MotorStorm: Apocalypse

MotorStorm: Apocalypse Review for PS3

On: PS3

Off-road racing heads to the city.

Review Verdict Read Review
8Out of 10
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MotorStorm: Apocalypse screenshot
MotorStorm: Apocalypse screenshot

While Split/Second allowed players to interact with its explosive set-pieces, Apocalypse takes the opposite approach, in that you're completely at nature's mercy. Tracks dynamically change from lap to lap, with falling buildings blocking old routes, and gaping chasms in the tarmac opening up new ones. The shifting scenery is certainly impressive, but it does make it incredibly hard to learn a track - if only because there's so much going on. In this respect, MotorStorm is more about reacting to your environment than memorising it. Dodging that out-of-control train or beached yacht requires snap reflexes, however, and you'll become distressingly familiar with the crash animation over the course of the game. This was an intended design choice: the respawn times are quick, after all, but this ends up fragmenting the action a little too much for my liking.

Also contributing heavily to the frantic nature of the game is a private militia known as Dusklite, who have taken it upon themselves to clear The City of anybody refusing to leave. These guys take the form of machine gun-wielding soldiers who loiter the corners of each course - and they'll frequently find themselves decorating the bonnet of a car when they inevitably fail to jump out of the way in time. Dusklite helicopters aren't so easy to stop, however, as they weave through collapsing buildings, firing off rockets and actively destroying the road in front of you. This is often to your advantage, though, as groups of rivalling cars are purged from the track in a gulf of flames.

There's no obtrusive rubber-banding plaguing the experience as there was on Split/Second and Hot Pursuit, but the AI can often do silly and irrational things to the same end. Your opponents will burn out their engines in the home straight incredibly frequently, meaning success is largely dependant on the last three quarters of the last lap. It's a well-disguised equivalent to rubber-banding, but takes the emphasis off the early laps just the same.

This isn't a problem in multiplayer, of course, where your rivals are far more frugal with their use of boosts. Sixteen-player online play will be a huge attraction for many people, and Apocalypse - with all its fancy explosions and tremors - is an intense experience with friends. A rank mechanic gives the mode legs, granting poker chip-based experience points based on how well you race. There's a familiar perk system, too, offering passive skills and abilities based on your preferred style of play. Burn Rubber, for example, increases your grip, whilst Swift Return halves the amount of time it takes to respawn. There are plenty of other unlockables, too, all of which tie neatly into My MotorStorm, a menu stocked with a bevy of customisation features and options to share photos. Those who embrace the social side of Apocalypse will be impressed by how extensive it is.

Despite how stunning the game is visually, the sound design is even more impressive. Complimenting the devastation is a dubstep-heavy soundtrack, with hearty wuuub wuuub wuuuuubs, technical drum loops and epic string accompaniments. The likes of Noisia and DJ Shadow provide the perfect score to match the carnage, and while some people might have preferred the distorted guitars and manly screaming on offer in Pacific Rift, the Apocalypse soundtrack is far more contemporary. If you've got a good sound system, crank the bass up and enjoy what is, arguably, one of the best game soundtracks in recent memory.

MotorStorm Apocalypse is a relentless assault on the senses, with grandiose set pieces that would make Michael Bay gush with delight. The racing itself doesn't offer a tremendous amount of depth, but the destruction unfolding around each event offers an edge-of-your-seat experience that more than makes up for it. Festival mode will take around eight hours to finish, depending how hot behind the wheel you are, but the multiplayer has enough depth to extend this considerably. While the impact of seeing a city torn to shreds by an earthquake diminishes somewhat over time, playing through Festival mode for the first time is a ride like no other.

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15 Comments

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User Comments

Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Fanboy flamewar in 5.......
Posted 13:26 on 14 March 2011
The1Dude's Avatar

The1Dude

Only tried the 1st one and loved it but il wait til price drop
Posted 11:14 on 14 March 2011
dudester's Avatar

dudester

Just tried the demo and I'm still crap at motorstorm :D
Posted 10:49 on 10 March 2011
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Great review. Got and love the first 2 games, so will end up getting this too.
Posted 18:30 on 09 March 2011
mikejosh1978's Avatar

mikejosh1978

Well original rocked , Pacific had a daft difficulty curve & this one like Kz3 looks fantastic but has sold its soul in the process .The original was everthing you wanted but slowly the fun has gone much like sleeping with the person of your dreams to find they are as entertaining as a housebrick. Completing challanges to rank up is stupid for Online & all vehicle's feel glued to the road rite up to the point you crash & i'm guessing the view angle is awesome for 3D but feels so compromised on HD & SD . Another bargain buy in a mth for me .
Posted 18:15 on 09 March 2011
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

Hoping for another Wednesday delivery for this. Wholly agreed with Gaston when he said he didn't think the series got the recognition it deserved.

MP sounds great.
Posted 12:51 on 09 March 2011
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ Jamin

I'd seen a video showing a symphonic score beeing recorded by Klaus Badelt who did the scores for the likes of the Pirates of the Caribbean, Equilibrium, Solomon Kane, so I'm hoping that you can block certain tracks in preference for others. I'd much prefer the orchestral tracks to *cough*music??? *cough*, (term used loosley), that has been designed to be played through a sh!tty mobile phone speaker to annoy people on the bus!

I'm looking forward to playing this none the less!
Posted 11:38 on 09 March 2011
dudester's Avatar

dudester

I actually really enjoyed the music in the previous 2 games, so am sure its not too much of one thing.
Posted 11:31 on 09 March 2011
Jamin's Avatar

Jamin

I'm fairly sure you can have custom soundtracks, too. But even if you don't like dubstep (it's not my cup of tea, after all) -- you'll struggle not to appreciate the score. Trust, bruv.
Posted 11:24 on 09 March 2011
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

I hope it has the option to remove the music - I f**king hate Dubstep!
Posted 11:20 on 09 March 2011
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612

I've got this on pre-order, very much looking forward to it.
Posted 10:21 on 09 March 2011
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

Never played a Motorstorm game (other than a demo for the second one), but this sounds rather good.
Posted 10:17 on 09 March 2011
dudester's Avatar

dudester

I may have to be in the epicentre of that earthquake!
Posted 10:12 on 09 March 2011
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612@ dudester

18th March
Posted 10:11 on 09 March 2011
dudester's Avatar

dudester

When is this out?
Posted 10:11 on 09 March 2011

Game Stats

MotorStorm: Apocalypse
8
Out of 10
MotorStorm: Apocalypse
  • Fantastic tracks and destruction
  • Brilliant Soundtrack
  • You'll crash. A lot.
  • Questionable AI
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Release Date: 31/03/2011
Platform: PS3
Developer: Evolution
Publisher: SCEE
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 839
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