- Apr 7, 2011
Like all modern arcade racers that try to blend physics into the handling model, the original MotorStorm games also sport disastrously boring gameplay - one that neither appeals to the simulation junkies, nor the arcade freaks. So when we received the review code for MotorStorm: Apocalypse, I tried out a quick race to see where the graphics stand.
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift wasn't much of an improvement over the original, graphics wise, but Apocalypse had surprisingly changed a lot. Unfortunately, change isn't always for the good, and MotorStorm: Apocalypse appeared to be the gaming equivalent of Britney Spears with a shorn head. The textures look degraded, 3D models seem to have low polygon meshes when compared to the previous games, and the damage/deformation physics have been downscaled greatly. But unlike Britney, Apocalypse has got loads of talent up its sleeve.
The franchise has received a radical revamp with MotorStrom: Apocalypse. Just like its name suggests, the third instalment to the MotortStorm series puts you right in the midst of an Apocalypse of epic proportions. The game takes place in a fictional city that's being evacuated before nature lays a colossal smackdown in the form of a mother of all earthquakes. Fortunately for the developers, if we didn't know any better, we would've been offended with their tasteless PR campaign going around in Japan and New Zealand.
Unfortunately for them, not everyone knows better, so expect Fox news to pull another feature vilifying the video game industry. Jokes apart, the plot is laid out in a series of comic book styled cutscenes, which essentially lay down the gameplay intricacies in the form of weird, non sequitur filled sequences. They're much like adverts for Bingo chips, many of you will be put off by their wt* quotient, but I loved them exactly for that. Plus the cutscenes do feature some pretty cool art, so props to the weird creativity of the folks at Evolution Studios.
Plot and Gameplay
The City, as it is imaginatively named, plays the backdrop for the Festival mode, which is the story mode with a campaign spread over 33 races divided between Rookie, Pro and Veteran segments. The premise is simple, you and a bunch of adrenaline junkies race around the crumbling city, as it literally implodes upon itself - while Mother Nature deals the spades in the form of earthquakes, tornadoes and total all round bedlam.
No prizes for guessing that this brand of track altering calamities is clearly inspired from Split Second: Velocity, but unlike the original, where you could unleash doom upon your enemies with power-ups, MotorStrom: Apocalypse simply has the world crumbling around you. The calamities aren't an active gameplay element, but they radically alter the track and add an extra layer of challenge and unpredictability to the races.
Expect bridges to collapse and form multiple and multi-tiered pathways after an earthquake. Tornadoes will rip through the tarmac and throw debris and other cars at you like shrapnel. Architectural elements will collapse to mostly block your path or crush you outright, but at other times they will make speed boosting and engine cooling ramps. Toppled chimneys may sound like trouble, but get your timing right and you'll pass through them in a spiralling 360-degree glory. The hazards here are dynamic, so your timing and presence of mind decides whether they turn out to screw over your happiness or provide a tactical edge over your opponents.
Developers: Evolution Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Racing (Arcade)
Game Engine: MotorStorm Engine
3D Support: Yes
Cross Platform: No
Price: Rs. 2,499