Motorstorm: Apocalypse Review (PS3)

I’m not usually one to play racing games cause I’m kind of bad at them, but Motorstorm: Apocalypse kind of got my attention with it’s destructive environments. By no means does that mean I’ve become better at racing games – no actually I’m much WORSE in this game, but in a cool way! For those familiar to the Motorstorm series, this is technically the fourth game in the series (but third on the PS3).

Developed by Evolution Studios in the UK and Sony Computer Entertainment, the story of Motorstorm: Apocalypse is basically about the next Motorstorm Festival. It is held in the creatively named City, which is experiencing some pretty apocalyptic changes due to a massive natural disaster. The intro is pretty hectic; you play as a first time rookie in the Motorstorm race, driving to get to the centre of the City where everyone else is. The intro triples as the credits, tutorial and introduction to the game. Cutscenes are in the fully voiced, 2.5D animated, comic style.

Oh don't worry, this happens all the time!

Since it’s a racing game, gameplay can’t really change that much, control the car and finish the laps before any other racer. There is a boost option which plays a huge part of game play. You can use the boost whenever you like, but the longer you use it, the more your vehicle overheats. Once it hits critical level you blow up. To cool down, you just stop using it. The tracks often have patches of water or fire which also affect heating – water helps cool the vehicle faster, fire overheats it. Also if you hit a jump and stop accelerating, you’ll cool down faster.

When it comes to the actual vehicles, there are many different types to choose from. I tried the bikes (MX Motocross, super bike, chopper), Big Rig and buggy. They all handle differently and handle the terrain very differently. You quickly figure out that to make life easy, maybe you should pick the right vehicle for the right race track. For example, if you’re going to race across the tops of skyscrapers, maybe the heavy big rig isn’t a good choice. Or if the track is very unpredictable with lots of debris everywhere, maybe a tiny bike isn’t a good choice when you could have chosen something big to crash through. Interestingly enough, the boost works differently with each vehicle in terms of how long you can boost and how fast the vehicle cools down. For example monster trucks and big rigs can use boost for much longer than the bikes can, but it takes a fair while for them to cool down. Bikes, however, can almost keep a constant boost as while it’s used up quickly, they cool down just as fast.

Hmm... I think I can see my old apartment from here...

Like most racing games, there is a customisation aspect. It’s pretty much scrolling through options of what part of the vehicle to change and then picking from a bunch of options of what the part could look like. All in all there are SO MANY OPTIONS, not including how you want to colour the parts, though most parts you have to unlock by beating a certain number of opponents. You can also pick perks and traits of the car, like how it handles or how the boost works. All in all, there isn’t anything new to the customisation of this game.

The biggest and coolest part of Motorstorm: Apocalypse has to be the race tracks. The City is basically collapsing all around you as you race and you can really feel it. The environments change as you race – buildings and bridges can collapse around you, closing off paths and opening new ones. While that’s happening, you could have different gang factions shooting at you as you pass by or helicopters, from the private military, trying to take you out with rockets. A LOT is happening and at times it does get chaotic and a little confusing, but gosh is it cool! The gang members you drive by can also try to grab onto your vehicle and then you can shake them off if they do. Evolution Studios have created some seriously badass environments in this game, I found I really got into the races because of these amazing environments.

Dont'slipDont'slipDont'slipDont'slip!

Other cool little tidbits of this game – PRESSING SELECT TO RESET YOUR POSITION ON THE TRACK WHEN YOU GET STUCK, and believe me, because of the broken terrain and all the debris and stuff you WILL get stuck at least once. You don’t have to do that stupid, annoying reversing-to-right-yourself thing in this game, just press select and off you go! The soundtrack is pretty awesome, mostly electronic, drum’n’bass and dubstep, but it goes well with the whole feel of the game.

Overall this game is pretty awesome. I’d have to give it around an 8 or more out of 10. Things that take it down a couple notches is how chaotic the tracks get. You tend to encounter lots of clouds of dust and end up crashing into things just beyond it, or not realising things are much closer than you think. It’s not all bad though, I think to get over it you just have to practice the tracks more and know when things are coming. Also think a couple steps ahead, learn to brake to avoid objects and boost like mad.

Also don’t smash into cliff faces, drive into the sea or get stuck in a boat rotor like I did, you tend not to win that way.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

About the Author

I'm just your regular gamer! Currently working in the game industry as an artist. I love all manner of things cute, colourful and crazy. I also love lemons quite a lot. c: