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MotorStorm: Apocalypse [PS3]





Fun game with great gameplay.

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"

Summary

This is the first Motorstorm game I've ever played and I have to say that I'm very impressed with how this game turned out. MS:A somehow reminds me of the 90s arcade racers with it's simplicity, as there are only 2 game modes: Festival and Wreckreation, which stands for the career and arcade modes; respectively. The Festival mode is divided into three episodes: rookie, pro, and veteran, each representing a character from the...."story", and each episode is comprised of 3 days, each divided into dawn, noon and dusk. The career mode opens with an incredibly awesome intro credit sequence where you and a bunch of other fellow competitors, race through a long stretch of highway full of destruction and chaos, giving you an impressive glimpse into what you will be encountering later on in the game. In fact, each episode begins with a sequence similar to this one, and ends with an equally spectacular exit sequence where you have to escape the city before the time limit runs out. The track design in this game is phenomenal and offers plenty of shortcuts, side routes and opportunities for you to ram opponents into obstacles, and vice-versa. Also, there is never a moment when the game stops throwing things at you, the environment seems to be hell-bent on stopping you from finishing the race, and as the race continues, the tracks change, creating new shortcuts and jumps but also severing other routes, making the game that much harder, and more fun. The vehicle selection is great as there is everything from ATVs and motorbikes to monster trucks and muscle cars, each with 3 different choices of models to unlock in Wreckreation mode. All of the vehicles handle nicely and sound fantastic, although if you're looking for realistic driving physics, you might want to buy Gran Turismo 5 or Forza instead. The one big thing I do not like about this game is predictably what everyone else happens to not like about it: the lame story. Frankly, I don't even bother with it, and even if the game did manage to have a decent story, the cutscenes are so lousily animated that they're physically painful for me to watch. Also, none of the characters were particularly likeable in the first place, most of which are highly forgettable and obnoxious. But with that said, who cares? Who the hell plays racing games for the story anyways?

To sum it up, Motorstorm: Apocalypse is a great racing game with heart-pounding action, superb graphics and filled to the brim with enough mayhem and destruction to put a smile on the face of even the most rigid of sim-racing fanatics. Overall, a must-buy for people who like to have fun when they play games.(I haven't played the online mode yet so I will modify my review as soon as I'm done with that)




The Perfect game for an action game fan OR someone looking for a fantastic online racer.

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Best in series"

Summary

Motorstorm Apocalypse

Motorstorm's been a criminally underrated series, both critically and commercially. I suppose it has something to do with the first game being a bit flawed. Maybe people just didn't give the sequels a chance after being somewhat burned by the first game. But those who have stuck with the series for the sequels have seen Evolution Studios improve the series with each entry while making radical changes to the game's formula and locales. Taking risks with sequels is something most developers nowadays just dont bother with, so it's refreshing to see Evolution Studios change up the formula so much with each iteration.

While Pacific Rift traded the desert setting for a more lush forest setting, Apocalypse makes an even bigger departure and focuses on urban street racing. The masterstroke here is that it doesn't feel like a street racing game. Thanks to the dozens of alternate routes on each track, full scale environment destruction, and some ingenious multi-level track design, it still feels like an off-road racer. I mean if you are racing on top of skyscrapers, you are not really racing on streets, are you?

I can talk about the intricate track design for hours. There are around 38 different stages in the story mode, and almost none of the tracks get repeated. The sheer number of tracks and their variations is unmatched IMO. Some are just reverse versions of the tracks, while others offer entirely different routes. The destruction is spectacular, it truly does feel like you are in the middle of an awesome action movie at times. Truly awe inspiring. Worth playing the game for the destruction alone.

Motorstorm's vehicle handling has always been unique, and here it's refined to the perfection (well, almost). Vehicles react to your every input, even the slightest twitch can save you from crashing at the last moment. It's all physics based so you need to be adjusting you vehicle constantly. The only flaw here is that the vehicle physics can sometimes screw you over pretty bad. You will crash by running over a single wooden log lying on the track, or get tangled with the bumper of other cars.

The rubberband A.I is fun to race against, and it actually kinda works in story campaign making it relatively easy to beat all the races, but on the Hardcore mode it becomes a little b****. Not fun having the A.I forget about racing and just focus on taking you out. Still, the Hardcore mode is about finding the fastest route for that particular track instead of just beating the A.I, which takes the rubberband A.I out of the equation. Pretty neat solution to this age old problem with arcade racers.

The Online though is where the game truly shines. The racing finally becomes challenging, and it becomes a madhouse with 16 players fighting it out in the middle of all the buildings and tracks crumbling. The leveling system is borderline addictive. You earn chips for almost everything, so you're constantly hitting goals. Some get a lot more difficult as you level up so it isnt constant reinforcement like COD.... it's actually challenging. Even if you don't finish in the top 3, there are around 20 ribbons given out at the end of each race you can earn. Things like doing the most stunts, being aggressive and wrecking people, making the longest jump, hitting the top speed etc. You can also bet on the guy you think you can beat, so it almost becomes a race against just you two in a race with 14 other racers. It just gives each race a more dynamic feel where average racers can still have fun with the game without feeling the need to finish in the top three.

You can also customize almost every part of your vehicle by achieving specific requirements for each vehicle, I've spent countless hours just personalizing my vehicle. Overall, this is probably the best online implementation I've seen this gen. I would rank it up there with Uncharted 3, Reach and MW. With 50 customizable vehicles, 20 odd perks, and 30 some tracks each with their own ribbons and medals you can earn in each race.. there's just so much to do.

This is probably my favorite game of the year so far. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good 'action' game OR a fantastic online racer.

9.2/10 - SUPERB




Great game gets better with Steering Wheel support, makes this so much better to play.. Great online

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Highly addictive"

Summary

Great game gets better with Steering Wheel support, makes this so much better to play.. Great online and this is one supports up to 16 players per race.

Lots of eye candy during the race. The 1080P makes a difference since most PS3 games are now 720.

I would highly recommend playing this with a force feedback steering wheel, as it makes the game come alive and this is the first Motorstorm to support a much needed wheel interface

I have played with gamewith both the G25 and the G27 Froce feedback steering wheels and it is just so much better when driving, you have more control and feel for the road.

The car and bike types are a blast to drive with lots to choose from. Perks in the game are great and you can customize them for each race.

The lobby system is great, finds games in no time, and you can choose to played computer selected matches or choose the one that you like.

Online is where this game shines, most race games you do not want to bump into other drives, in this game, you want to bump them out of the way, it is supposed to happen.




The deepest multiplayer in the series!

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Great multiplayer"

Summary

Motorstorm Apocalypse is a sadly overlooked game that really shines as arguably the best in the series. Initially, I was disappointed because they ditched the usual opening style. That's a downer for old series vets like myself. The single player itself is not up to speed with the previous two. They try to weave a story out of some campy characters which turns out to be decent but not necessary. The races are now broken up into normal and then Hardcore once you finish normal. Normal is all you have to finish for those looking for trophies, and its not hard. Hardcore is where you will find the brutal AI. Unfortunately your just running the same events through. Previous entries lumped those together into one long campaign that got progressively harder as you went along.

Time trials are still there although its not as competitive with Dev times as in Pacific Rift. Trophies are far easier for these as well because you literally have to do nothing more than post a time, and not even on all tracks. Pacific Rift was a far more difficult to platinum. Its as if Evolution was apologizing for that because Apocalypse is a very easy platinum.

So why the 9.0? The multiplayer returns big time and makes up for the single player short comings. Motorstorm didnt have a lot of tracks but they were well designed and addicting. I spent months racing almost every night. Pacific Rift tried to get fancy with the tracks and boost abilities, and it ended up fostering a lot of glitches, exploits and unintended track short cuts. Apocalypse addresses all these and more. The track designs are as good as any in the series. The constant destruction changes the tracks and gives a dynamic danger that you'd better be ready for. There are only a half dozen basic track locations, but those include several completely different track variations making for as many tracks as Pacific Rift included. Boosting has been limited and back to basics as well, so there are none of the exploits of Pacific Rift.

The vehicle selection has been expanded greatly this time. Apocalypse is the first to take place as much on city like streets as off road. As such, Evolution added street vehicle classes. Muscle Cars, Choppers, Mini Cars, Super Cars and Super Bikes join the cast from Pacific Rift. At first you might say that adding 5 classes to 8 is too much and overkill. I admit feeling the same, but each new class has been carefully and uniquely crafted to give a totally new racing experience. They arent just rehashed versions of old classes. Choppers and Mini Cars are now two of my favorites.

There is an unlock progression here as well. In previous games, vehicles and skins were unlocked in single player campaigns. Apocalypse does this in multiplayer only. You have 3 vehicles per class each with several attributes to level up like drifting, racers finished ahead of, racers wrecked, and time spent in air. Each has 3 levels and when you level at least 3 of them all the way, you unlock the next car. Each level unlocks parts and skins to customize the vehicles. Exchanging parts is appearance only and doesnt affect the performance of the vehicles, but Evolution didnt slack off on that account. There are tons of different looks that can be created.

Your driver can level up to 80 and that will take a loooooooong time. 40 gets you the final trophy for online rank. Each rank grants you some customization for your character and online avatar. No stone is left unturned in Apocalypse. Everything you do progresses you towards some sort of unlock...until you finally reach 80. Ive played this game for months and just crossed 50.

Overall, Apocalypse is a great racing game that unfortunately suffered in sales due to the timing of its release and the earthquake in Japan. The single player doesnt touch the previous entries, but the multiplayer is the deepest and best in the series by far. And that is where the longevity will be in a game like this.




Brilliant game. Story mode too short though, good graphics, good difficulty. 9 out of 10.

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Almost, but not quite"

Summary

This an almost brilliant game. I was so addicted when I got it in September but then when I completed the story mode it got a bit boring. You can change your car/bike so it looks really cool when you race it in "wreckreation" but then no matter how many times you update your vehicle it becomes boring. You also need online access to unlock new things such as new vehicles, parts and drivers.

That was the bad but now onto the good it has amazing graphics that are compatible with a 3d t.v. the controls are brilliant and the customerisation is cool. Overall this deserves a 9/10 because of the good graphics, controls and the ability to change your vehicles looks, but it lost a point because of how quickly you can complete the game. And just to add another few characters I'm writing this sentence other wise I wouldn't be able to post my opinion.
8.5

Superb
7.7
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