes of vehicles. First are the MX bikes which are lightweight, agile, and thin. Similar to the bikes, are ATV’s, yet are much heavier, thus making them slower. Apart from these two classes of vehicles, the player can use Buggies, Rally Cars, Racing Trucks, Mudpluggers, and even Big Rigs. Each class of vehicle has varied strengths and weaknesses. If you are driving a bike or an ATV, you will most likely want to stick to the higher and thinner roads. If you are on a truck or a mudplugger however, you will want to stick to lower and muddier terrain for maximum performance. The best thing about the vehicles and how they each can benefit from all of the maps is that any vehicle type can win. It all comes down to which you are most comfortable with and which path or road is best for you and your vehicle. Each class of vehicle has five distinct cars of its type.