Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quick Hands-On with the Motorstorm: Apocalypse Demo

A demo for Motorstorm: Apocalypse is out on the European Playstation Store, which the final game will came out there next week and next month here at the States. This is the third game in Sony's intense racing franchise and Evolution Studios decided to ditch the treacherous and mountainous landscapes of the previous games for a post-apocalyptic modern setting with modern looking cars. It is about time that it decides to mess around with more urbanized environments, but it is still Motorstorm at its core. Apocalypse is basically a combination of Motorstorm and Split Second with how it handles destructible environments to change up the track you're racing on as it maintains the control and intensity the franchise is known for. As an arcade racer, this is still one of the intense racing games you'll play this generation with opponents being aggressive to the point they want to take you out and rubberband A.I. that keeps the action down to the wire as one screw up can lead to defeat. The core controls are still the same with accelerating and boosting, but Motorstorm games have their own physics of how the vehicles control. Even the supercar that is available in the demo can feel a little weird at times, so players have to adjust to the physics the franchise has had throughout its existence again. Other than the supercar playable, there is a motorbike also to try out in the demo and its similar to previous bike experiences in past games in the one track that this demo offers.

As I mentioned before, the destructible environments play a significant role in later parts of the race as a context sensitive button press opens up the track in a bit for more alternative routes as seen in last year's Split Second. Unlike that game though, these events unfold at certain parts of the track rather than saving up a meter to make a certain piece of environment explode for example in order to take out an opposing vehicle and open up a new route. You can still wreck opponents that way, but the opportunities are limited unlike Split Second and you can still ram down opponents Burnout style as well. After playing through the demo, Motorstorm Apocalypse is shaping up to be another worthy addition to the franchise changing things up a bit while keeping the core racing fundamentals it has been known for intact. The final game will have a story mode, which I'm curious how that will turn out, but besides that big addition, its more Motorstorm, and as someone who likes arcade racers, I do need that fix after grinding it out with Gran Turismo 5 several months back.

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