Monday, 17 December 2012

My Usual Spiel: Motorstorm Apocalypse, and I thought it couldn't get any crazier

Release Date: March 17, 2011
Genre: Offroad Racing
Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Evolution Studios
Platform: PS3
Payers: 1-4 Splitscreen, 2-16 Online

I like my Library, the Yarra Plenty Regional Library is cool enough to have Music CD’s, Graphic Novels and Magazine subscriptions one of which happens to be the Official Playstation magazine. I especially like it when they have the newest issue out for the month and it happens to have a slip for 1 months free access to Playstation Plus which hasn’t been used yet. I suppose you can see what I’m getting at, I obtained Motorstorm Apocalypse for free through the Playstation Plus site plus other things though I wasn’t really interested in what else was there, oh there was LittleBigPlanet 2 and Infamous 2 and Just Cause 2 and Bulletstorm… er 1 though I’ve some of them already on PC or otherwise and others I really couldn’t be bothered though I did get some cool ‘dynamic themes’ for my PS3 menu. I‘ve had a little bit of history with Motorstorm as I may have detailed in my Pacific Rift review.

Since I saw Motorstorm as a launch title for the PS3 I always wanted to see what it was like, motorcycles and ATV’s racing against monster trucks and big rig’s? So when I finally got round to buying one I had three to choose from though I wanted to try out the first one as I think the Monument Valley canyon setting really suited the genre though I soon had to take it back as I hadn’t realized it was 1 player only which was pretty unacceptable for a game like this. So I bought Pacific Rift which was the second in the series and had a blast tearing up a remote volcanic island in the pacific and was even able to do it with friends and online once or twice.

Pacific Rift: "To hell with nature I've got a truck"
 I’d never intended to purchase Motorstorm Apocalypse as in my opinion one of these games was enough, though it was apparently said to be pretty exciting as it’s the first racing game I’ve come across where the track changes as you race. Apocalypse is set in a earthquake-ravaged city which is practically still quaking and has an ongoing war between the “crazies” who refuse to leave the city and an increasingly aggressive military security force. In case you didn’t realize, Motorstorm is in fact a racing tournament yes these people actually came to this place via some kind of unused aircraft carrier intending to build tracks and race around incredibly dangerous crumbling city, the logic is all there. The other two games were in at least believable places you could have a race tournament yet still incredibly dangerous but of course it’s just a game isn’t it.

This is what is a usual race is like.
There is a few new vehicles added to the lineup, the Superbike, Chopper, Super Mini, Muscle Car and Super Car are all new additions bringing the total up to 13.  The controls are slightly differently set out but are the same as usual, you basically go full bawl most of the time taking your foot of the accelerator and powersliding occasionally and sometimes actually braking though unless you do it perfectly the other racers always seem to overtake you. One of the most important features is the turbo boost which overheats your engine to get a temporary speed boost but you have to be careful to keep your engine from blowing up, you can also ram your opponents out of the way which also takes up boost. The graphics are largely the same but the racing is as hectic as ever this time with tracks set in the suburbs, the trainyards and subway, the shipyards and boardwalk, downtown, some place that looks a lot like the golden gate bridge and of course track set along the rooftops of buildings themselves.

Yep, Motorstormers are this crazy, though I'd like to know how quickly they got this track set up.
 You’ve got to wonder how they build these tracks but they all seem to have a hastily cobbled together sign proudly displaying the name of the current “track” that it’s the start of, sometimes the only way of knowing where to go is the yellow signs in the distance pointing left, right or sometimes down. But of course this is a major example of a game where knowing the track really helps especially with the multiple routes and chaos of the track as I’ve had to do some races twice cause I’ve needed the first race as practice specifically because this latest Motorstorm is possibly the hardest of all of them to see where the fack you’re going, it’s true I did feel sorry for anyone I got to play the game with me as if you’ve never played the game before and are racing at breakneck speed through a city that is sundering in itself with debris flying everywhere and the screen shaking all the while you’re playing 2 or 4 player split screen, not matter how big your TV is you’re going to have problems.

Actually it looks pretty clear in this shot.
 I only played this one split screen multiplayer briefly both at home and at a lan, and I didn’t see all that much difference. There was apparently supposed to be some kind of new singleplayer “story mode” but I wasn’t expecting much when I booted up my copy at home. In the singleplayer there is basically three different stages you go through rookie, pro and veteran,  there isn’t much in the way of story, in each section you just basically arrive to the city on the aircraft carrier and have an intro race then do races for a short two days (that’s all the adrenaline you need I spose) then you always seem to have this amusing outro race where you have to race the clock or someone else to the carrier, the end of the veteran one is quite epic. The singleplayer was fun and frustrating at times as usual and it didn’t take me long to complete, though the replay value comes with going for gold and completing all the extra events inc the Hardcore festival which pits you against a series of the same tracks except with faster meaner opponents and a time limit, needless to say I only did a couple of these before leaving it for some other time. There’s also time attack though the rules are interesting, instead of racing a ghost all you have to do is complete the course without crashing, which is sometimes a bit harder than it sounds. I found that this time around I didn’t unlock much by completing the story mode, only the hardcore events if I came first in them.

Well thats one way of getting back on the carrier.
 A lot of the unlocks are through playing Multiplayer, things like the Perks which allow you to modify certain things about your car handling, boost and combat for example: increased grip or faster boost cooling. There is also a “Weekly Challenge” where you complete 3 races of varying difficulty to unlock new vehicles and parts. You can fully customize your vehicles this time, not just change the paintjob completely you can spend hours designing the perfect vehicle even changing the parts to get a different look. With the drivers instead of random rough and tough looking individuals, this time around you get a selection of rough and tough looking named individuals some of which who you unlock in the story mode.

And this guy doen't even wear a shirt, seriously I do try to pick the most safety-conscious-looking person I can find.
 I felt a little discouraged that I didn’t unlock any more vehicles doing the singleplayer though it doesn’t really matter that much I guess. A thing I liked doing with Pacific Rift was to change all the colours of my currently selected vehicles to match my driver, I’ve noticed that they do this in the singleplayer mode and it looks awesome, though it’s hard to imagine needing 13 vehicles just to enter the tournament. I didn’t actually check out the numbers of who was playing online multiplayer but it would definitely be more than Pacific Rift, I’ll have to go on for a bash sometime as like Wipeout Fusion, playing against real people who have played the game before is a lot more challenging then both the AI opponents and random friends.

"oi, we're trying to have a race here"
I really don’t know what else to say that I haven’t said before in the other review, it’s really just a lot of crazy fun, this time especially. Apocalypse is the most feature-rich of the series so there should still be a few people playing it on the PS3 network, I wasn’t going to bother with it really until I got it as a freebie, but the experience has been fun, and extra fun with friends (who have possibly played it before) so if you’re in the mood for a cheap or possibly free game which is possibly the most chaotic and fun racing you’ve ever had where barrel through an earthquake ravaged city and crash spectacularly every so often then look no further.


Speeding in a blind rage.

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