Racing through the apocalypse is about as extreme as it gets and the notoriously tough series still isn't taking any prisoners. Using buggies, muscle cars, bikes and big rigs you'll find yourself hurtling through earthquakes, infernos and tsunamis in a bid just to survive until the finish line. Winning optional. sometimes you'll wreck your vehicle in what feels like an unfair situation, which is all sorts of frustrating, but this game must be experienced by any racing fan just for the spectacle alone.
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It briefly dipped under the £10 for a couple of hours at Blockbuster, but if you're looking for a slice of Evolution's apocalyptic destruction derby, Play is your best bet currently by a couple of quid. Sales weren't astonishing for this instalment, largely due to uncomfortable timing consider the actual natural disasters, but it's still a cracking racer, and lots of fun. Cheers Syzable.
Motorstorm Apocalypse is a great, if not slightly chaotic, little racing game. As you're trying to rocket into first place the environments will crumble around you, which can create some rather interesting features that can help you or, more than likely, will hinder your progress. This widespread destruction also makes it's way into the online sections of the game. It's just a shame the story behind the game's not brilliant and the music could be a little better too. You can get hold of a copy of the game for £24.99 from HMV, which'll save you almost £3 on the next best offers.
It can't have been easy for Evolution Studios, just days before the launch of a game they've been hammering away at for the best part of two years, to hold back the release by two weeks to avoid causing unrest or emotional harm in the wake of the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis that have ravaged the coast of Japan, mirroring events in their delayed title, Motorstorm Apocalypse, which depicts a world crumbling apart due to an onslaught of natural disasters. But according to game director Matt Southern, Evolution "did the right thing" in delaying the racer, with his first thoughts when he heard of the Japanese tragedy not for his game, but his Sony colleagues in Japan.Hit the jump for more
After smashing vehicles and racers to bits across deserts, tropical islands and Arctic tundras, where else in the world is there left to race for MotorStorm? How about the end of it? Or more specifically a city that is absolutely not (it is) San Francisco, during a series of earthquakes and storms.
The setting might be a little close to the bone in regards to the recent tragedies in Japan, but in fairness the game was almost shipping when that happened and Sony sensibly decided to delay the release.
MotorStorm has always had a bit of a reputation for not taking any prisoners, being a bit mental and even a bit of a douche. Well it's still crazy but in all honesty, it's probably the most playable and forgiving title in the series. This is a good thing.
So what's it like driving a race through the Apocalypse? Harrowing to say the least. Most people would be trying to get the hell out of there but your crazy lot would much prefer to do three laps around it first, with each lap escalating the action and ripping apart the track to never let you settle into a comfort groove.
Expect to go through suburbs, financial districts, beaches, boardwalks, docks, freeways and right through the middle of a series of skyscrapers, hundreds of feet up in the air. There are 33 tracks in the game with very little recycling or reverse-versions appearing. Not every track has cinematic set-pieces but I’d be hard-pressed to pick any I could honestly call 'dull.'
Despite being confirmed for a March 31st release date after being delayed due to the Japanese earthquake tragedy, there has been a lot of online confusion about whether Motorstorm Apocalypse would be releasing today or next week.
So, just so you're clear, Motorstorm Apocalypse is on store shelves now. You can find the cheapest prices here if you're in the market.
Why not check out our hands-on preview to whet your appetite - and let us know whether you'll be buying it in the comments!
UPDATE: In response to Sony's statement, GAME and Gamestation have canceled ALL their online pre-orders for MotorStorm Apocalypse. According to a GAME spokesperson, it was the only course of action that could taken so close to release. No-one who pre-ordered online will see their account debited on Friday, either.
HMV, on the other hand, have kept their customers' pre-orders, but have stated they won't be receiving the game on the original release date this Friday. As such, you will probably be paying the bill. Gameplay customers, on the other hand, might be hearing the dull thud of a package hitting their doormats, as the outlet admitted they'd begun shipping copies of Apocalypse early to customers, before Sony issued their statement.
Sony recently announced their intentions to support relief and recovery efforts in their native Japan by donating up to 300 million yen to disaster-struck communities. And now, in light of the country's tragedy, they have issued a statement announcing plans to postpone the launch of MotorStorm Apocalypse, which depicts a world ravaged by natural disasters not dissimilar to the 8.4 earthquake that struck Japan on the weekend. The game was due for release this Friday.More inside
I'm far from sold on 3D. In Virtua Tennis it cripples your depth perception so you move to engage with an object that appears to be in a position it really isn't and it's completely negated when it comes to driving games because whilst the object of control is rooted in the foreground, your focus is constantly on the horizon, rendering the 3D relatively useless.
Motorstorm Apocalypse finds a way to get around this problem and make the visual gimmick relevant by throwing things at you. Cars, rocks, people, buildings. The world is coming to an end, the cities crumbling into dust, and naturally the Stormers figure that what better way to celebrate this anarchic armageddon than to turn the urban wasteland in-transit into the racing funpark of dreams.
Evolution found themselves wanting to do something different after Pacific Rift, they took a look at the current crop of racers on the market and, by their own admission, found themselves uninspired.
'The original concept for Apocalypse was actually an original IP we came up with called Urban Smash,' said Evolution's Matt Southern. 'But we were still working on Pacific Rift at the time. After completion we began scouring the forums and we came to the conclusion that we'd missed an opportunity in terms of urban racing. We dug Urban Smash back up and it laid the foundations for what was to become Motorstorm Apocalypse.'
But, as Southern notes in typically aggressive fashion, it was still not enough. For Urban Smash they'd gone to Washington DC and driven around a number of big American cities, trying to get a feel for what urban racing might entail, but they eventually made the decision to create their own city, an option that gave them far more creative licence and opened the door for far more of an emphasis on concept work.
My penultimate piece of coverage of the Sony PlayStation Beta Rooms will recall my hands-on experience with Little Big Planet 2, Gran Turismo 5 and 3D gaming. Get some!
Just the one level on show, although I caught a fleeting glance of an arena level while the demo guy set up a game for me. What I actually played was a platforming level, a multiplayer point-race game familiar to fans of the original. Sackboy still has a stumpy, floaty jump which is a bit disappointing as it was quite poor in the original, I hope the transitions between background and foreground can be smoothed out a bit more too.
The new grapple was on show though, which will probably go on to become an essential tool for co-op players, and a mischievous sod’s device of choice. The grappling hook can be used to grab onto certain surfaces (like sponge) and then pull yourself up, drop down or swing from side-to-side to get momentum for jumps.
If you’re lagging behind in a race you can even grab onto another player with it. So if they’re making a jump over a fiery pit, just lasso them mid-jump, dropping them into their smouldering grave. Or grab a lift with them when they’re swinging around. Yes it’s very funny and we all had a laugh doing it, but by the end of the race it started to get old and we all kind of stopped doing it to save any potential outbursts of “Ok, don’t take the piss!” to ruin the amiable atmosphere. If it ends up becoming a problem online, maybe it would be an idea to limit the amount of times it can be used per race.
Looking good so far, if not a bit familiar, but I’m sure the huge variety of new game modes (shooters, kart racing, arenas, rhythm-action etc.) in the final version will have us falling for Sackboy all over again.Click here to read the rest of Brendan's article
Well the PlayStation Move games at Birmingham’s Sony’s Beta Rooms have been covered now with Part 1 and Part 2, but don’t worry I didn’t forget about the rest of Sony’s upcoming titles. Today I’ll be going over MotorStorm: Apocalypse, Eat Them and Dead Nation with more to follow tomorrow.
After the varied landscapes of deserts, arctic tundras and the Pacific islands where else can the MotorStorm races go? How about the end of the world? If you watched the recent disaster movie 2012 (ace effects rubbish story) it’s like that insane car escape through LA. The track I got to try out today is being torn apart by an earthquake. The racers are chasing the finish line that is literally being carried by two choppers. I caught a brief glimpse of it before it flew off into the distance and then several vehicles seemed to explode out of a wall and gate-crashing the race. Amongst them was a lorry carrying an oil tanker, perfect.
The streets are littered with people running for their lives and army squads can be seen taking on gangs in the tunnels. Perfect timing for the MotorStorm racers. Skyscrapers are tumbling down all around with windows exploding all over the racers. Some buildings that have already fallen are even used as ramps. The landscape changes throughout this A-B race. Roads suddenly collapse dunking me into underground car-parks and subway tunnels. Higher routes take me right through the middle of an office building. It’s different every time I play it.
Alternate routes are more subtle this time around, once I knew where a road would collapse I would be able to try and hug the left side to stay up-top. The landscape has always been your enemy in MotorStorm, be it rocks, trees or trackside clutter but at least it was stationary. Now you have to avoid whole buildings raining down on you and sections of track just disintegrating. It raises comparisons with the recent Split/Second, but with the chaos out of your control and on a much grander scale that permeates every second of a race.Click here to read the rest of Brendan's article