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Platform

Playstation 3

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

SCEA

 

Developer

Evolution Studios

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

October 28, 2008

 

 

- Excellent looking maps/tracks

- Boost system is handled exceptionally well

 

 

- Driving control is terribly sensitive

- AI makes my driving rage look perfectly sane

 

 

Review: Pure (360)

Review: The Club (PS3)

Review: Grid (PS3)

 

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MotorStorm: Pacific Rift

Score: 7.5 / 10

 

motorstorm pacific rift          motorstorm pacific rift

 

With the dearth of racing games out on the market that pander to different autophiles – those that love beautiful lines, speed, precision, and tuning;  it is nice to head in the opposite direction and get a title that is more focused on visceral destruction and all out insanity. No one is likely to confuse Motor Storm: Pacific Rift with the Grand Turismo franchise, and that’s not a bad thing – steak is nice, but some days you just want a burger. A delicious greasy burger this is, you get a quick idea when you notice that your HUD doesn’t have a speedometer or tachometer, just a position/lap marker and a boost meter.

 

Following up the popular MotorStorm would seem to be a admirable challenge, so the first step was to increase the number of available maps. Instead of the 8 in the original, you now get 16 maps to chew on. These aren’t your typical courses either,

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with a huge amount of mixed terrain to rip up – you have to find a line to run that will best suit your chosen vehicle be it bikes, ATVs, buggies, rally cars, racing trucks, mudpluggers, big rigs or the epitome of excessiveness monster trucks. As the races progress, some courses will even deform as they are being run on, mud patches increasing – spray from other racers affecting your own visibility, debris being

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moved into inopportune locations to contend with. Each course does have a ton of different features and mixed terrain, so it can be a challenge to not only plan what you need to do, but how to accomplish it with your current ride. Races can feature up to 16 vehicles, and can involve a lot of rubbing and contact for those looking to engage in it.

 

Game controls are trying to be a little too close to what a vehicle is like when mud bogging (it’s an actual event, look it up if you don’t believe me) – you tend to tail whip during turning, but in this game this effect is over exaggerated. Turning corners becomes less like controlling your ride and more like grossly aiming in a new direction. Pairing this lousy control is the physics from a Bugs Bunny cartoon – a little rock can put you on two wheels or worse on your back, and sometimes your ride will flip on a transition for no apparent reason.

 

motorstorm pacfic rift          motorstorm pacfic rift

 

Winning the courses is going to come down to a couple of important factors, keeping your ride on a good line and judicious use of boost. For MotorStorm, boost is available almost all the time, the only limiter being the heat of your engine – the more you use it, the hotter it gets unless you peg it, then your engine explodes. Besides your use of it, boost can be affected by the environment. Lava, hot springs and body fires will increase the temp more rapidly and slow down the cooling process whereas running through water will quench the engine fast. Most racers will be hammering the boost frequently, it’s the only way to keep in line for top spot during races – however, it seems that not only are the enemies looking to break up your lines, it’s quite common to have some AI racers single you out during a race and look to run you off the course. With these  issues and the control issues, you need to run a perfect race to even contend with the top runners and even then it may not make a difference depending upon Lady Luck for the intangibles.

 

Graphics look great, soundtrack is appropriate with its metal infusion to the intense races and the sound effects are what you’d expect from a messy race. If you can deal with the control scheme issues and the quirkiness of the game, you will enjoy playing MotorStorm: Pacific Rim if you can’t, you probably will have a good bout of controller tossing after you get screwed out of a race by some nonsensical bull.

 

- Tazman

(December 8, 2008)

 

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