The last couple of MotorStorm games have been set in the desert and a lush tropical environment. This one takes a different spin on things because, as part of a group of misfits on a ship just offshore of an earthquake-stricken city, you use the broken bridges and buildings as your playground to burn rubber in.
The game’s Festival mode is set over three difficulty levels which tell the story of three different drivers. The story mode uses short cartoon-like cut-scenes to set the scene before each race and then it’s up to you to boost your way into first place and stay in front of the rest of the pack. Once again if you boost too much you’ll blow up but you can cool car your down by driving through water and water butts and this time by also letting go of boost and accelerate whilst you’re in mid-air. You can also nudge other cars, bikes and trucks out of the way as you try to stay on the track.
And staying on the track is actually quite tough as the cars don’t handle as well as other arcade racers such as Blur or Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. Vehicles feel twitchy in this game and spin out if you clip the slightest bit of scenery. The crash scenes also don’t come close to the afore-mentioned games and just look unfinished when you spin out, fly through the air and catch on fire.
What Apocalypse does deliver though is a sense that things are really going to hell around you. If you press the triangle button when prompted you get to see buildings crumbling into the sea and bridges fall from under you as the Earthquake levels the city and the track you’re racing on. These moments are a lot of fun and do get that wow factor with the environment which other racing games don’t often deliver.
If you have a 3D TV you’ll also get the added benefit of this being one of the best-looking 3D titles to date. I haven’t tried it myself but apparently it’s better than GT5 and really shows off how good 3D gaming can look.
And if you don’t like playing racing games alone you’ll be pleased to know that there are more than enough multiplayer modes. You can play with 4-players split screen as well as 16 players online if you feel like proving you’re the very best at driving very fast around disaster areas.
MotorStorm: Apocalypse is sure to please racing fans that like spectacle. For me, I prefer games that fall somewhere in between the downright insane and the vanilla simulation. It gets a very good 7 out of 10.
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