As you can tell from the picture above, this entry in the Motorstorm series is a lot more destructive than the previous games. The Motorstorm series features different landscapes for each of it's games. The first being desert, followed by pacific islands, icy mountains, and now apocalyptic cities. I was hoping Apocalypse would be a lot better than Arctic Edge and Pacific Rift, and it was. At first glance it looks like a messy racer which would probably cause confusion with all the events going on during races, but it turned out to be an extremely intense game.
Game Title: MotorStorm: Apocalypse
Console: PlayStation 3
Developer: Evolution Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
First thing I want to point out is the change in the Festival mode, which is basically 'story' mode. I quoted story because in racing games, the story never really is a story. Although Apocalypse features a comic style cinematic which tells a very uninteresting story about people racing in the festival. That isn't disappointing at all, it wasn't as if I expected it to even be there, so I guess you could say it's a plus. As for the actual Festival, I feel it's been sort of ruined compared to the previous games. Pacific Rift featured 4 types of Festival. Earth, Water, Fire & Wind. Each one of these had around 20 individual races, with 3 different race modes. This means I can choose which race I want to beat instead of having to follow through a set list. Although some of them require a higher rank to compete in. With Apocalypse, I find myself having to follow through the story line, using a different vehicle in each race. I don't even get to select the race beforehand. Not only that, but there's around 9 or more races for each difficulty level. Meaning only 27+ campaign races. This is bad. Really bad, actually. The only thing that saves it is free play.
Of course the above paragraph shouldn't effect your decision on this game at all, because it's gameplay is amazing. The controls are pretty much the same as before, although you can choose to use the new default style if you feel like a change. The aim is simple, get to the finish line first. Races usually consist of either 2 or 3 laps, and take place in apocalyptic urban environments. That's all pretty obvious stuff though, what's really impressive is what takes place during the races. The tracks are worn out, and have you driving through tunnels, gardens, underground parking lots and demolished building ruins. Quick reactions are needed to make sure you stay in the race as you'll be getting out of the way of falling buildings, exploding helicopters, and collapsing bridges. The game shows this amazingly, with a short slow motion zoom in on the disaster occurring as you race. It's almost always guaranteed the track will have changed on your way back round.
The main features of this race that I liked are of course, online 16 player races. This is higher than the previous 12 that Pacific Rift offered, and you can imagine it creates some pretty hectic & close races. Speaking of close races, when you're close to the finish line, and you're almost tied with someone, a slow motion spin around of the vehicles happens. It actually increased my enjoyment when I watched myself overtake the opponent in slow motion. It's little things like that which make games all that better. I will speak negatively about this game though, as festival mode has clearly been ruined. But that's not all. The gameplay, in my opinion, is a lot better than Pacific Rift. The only problem is that it doesn't actually feel like a MotorStorm game. This may seem picky, but Pacific Rift & Arctic Edge had an atmosphere which made you know you were playing MotorStorm. It's hard to explain, but you probably understand me.
MotorStorm cards are scattered around the tracks. They seem to be bigger than the average vehicle, meaning they should be easy to collect. No. They're in the most ridiculous places ever. Taking a route which would help me win has gotten me about 3, and that's probably a mistake. I haven't even seen more than one per race, and there's suppose to be 4 in each. It's pretty much a stupid feature to create a reason to add another two Trophies. The overheat system is something common in MotorStorm, and in other games of all genres, and it works pretty well. When you activate your turbo the engine heats up, and you can watch it by the bar on your screen. It's pretty much perfect. Water cools it down quicker, and driving over fire heats it up. Basic knowledge.
There's an extra 5 vehicles in this installment, although I can't say I'm much for the effect they've had on festival mode. Yeah, another complaint about single player. I'm forced to use an ATV, & 2 types of bike. It's disgusting. I play MotorStorm for trucks, race cars, & buggies. Not so I can get slammed about on a damn bike. Luckily it was during the amateur mode of festival, so it was easy to win with them. If I'm forced to take on the challenge again during veteran mode, I doubt I'll ever play the game alone again. As usual though, the Mud Plugger, Monster Truck, Buggy, Racing Truck, and other bigger vehicles are great. They all handle brilliantly, apart from the race car which is more on the speed side, and they at least sorted out the strength differences between vehicles. I'm no longer smashed aside by a Buggy when using a Racing Truck. Although they made it more equal, rather than size = strength. This isn't a bad thing, as it makes races a lot more interesting. Don't expect to get away with a ram battle if you're using a bike though.
MotorStorm is very much an arcade style racer, especially when it comes to control. The handling is great. In certain unmentionable racing games, taking corners can be a drag when you're going fast. In MotorStorm it's easy to control your speed and make the corner without smashing into the wall on the other side first. It's extremely easy for someone who's never played to just pick up and play. The control you have in the air is kind of limited though. I know, you shouldn't really be able to control a truck while it's in mid-air. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like I have very little control over jumps, and often end up flying off course and having to re-spawn. Although this happens in most games, it happens more in this one. It could be because of the limited time you have to prepare for a jump, as they do come quite quickly, and you're never sure of what lies on the other side.
If I had to choose between this and any other racing game, I probably would choose this.
Although I'd miss Mario Kart a lot, they really can't be compared.
At the end of the day, it's another variety to the MotorStorm series, and it's a great one.
If you're planning on buying it, I'd recommend Pacific Rift first.
I liked the review. It was well-written and very informative. However, your overall score seemed to be completely random, if not a bit low, given how much you gushed about the game. I would've understood if it got around 85% - 90%, but 78% just seems a bit low.
Granted, it's not a bad score, but for the review you gave, it seems low.