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MotorStorm Preview

Joe_Dodson By:
Joe_Dodson
12/14/06
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Racing 
PLAYERS 1- 12 
PUBLISHER Sony 
DEVELOPER Evolution Studios 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Language, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Go greased lightning!

We know seeing is believing, but even after seeing and playing a build of MotorStorm at a recent event, it’s hard to believe Sony might have a killer app on their hands that doesn’t star Kratos, wasn’t made by Kojima, and isn’t viewed from the first person perspective.

Instead, MotorStorm stars cars, is in development by people you’ve never heard of, and is best viewed on the biggest, best TV you can find. It’s basically ATV Offroad Fury on crack, PCP, and satanic possession. Ancient and powerful automotive deities compel you to see this game for yourself, but in the meantime, allow me to elaborate on some of its finer points.
 
click to enlargeThe concept is a simple play on the Burning Man festival. A bunch of wacky, suicidal car enthusiasts, including you, get together in the desert to try things no driver would do in normal life. But instead of getting high on LSD and letting your freak flag fly, you’ll burn nitrous and fly off some really high cliffs. In both cases, the visuals are far out.
 
And that’s what makes MotorStorm such an exhilarating experience – it looks photorealistic, and the things you’re seeing are undoubtedly fatal. You can actually feel your brain clamber into the back seat of your skull, fleeing the horror show on your eyeballs. Or was that the acid?
 
In any case, easily the most terrifying view was the in-the-cab perspective. At one point, I hit a rock going at least 120 mph (although there’s no speedometer), and my car corkscrewed, whipping the screen into a swirl of blended color. When the spinning stopped, and I got my bearings, I was greeted to a gut-wrenching, crystal clear bird’s eye view of the desert landscape – at least a mile below me. If looks could kill, this would be the last game you ever played.
 
click to enlargeRight now, the “about to die” aspect of MotorStorm has us most excited, and judging by the throngs of people we’ve seen around the kiosks at Gamestop, we aren’t alone. But while the whole “life-flashing-before-your-eyes” thing is new, it has diminishing returns; the better you get, the less you die. What remains to be seen is, once our suicidal tendencies are sated, will MotorStorm actually be a good enough racing game to keep us entertained?
 
We suspect so. The three vehicles types (trucks, cars, and motorcycles) all handle differently and have their own perks, and the physics are just as exhilarating as the graphics. Even if you aren’t flying into the great beyond, your wheels spend very little time on the ground. With all the bumps, rocks, ramps, and gaps, MotorStorm is as much an exercise in controlled bouncing as expert driving.
 
If only objects in mirror were closer than they appear. MotorStorm may look finished, but it’s still months from release. Whether our enthusiasm carries over into the future or is a mere memory of suicides past remains to be seen, when MotorStorm roars into stores this Spring.
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