Review: Motorstorm Apocalypse (PS3)

By Wayne Webb

With Motorstorm Apocalypse, is a Racing game as yet unreleased due to understandable delays in Japan,.

There are a few kinks and mis-steps to forgive before you can enjoy the game. But once those are out of mind, it fair cracks along and becomes an enjoyable yet brainless driving experience.

Some additional vehicles and bikes improve on the range available in previous versions, and the levels you drive through are rich in detail, showing a lot of thought has gone into the design of them. The post-apocalyptic setting and plotting is a bit nonsensical, why exactly you’re driving for your life doing laps around a track has escaped me and the street-cred gang types you hang out with act tough, but then refer to a particular track as ‘neat’. So far no sense at all.

But that doesn’t matter because this is a racing game and once you get into the car (or on the bike) you put your foot to the floor and go for it. There’s a boost button that you use strategically on straights, or barrelling out of a handbrake slide, but if you overuse it – boom. And there are lots of explosions, which are at first frustrating but soon become part of the enjoyment. A bit of chaos and unpredictability add to the thrill of playing with others, who are prone to the same problems and explosive crashing. So while in the first few minutes you may be cursing the sudden loss of control, or unresponsive commands, when you are mixing it up online or with other players in split-screen – it soon evens the odds.

There are a couple of niggles with that crash logic though. Sometimes the smallest of items will cause a catastrophic crash, while in other places you can drive right through glass walls and other obstacles with no hesitation. That can be frustrating, and you learn which things to avoid and which to target soon enough – logic and physics just need to be suspended.

The more interesting element is that when you crash you usually drop back a few places in the pack, something you try to avoid. However, with some regularity you crash and reset at the head of the pack or up a few places in the ranks. At first annoying, but before long it adds a randomness and quirkiness that somehow works.

Best played with other people.

Pros: Multiplayer mayhem, fast-paced driving, excellent details, destructible environments.
Cons: Control sometimes lost, patchy logic when crashing, story is a bit silly.

4 Shacks out of 5