Motorstorm: Pacific Rift

Labeled With  motorstorm pacific rift playstation 3 sce
Written by DM on Saturday, November 15 2008

Motorstorm: Pacific Rift is the sequel to the original PS3 game Motorstorm. While the original game was a great off-road arcade experience, it was sorely lacking many features. Pacific Rift attempts to correct this by making the game what it should have been in the first place. Does it succeed?

Well, there is not much storyline to talk about in MPR. It is the same basic principle as the first game – you congregate with your fellow “stormers,” in order to race the death-defying tracks of the Festival. The loud music, insane race tracks, and extreme chances of dying horrible, mutilated, deaths have drawn the racers together, yet again. The prize? Bragging rights that you are the craziest mofo out there, it seems. Good enough for me.

The graphics in Motorstorm: PR are definitely the best feature of this game. The tracks are where you will see almost all the improvements in this department. Firstly, the tropical setting has led the developers to divide the tracks into four categories – air, water, fire, and Earth. Earth and air are really the two easier categories, as both water and fire affect your vehicle. More on that in a bit. The lush greenery in the water stages, is probably the most impressive, at least to me. There are huge waterfalls that you must drive under, and as you plummet through them in mid-air, the water responds as it would in real life. This is one of the great features of the Motorstorm franchise – environment interaction. The interaction has been ramped up in this sequel, and every plant, rock, barrel, and puddle you drive into, will likely respond to you by going flying or smashing you to bits. You can even drive into bridge supports on the weaker bridges, and end up taking the entire thing down. This totally screws anyone who took the high road. Of course, this comes at a price. The game does suffer from graphical slowdown a bit more than I’d like to see, and yes, it can affect your position in the race. Your vehicles also can be customized to a degree, as can your riders. You can choose from different skins for both, as you unlock them.

The core gameplay is essentially the same as the first Motorstorm game, but it has been tweaked, for sure. First of all, there are more cars to choose from, and they do handle differently. In the first game, there was less of a different between vehicles (except between bikes and cars, of course). You still have built-in boost, and it still will ignite your vehicle if you use it too much. The game does add temperate sensitivity though, which is a really cool feature. In other words, if you drive through water, it will actually cool your engine, and you can boost a bit longer. Conversely, if you drive through a fire pit or lava lands on you, you will almost instantly hit the temperature limit on your boost gauge. Beyond that, there are not many major changes to the gameplay you know and love, of course the jumps are higher and the tracks are crazier, but that goes without saying. One thing to mention is that Sony has cranked down the difficulty slightly. In the early tracks, you should have no problems coming in first. Later in the game, though, you will likely have to race the tracks more than once for first prize. The computer AI racers are just as annoying and mean as they were the first time around, though, so get used to it.

The soundtrack is the classic mix of heavy metal guitar-laden tracks, punk rock tracks, techno tracks, and even a few pop-rap tracks. Mostly songs that are supposed to pump you up while racing. You can now switch the tracks and adjust the volume with the d-pad, although you can turn that off in the options if you like. The other sound effects and vehicle sounds are as they were in the first game, and they are done well enough to suffice, nothing spectacular, though. Besides the announcer in the intro, though, there are no real voice-overs to speak of.

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Motorstorm Pacific Rift

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Player Support (1-16)

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Dolby Digital 5.1
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