December 9th, 2006, 14:58 Posted By: wraggster
Easily one of our most anticipated post-launch PlayStation 3 games, MotorStorm looks to infuse offroad racing with a tall order of chaos and a plentiful helping of carnage. While many people have gotten a taste of the game either at in-store kiosks or via the downloadable PlayStation Store demo, no one has yet gotten to see more than one or two of the title's tracks and environments - until yesterday, that is.
If you've seen both the in-store and downloadable demos, you'll know that the PlayStation Store version is newer and showcases a much tighter framerate. The build we played yesterday is even tighter, only shying away from its rock-steady pacing once during our rather extended look at the game, and we're confident that was simply a pre-release fluke. Indeed, the game is running great at this point and it's looking a tad bit cleaner as well. Some particle effects are a little smoother and many of its post-processing effects, like the motion blur, are a little more refined. The game also appears to move a little quicker - not enough to mistake it for the next Burnout, but worries of a slow racing experience are certainly a thing of the past.
The game is centered around the MotorStorm festival, which sounded to us to be something similar to Burning Man, only with a heavy emphasis on offroad racing. The game's running background video shows thousands of party-goers camped out in the middle of nowhere dancing to music and watching racers perform donuts around bonfires.
The progression of the game is directly related to this festival setup. Events are tied to tickets, with each ticket allowing you to enter anywhere from one to four races. Completing one ticket will open the next. It's fairly linear, though as you'll normally have multiple races to choose from, you're able to take them on in any order you want.
The game's events are based around both a specific location and class of vehicles. Some events are essentially set up as challenges, where you might need to hop on a bike while everyone else is in big rigs, forcing you to race defensively. Others will be open to any class of vehicle and it's your choice as to what sort of wheels you'll bring to the race.
While the Raingod Mesa track featured in the demo only very slightly hints at this, the tracks are designed around multiple pathways designed for use with certain vehicle classes. For example, racing down in the trenches is great for bigger vehicles as you won't need to navigate through tight turns and over treacherous jumps as often, though you'll be tire-deep in mud. Bikes and ATVs are better suited for racing up high, though you'll need better control over your steering column. The different event types will ensure that you mix things up over the course of the game though, so you'll want to change your routes according to your current vehicle class.
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