PS3 Review: Motorstorm
By Casey Lynch Mar 5, 2007, 18:15 GMT
Mad Max meets Burnout meets baja racing... the PS3 just got one step closer to becoming a "must-own" console.
When I was a wee lad, my father took me out of school early one day to go to a doctor appointment - or so he said.
Instead, he trucked me off to our local movie theater and saw a young boys dream movie –The Road Warrior.
Since that day in ‘81, I’ve secretly longed to roar through the desert like Mad Max, tearing apart any car or motorcycle in my path at whiplash speeds.
Motorstorm let’s you do this, and then some. A baja racer, an offroad version of Burnout, or the Road Warrior brought to pixilated life – however you want to describe it, Motorstorm delivers the fastest, most realistic mesa-top racing you’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s so good, every offroad racer for the next 5 to 10 years will be compared to it, and we finally have an undeniably “you have to get a PS3” game on our hands.
Motorstorm is an offroad racer with a variety of vehicles and tracks. The game has 21 tickets, each with 2 to 4 races that you must complete to earn money to unlock new vehicles, and the like. The races have a progressively rising difficulty, as do the tracks.
For those of you who played the free demo on the PlayStation Network, you’ll race on the Raingod Mesa track in addition to a bevy of others. There are mud races, cliff top races, and everything in between.
The boost feature really shines and always makes our day - there's nothing like rocketting past the competition faster than a Dodge Viper, unless you get to do it in a ramshackle, doorless truck atop a cliffy crag. Boo-yah!
Pure and simple, Motorstorm is unpredictably hyperfast chaos on wheels. The graphics are great and only a small step away from the all-CG trailer Sony showed off a few E3’s ago when it announced with the PS3.
The tracks look and play fantastic as well. The surface of the tracks themselves deform and rut up in real time, and stay that way throughout the duration of a race, which makes every lap a little different from the next.
Early on, the game actually forces you to play in different vehicles for particular tracks as you work your way through the different tickets, which is good and bad. The pre-determined vehicle-class that you find at the outset of the game gives you a full taste of the game, which you’ll only get if you play through each track with each vehicle, so gone are the ringer days of you beating the game with your one-trick pony souped-up motorbike or fave truck. This gives the game a lot of variety, but can be annoying, especially as you see each new race come up and go into praises or a cuss fest when you see what’s drawn.
This is true with the maps too – there’s no veto system, so if you want to get at all the tracks and vehicles, you have to play through the tickets, which means you’ll be playing a lot of the same track over and over, just with different vehicles.
So, just as you struggle to get through a controller-throwing map like The Tenderizer, a punishing exercise in hairpin turns and tight navigation through a maze of rubble and rock, in a mud plugger, next you have to do it in a buggy, and so on and so forth.
Speaking of The Tenderizer, this track with thrash you. It’s one of those tracks that will throw you from first to last in one crash, but thankfully since the races on this track run pretty tight (and long, ) you can quickly catch up.
In short, the only real gripe we had with Motorstorm is the lack of tracks. What can we say, we want more. And shouldn't a game that's been in development this long come to market with at least a dozen tracks? We think so. Also, some of the vehicles just aren’t as fun to drive as others (Mud plugger, you.)
We can only hope that later on we'll be treated to some sweet downloadable content like some new tracks, maybe a few new vehicle types... how about some mountable guns? OK fine, we'll settle for some new tracks.
Between the speed and the chaos, the amazing graphics and breakneck fun, Motorstorm is one of the first truly must-play games of 2007 (if you don't, you're REALLY missing out), and goes a long way to deepen Sony's growing software library for its shiny new gaming colossus.
Four out of five stars.