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Impressions: Motorstorm Apocalypse

Thursday, 10 June 2010 17:30 GMT By Adam Hartley

Untitled

It’s rumour no more. Motorstorm Apocalypse is out in the open. It’s coming next year and sounds properly awesome. We were in London to check out the game.

We also chatted to game director Matt Southern about the game. Get our interview here.

[Word by Adam Hartley]

The ultimate party at the end of the wor

MotorStorm Apocalypse is the name of the third outing in Sony’s massively-popular arcade racing series, due for release at some point early next year. It is set in an apocalyptic (note, not “post-apocalyptic”) and unnamed west-coast US city that is literally falling apart as you race around it.

At the start of the game, the MotorStorm posse arrives on a massive aircraft carrier to discover this incredible urban racing playground at the end of the world. The former population has left and the crumbling metropolis has been taken over by three factions – renegade military contractors, random bunches of crazies and looters and you and your mates, who just want to race and party on through till the (very imminent) apocalypse.

Perhaps one of the most interesting and new features in the new MotorStorm game is the storyline and character-led nature of the game. In the single-player game you can play as one of three characters, each of which represents the three different difficulty levels in the game.

“Rocky” is the beginner level character, “Survivor” is medium difficulty-level, and the frighteningly-hard looking biker “Big Dog” is the character that will take you into the ranks of the elite racers. With a clear nod to Starfox, it’s certainly an interesting take on how to structure the learning-curve and the difficulty-levels in a racing game.

Once you start racing around the city you can also expect to be shot from the ground or from the sky by the aforementioned military contractors. On top of all that you might well be attacked by looters with wrecking balls or Molotov cocktails by the crazies and looters that roam across the city like vermin. It is complete and utter chaos, yet the gameplay and controls are familiar to anybody that has played a previous MotorStorm game. And very easy and quick to pick up for anybody that hasn’t.

Total. Fucking. Lunacy.

For some, describing MotorStorm Apocalypse as an “arcade racer” certainly does it a massive disservice. The latest game in the series is perhaps better described in the words of Evolution Studio’s game director, Matt Southern, as “the perfect playground for an urban racing festival” (or as he tells us in our 1-1 interview later in the day, as “fucking lunacy.”

Going from this first demo level that we saw and played at a recent pre-E3 Sony PR event in London, we couldn’t agree more. Perhaps one of the most noticeable aspects of the game when you first play it is the fact that the cityscape is actually falling apart as you race through it. Roads rip open, buildings fall, bridges twist and collapse as you race over them. At a high concept level, it is what Evolution’s developers refer to as the “perfect subversion of urban racing.” At the level of playing the game, it is both mental and mesmerizingly instant fun.  It is also how they hope to take the MotorStorm ethos of crazy no-holds-barred off-road racing into an urban environment.

As the city falls to bits, you get the opportunity to race through its subterranean tunnels and sewers, in addition to being able to race across the rooftops of the surrounding skyscrapers as they crumble around you. You can also drive up and around buildings as they collapse and tilt around you, creating half-pipes to boost off as you race through the falling metropolis.

Perfecting urban chaos and total devastation

Of course, we always knew that the new MotorStorm demo would be polished, but for a pre-alpha demo this genuinely almost looks like a finished product. Evo has clearly taken some inspiration from urban chaos racers such as Burnout and Flat Out and others hardly worthy of mention, yet have fashioned a game that just seems to work much better than those games on the level of a quick-fix “race to be number one” type experience.

Whether or not the new and improved story-mode and the difficulty levels/new characters and the promised multiplayer improvements will make MotorStorm Apocalypse into something more than a “quick ten minute hit” type of game remains to be seen.

Evolution reps also kept talking about three things at the recent pre-E3 demo of the game – chronology, persistence and continuity. If you are racing around a track and a building collapses around you, that building is still in bits the next time you race that track.

After you have finished playing through the single-player experience that is just the beginning of the game, we were also informed by Evolution and SCEE reps, because MotorStorm Evolution features a “massively expanded” multiplayer recreation mode. They reckon that the average gamer will be looking at around 150 hours of unique gameplay based on this new recreation mode alone. Quite a claim.

The online multiplayer game also features a detailed vehicle customisation mode, which is going to appeal to those gamers that like to tinker with their vehicles when they are not actually playing the game. Facebook integration and community websites sharing vehicles designs and the like will surely be inevitable in MotorStorm Apocalypse’s attempts at community-building and taking the game beyond the console. Additionally, the multiplayer game will also offer a variety of “perks” following the success of such features in action shooter such as Modern Warfare, so you will be able to get boost, handling and combat upgrades for your vehicles.

After GT5 releases later this year, MotorStorm Apocalypse is the next major PS3 exclusive on Sony’s release list. This was a fantastic first look at what could well be one of the PS3’s best games to date in 2011. After all, this is Sony Computer Entertainment and Evolution Studios. These guys just do not mess about. They get E3 preview demos right! And whatever you want to call the genre, it’s all semantics, because, to date, from the initial fun of barrelling around the deserts in the first game, through to the pacific vistas of the island in the second game, MotorStorm has pretty much defined off-road arcade racing.

Key title for Sony’s 3D gaming push

This latest instalment in Evo’s off-road racer series has already been in development for over two years to date. The developer recently told VG247 that they were aiming for a release of the new MotorStorm game in the first quarter of 2011. (We should also mention that they were quick to add that well-worn “we’ll release it when it is done” caveat, so read into that what you will). Still, for those of us that aren’t big enough petrolheads to be fully pumped about playing Gran Turismo 5 later this year, it’s great to have a “fucking lunatic” arcade racer to look forward to getting stuck into in 2011.

Right now, for us, there is no doubt that MotorStorm Apocalypse will be one of Sony’s biggest games at E3 2010. The demo level that we had a chance to briefly play on in London this month was a magnificent and highly-polished taster of what we really hope the rest of the game we play in 2011 is going to be like. And it is obviously going to be shown off on in its full glory on 3D-ready Sony Bravias very soon. This could well be one of those games that Sony uses to really push 3D TVs into our homes over the next year or two.

2007’s MotorStorm and its 2008 sequel MotorStorm: Pacific Rift have been two of the most popular PlayStation 3 exclusives to date. Yet for many the “arcade racing” genre (or whatever you want to call it) has been getting a bit tired of late. Creativity in the racing genre has waned since those early PS3 belters. And those of us that like ‘serious’ racing games have waited far, far too long for Gran Turismo 5. Sales in the category have slowed in recent years as the many fans of fun, quick-hit arcade racing games have moved across to get their kicks from action-adventures such as Uncharted 2 and war games such as Activision’s mighty Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series.

From our first look and all-too-brief first play, there is a serious chance that MotorStorm Apocalypse could well be the title to reverse this trend.

Motorstorm Apocalypse releases next year for PlayStation 3.

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19 Comments

  1. Gekidami

    Well this came out of nowhere…

    #1 5 years ago
  2. 52pickup

    Awesome. Just saw the screens over on TSA. This looks amazing.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. AHA-Lambda

    I find it odd that of all the sony leaks so far why hasn’t R3 popped up yet? I want to see that sony!

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Gekidami

    “Leak”? Sony officially lift the embargo today and its a “leak”?

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Alakratt

    …and ANOTHER exclusive outed before E3!! Sony PLEASE CALM THE FUCK DOWN!!

    #5 5 years ago
  6. AHA-Lambda

    you know what i mean, i mean all the pre e3 reveals are really strange. In my head i think of it as a leak =/

    #6 5 years ago
  7. A4-F8

    niiiiice

    #7 5 years ago
  8. theevilaires

    Don’t worry Alakratt. SONY has something so big up their sleeves that it will make every XBOT red ring :D ….all I have to say is PS….4 unveil?! :D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyFmxNLH0YA&feature=player_embedded

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Gekidami

    ^Fake.
    http://gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2010/06/09/sony-confirms-ps4-viral-video-is-fake.aspx

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Alakratt

    @tea

    I’m sorry, but I hope not, I mean, it’s too early for that! Although Sony said those trailers are fake.

    Oh yeah and showing MW2 on the supposed ‘PS4′ really does ruin the trailer’s cred. Should’ve shown something I dunno, new?

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Gekidami

    Actually some people think that whilst the videos are real (promoting 3D), the ending ‘PS4′ parts were added by an unofficial source.

    IMO they’re fully fake though.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Erthazus

    @8 Sony is just making a research, they are not even profitable with Ps3 to begin with. It’s an obvious fake.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Galactic_Barret

    I think they just started making money off the PS3. Not sure how much, though.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Herlock

    Gekidami
    The picture of the event go to internet, last week ;)

    #14 5 years ago
  15. doa766

    a Sony rep admitted that all these “leaks” and reveals were planned and it worked big time: they’ve been the center of the gaming media attention for over a month

    #15 5 years ago
  16. Gekidami

    Ofcourse they were planned, theres no doubt about it so no need for them to “admit” as if they did something sneaky. Sony chooses when to lift their own embargos.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. ninjanutta

    Sony are playing a clever media game lately,ive heard next to nothing about xbox or wii,its PS3 everywhere and everything,they are getting into their stride now and wont let off for nothing,people seem to forget that they are the most successful gaming company ever.Im hoping MS have something other than natal to show us at E3,I still play my 360 more but i do love my Ps3 too.come on E3.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Galactic_Barret

    It is indeed smarter in the the long run to announce titles before the blitz. Most likely will mean less surprises at E3, but then, every recently announced game will get the trailer treatment, possibly a demo, so its a week long type of coverage for games that probably wouldn’t get it otherwise.

    Still, lets hope this is only the beginning, because what has been announced so far has been woefully underwhelming, expected even.

    #18 5 years ago
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    Destiny’s latest glitch spawns infinite Thralls to help fuel your bounty hunting and loot lust. The glitch is simple to replicate. You’ll need to start The Dark Within mission on Earth, on any difficulty. Then follow the steps in the video below (Via DualShockers) to get to an area out of the map. You’ll then […]

  • Battlefield 4 Winter Patch is here with new game mode, netcode improvements and more

    DICE has released the Winter Patch for Battlefield 4. The patch brings an eSports focus with new game mode Squad Obliteration and plenty more. Battlefield 4 Winter Patch is now live on all platforms. It’s just over 400MB on PC and 1.34GB on consoles. The patch adds new game mode Squad Obliteration and more customisation […]

  • HTC hopes to see Half-Life on VR headset Vive

    Vive manufacturer HTC said that it hopes to see Valve games, including Half-Life, on the virtual reality headset. Speaking to the BBC, HTC chairwoman Cher Wang said that Valve is keen on having its games available on the VR headset. “I think Valve’s best game is Dota, right, and Portal and [Team Fortress] and I […]

  • Make money easily in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

    If you’re looking to buy a fell set of armour for your character in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate but keep falling short on Zenny, this video will show you an easy way to make lots of it. Arekkz Gaming has a very handy tip for all Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate players: how to make Zenny […]

  • This is how you claim free Xbox One games from your Xbox 360

    Microsoft is giving everyone the ability to claim their free Xbox One Games with Gold titles from their Xbox 360 console, even without owning an Xbox One. If you don’t yet own an Xbox One and want to make sure you don’t miss out on all those free Games with Gold games, you’ll be pleased […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for March 3: Heroic and Nightfall detailed

    Bungie has reset the weekly cap of Crucible and Vanguard marks and added new Heroic and Nightfall strikes, now with burn. From now until next Tuesday, the weekly Heroic strike will be The Devil’s Lair with Heroic and Lightswitch modifiers. As for the Nightfall, you’ll be fighting Sepiks Prime with the help of Arc burn. […]

  • Few Mass Effect FemShep cosplays are as elaborate as this one

    The internet is full of Female Commander Shepard cosplay from Mass Effect, but very few are as terrific as this one. Visual artist Freya Willia has spent over two years painstakingly creating the perfect suit of armour and the best weapons to make her cosplay of Female Shepard as authentic as possible, Omni tool and […]

  • Deals with Gold: Assassin’s Creed Unity, Red Dead Redemption and more discounted

    This week’s Deals with Gold titles for Xbox Live subscribers is a good mix of modern games and old favourites. The list of discounted games through this week’s Deals with Gold is live with discounts on Assassin’s Creed Unity, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, and more. The deals are live now […]

  • Destiny guide: how to maximise your Grimoire Points

    Destiny players regularly compare the size of their Grimoire Points. Learn how to make yours the biggest. Destiny guide: how to earn Grimoire Points In Destiny, earning most Grimoire cards is just a matter of playing the game, maybe a little more attentively than usual. You’ll either need to complete a certain number of actions […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows will let you play as a baddie

    Shovel Knight owners will benefit from the generosity of Kickstarter backers quite soon. Because Shovel Knight was overfunded during its Kickstarter campaign, developer Yacht Club Games committed to releasing free content updates. The first of these, Plague of Shadows, has now been detailed. The expansion stars baddy Plague Knight, who turns on his former allies, […]

  • GTA controversies, from Hot Coffee to PR manipulation

    GTA has a long history of controversy. The latest Did You Know Gaming tells the full stories behind the sensational headlines. Grand Theft Auto is such a byword for controversy that it’s easy to forget the full context of what actually happened to bring mainstream press, politicians and interest group awareness to the Rockstar series. […]

  • Infamous 2 one of five new PlayStation Now additions for March

    PlayStation Now will expand to the tune of five new games this month. The March PS Now additions are Infamous 2, Twisted Metal, R-Type Dimensions, Alone in the Dark: Inferno and Operation Flashpoint: Red River. PS Now will set you back $20 per month or $45 for a three month subscription. It offers all you […]

  • Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster gets PS4 release date

    Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster hits PS4 in May. The PS4 release date for Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster is May 12 in North America and May 15 in Europe. Gematsu reports a special pre-order bonus calendar with art by Yoshitaka Amano is available through the Square Enix Store and participating retailers. In Europe, pre-ordering […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare getting 15 new Prestige levels

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players can now aspire to the ranks of Grand Master Prestige. Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games will add 15 more Prestige levels to the latest Call of Duty, giving players at max XP a chance to grow even further. According to the Sledgehammer Games blog, when you enter Master level […]

  • Destiny: Crota’s End recreated in Minecraft

    Destiny’s toughest challenge gets even nastier if you throw Creepers into the mix. The ultimate Destiny challenge – for now – is the Crota’s End raid. Taking place in an alternate dimension accessed through the Hellmouth on the Moon, the Raid takes Guardians through a pit of darkness to the resting place of Crota himself. […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3D trailer introduces the Heir to the Monado

    Xenoblade Chronicles 3D protagonist Shulk is the Heir to the Monado, his distinctive red sword. Let this trailer fill you in on what that means. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D releases for New 3DS on April 2 in Europe and April 10 in North America. As well as all the content of the Wii original, it has […]

  • The Elder Scrolls: Total War mod covers Morrowind, Oblivion and more

    The Elder Scrolls: Total War is a terrific mod allowing you get get intimately involved with the history of Bethesda’s detailed fantasy universe. The first release of The Elder Scrolls: Total War dropped on the weekend, giving players their first chance to try out LoRdNazgu1‘s creation. This version runs from 3E 427 to 4E 45, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 out now on Steam

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is out now. Yes, we’re surprised too. You can grab Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 on Steam for $8. Developer Scott Cawthon really doesn’t mess about; the game was only announced in early January. Here’s the blurb: Thirty years after Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza closed it’s doors, the events that took […]

  • EVE Online heister makes off with $13,000 worth of goods

    EVE Online is a hotbed of villainy, espionage and backstabbing, but one intrepid corporate thief has made waves even in this setting. The thing about EVE Online is that it’s a true sandbox: the game’s rules are very loose, and allow players to make careers out of theft, piracy, assassination and espionage in addition to […]

  • Marth Amiibo getting a stock refresh in North America

    Nintendo of America has announced a fresh supply of the difficult to find Marth Amiibo. The Marth Amiibo will be back in stock in the US in late April, the platform holder said on Twitter today. Planning to pick up Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. and don’t have a Marth amiibo? More are headed to stores in […]

  • Skyrim beta update upgrades creation kit file size

    Skyrim has been granted a new beta update – more than three years after launch! – to improve the experience for modders and those who use them. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released in November 2011. I think that’s worth noting before we discuss the beta update that dropped today, even as Bethesda is working […]

  • Paradox’s next epic RPG is, uh, Knights of Pen & Paper 2

    Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is very serious business so please enjoy this very serious trailer. “Return to the dicey world of Knights of Pen & Paper for a new turn-based adventure, where players get to take on the role of players, and also of the game’s encounter-designing, rules-laywering GM in a fully customizable […]

  • Amplitude looks amazing in new gameplay trailer, has a team multiplayer mode

    Amplitude may have been delayed but we still get something this March: a fine new gameplay trailer. Amplitude is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 sometime in northern summer. It’s a reprisal of Harmonix’s classic rhythm action game, a forerunner to its later efforts with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and was crowdfunded. Update: Turns […]

  • DayZ creator’s “crazy”, “esoteric” next game developed with Improbable

    DayZ creator Dean “Rocket” Hall has dropped the first vague details of his new game project. “I do not want to make safe games. I do not want to make games the way we have been making them. What if the most experienced video game staff in the world collaborated on the most esoteric and […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will support AMD’s Mantle

    AMD has confirmed what most Battlefield fans thought. Battlefield Hardline will indeed support Mantle. Battlefield Hardline will support Mantle, AMD has confirmed. Some players weren’t sure whether the retail version of the game will support AMD’s API, due to its absence from the recent PC beta. AMD did not say whether the feature will be […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 GDC 2015 sizzle reel shows what the tech can do

    Unreal Engine 4 is a pretty versatile bit of tech, as this new sizzle reel shows. As one of the more ubiquitous engines, Unreal will be on show at GDC this week. Developer Epic produced the following sizzle reel to quickly demonstrate what it can do – cutting edge graphics (there are very few games […]

  • Survarium’s latest patch removes limit on battle ammo, rebalances experience gain

    The latest Survarium patch has readjusted the value of experience and reputation points gained and removed the limit to the maximum amount of ammo you can use in combat. Survarium developer Vostok Games has released patch 0.27a to the public, having recently finished testing it. The patch is a major one and covers changes to […]

  • The Hunt Begins in new Bloodborne TV spot

    Bloodborne is so close you can almost smell its coppery tang on the wind – and also you can watch commercials for it. Bloodborne arrives on PS4 at the end of this month (March 24 North America, March 25 Europe, March 27 UK) so excitement is starting to build. Sony isn’t helping keep us calm […]

  • World of Warcraft: you’ll soon be able to buy game time with gold

    Blizzard will soon allow World of Warcraft players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard has announced a new system that will launch soon for World of Warcraft. The system is called WoW Token. Using this system, players will be able to buy game time using in-game gold. Here’s how it […]

  • 3D Realms’ Bombshell returns with the first gameplay trailer

    Remember 3D Realms’ Bombshell? The isometric ARPG that was announced last year? Well, it’s back, and we get to see gameplay footage. The game stars Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, a bomb technician turned mercenary with a mechanical arm. She will embark on a quest to rescue the president and save Earth, all while shooting aliens. The […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 is now free for everyone to use

    Epic Games has made Unreal Engine 4 available for anyone to download and use, for free. Unreal Engine 4 is now free. Anyone can download it and start using it, the developer announced today in a blog post. The download features the the full set of tools used by Epic, and includes 100% of the […]

  • Call of Duty European Championship winner announced

    The winner of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship has been announced. This past weekend, 28 teams representing UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, the rest of Europe and Middle East attended the final of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship. UK team Epsilon eSports was crowned […]

  • GOG brings back Insomnia sale with discounts up to 90% off

    GOG.com is bringing back its Insomnia sale event with even more games. GOG’s Insomnia sale is back with double the amount of games. This year, there will be two sets of games available at once. The sets are seasoned classics and fresh new titles. Each set will feature games with discounts up to 90% off, […]

  • 2K is shutting down NBA 2K14 online servers, won’t affect career save files

    2K will be shutting down the servers for NBA 2K14 this month. The publisher revealed yesterday that online servers for NBA 2K14 will be turned offline on March 31. “You will no longer be able to play ranked games/online association,” reads the announcement. NBA 2K14 relied on online servers to store save files for MyCareer […]

  • One Dead or Alive tournament organiser is proposing ban of “over-sexualised” costumes

    A Dead or Alive tournament organiser has suggested a soft ban on some of the game’s “over-sexualised” costumes, and not everyone is happy. Tournament organiser “The HuBBs” took to the FreeStepDodge forums to suggest a list of rules that other offline tournaments can follow. The list goes over stages, characters, moves, which is certainly in […]

  • Destiny: all the news from Bungie’s open house Q&A

    Bungie hosted an open house Q&A session with the community last week and lots of exciting news have come out of it. Arekkz Gaming has gathered all the information that came out of Bungie’s open house Q&A in one handy video. The list is massive, going over Exotic weapon balance, upcoming events, PVE, Crucible rewards, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen to honour Nimoy with in-game memorials

    Developers behind space exploration games Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen will honour the memory of Leonard Nimoy through in-game memorials. The develops of both games have confirmed separately that in-game memorials will be established to honour the memory of the late Star Trek actor, Leonard Nimoy, famous for playing Spock. Elite: Dangerous executive producer Michael […]

  • Deal: get a PlayStation 4 + three exclusives for $399

    Amazon’s latest PlayStation 4 deal is not one to miss. With purchase of a PlayStation 4 console from Amazon in the US, the online retailer will throw in digital codes for Infamous Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall and The Last of Us: Remastered, all for the same MSRP of $399. The Last of Us Remastered […]