Monday, December 15, 2008

NextGen Player Review: Motorstorm: Pacific Rift

Not having much experience with the MotorStorm franchise, outside of the Gaming for Charity event back in July, I was excited to get my hand on MotorStorm: Pacific Rift and rip up the track at home.

With four killer courses each named after one of the natural elements; Earth, Air, Fire and Water you're not going to be lacking for changes in scenery.

The Earth Zone is made up of muddy streams, and grass filled roadways where each lap brings deeper groves and a torn up track from all the cars ahead of you. Splashing and mud slinging are a major visual component of this track, covering your screen from time to time adding to the visual distractions you need to deal with. The abundance of water on this course is great for extended speed boosts and driving the large tanker truck is just as much fun as the agile buggy.

The Air Zone is another green zone however a dry one - you'll not find any water here to help with extended boosting, but the cliffs are amazing to look at and if you're not careful you'll fly right off of them - giving a fantastic view of your ATV riding driver flying to their impending doom below.

The Fire Zone brings a barren and dark landscape with red hot rivers of lava that set your car on fire as you fly over them... Beware the boost gauge while your on fire or Kablooie! You're toast! And don't think for a second you'll be bouncing of the guard rails to get around these corners - they are as frequently a lava river as not and you'll be stuck sinking to your fiery demise.

Lastly we come to the Water Zone. A place full of cascading waterfalls, plush foliage and turns that will have you skidding and sliding everywhere. By far the hardest of all the tracks (fire being the second hardest), I was defeated many times by the crafty AI bumping me off cliffs into rock outcroppings and squeezing me out over jumps.

Each course has a limited vehicle selection tied to your current objective; time trials might limit you to a motorcycle or an ATV, while long eliminations matches might give you the choice of a monster truck or pick up. Each vehicle handling completely different and coming with their own from the virtually indestructible slow moving Monster truck to the nimble but unforgiving Motorcycle rider that even the slightest bump or nudge might send your driver flying into a building or off a cliff.

I think the key seller for me on this one was the interest and fun my wife - a non-gamer - had fun while playing a game where cars are flying, crashing in slow motion and blowing up if too much boost is used.

Pluses:

  1. The visuals are amazing and give you a true sense of speed, action and amazing crashes
  2. The music is fast and hard - giving you the rush to put the peddle to the metal and give'r.
  3. Tracks and course objectives provide a wide variety of game play - and a little something for everyone.
  4. Potential appeal to the casual gamer
Negatives:
  1. Hypersensitive vehicles causing repeated falling, crashing and re-spawning
  2. Cop-out option - press 'select' if you get off course to reset your location at any time during the race
  3. Limited options in the Garage; appearance and colour of your vehicles are your only options. Sorry to all you Tuners out there.
  4. All the drivers are the same - no benefit in changing your driver other then clothing option
All in all I give this game a:


2 comments:

Clinton said...

I've been hearing great things about this one. Shame I dont' have a PS3. The 360 could use a few more of these wild arcade racers. I suppose the last one was Pure but the demo didn't quite hit a home run for me. BTW, dig the new comments system!

Paul Hunter said...

I've played Motorstorm and enjoyed the game and from Matt's review it seems like they've improved many of the game elements in this sequel. I will be giving this game a try very soon.

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