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

The skyline is a mess of collapsing architecture. The smoky heavens rain down slabs of concrete and broken glass. Roads are littered with the burning carcasses of abandoned cars and boats are belched out of the violent seas. Tarmac ruptures and machinery explodes, the odd bolt of lightning stabs through the clouds. It's an urban apocalypse, and you're right there in the middle of it, foot on the gas, tearing through the dying city.

It's overwhelming at first. The third MotorStorm presents destruction like nothing else before it, battering your senses with everything nature can muster. While Charles Richter would point to a number on the far end of his famous scale and warn you off the place, this is precisely the reason why the Stormers – the series' adrenaline craving racers – have flocked to The City in the first place. They're actively pursuing the earthquake, hoping that the inhospitable conditions will grant them the best racing experience of their lives. The fruitcakes.

The Festival, as the Stormers call the three-day event, is also the name of the game's narrative-driven story mode, which stitches races together with trendy comic book cutscenes. These are well-orchestrated, and while the dialogue is cheesier than a family bag of Wotsits, they're entertaining nonetheless. The colourful cast of characters bet on races, pursue romances, and plot revenge on their rivals. Even so, this is all incredibly detached from what happens on the track. Aside from the odd duel towards the end of each character's storyline, the cutscenes bear no relation to the action.

The Festival is split across the paths of three characters: boy racer Mash, topless gambler Tyler, and the haggard festival co-ordinator, Big Dog. The three adrenaline junkies also serve to differentiate between the game's trio of difficulty modes - rookie, pro and veteran. Each character jumps behind the wheel of a variety of vehicles throughout the festival, from monster trucks, buggies and ATVs to the all-new supercars, superbikes, hot hatches, muscle cars and low-riders. As always, the diversity of motors is suitably vast.

The handling isn't as tight as that on offer in say Hot Pursuit or Split/Second (the bikes are particularly iffy), but compared to previous entries in the series vehicles have more grip and don't feel as heavy when turning - even the race truck can corner fairly well. As with previous games, tapping X will activate your nitrous, but holding it down for too long will cause your engine to burst into flames. Driving through water is a good way to cool it down, simultaneously allowing your boosters to hold out for extended periods of time. Skilled players will plan their routes around these pools of water, shaving precious seconds off their lap times in the process. And should another vehicle get too close, Square and Circle can be used to shunt your opponents left and right.

Ultimately it's the environments, not the cars, that define the MotorStorm experience. For the first time in the series, Evolution Studios has taken the action into an urban setting, and the California Bay-inspired City is the perfect host for the carnage. As always, tracks offer multiple routes to the finish line, with buildings, ramps and tunnels each taking the race down a different path. Like its predecessors, there's just as much vertical variety as there is horizontal, which spreads out each race nicely.

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15 Comments

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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: 944 443
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