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Motor Storm PS3 Guide

11/09/2007 Family Family Gamer Guide
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Motor Storm PS3

Motor Storm




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Other GamePeople columnists have reviewed this from their perspective - huh?:
Family Gamer (PS3)
Mousey Gamer (PS3)

Under pressure to provide a launch title, Evolution Studios managed to pull an innovative racing experience out of the bag. Although initially a little light on options, subsequent downloadable content (some free and some at additional cost) has made this an exhilarating racing experience.

It's one of those type of game genres...

Racing games, although sometimes seen as a sporting sub category, are a well established video game genre in their own right. They can feature a variety of driving styles ranging from the fantastical arcade racing focusing on thrills and spills, to the super realistic simulations that recreate every aspect of real life driving.

But why is it any better than the others...

Motorstorm sits towards the more fantastical end of the racing spectrum, although delivers this with realistic racing physics. It impresses by pitting motorbikes, cars, jeeps, trucks and big rigs against each other on the same track. But these tracks have been cleverly designed to provide an optimal route for each type of vehicle.

To this variety is added a deformable environment that responds to the cars as they travel over it - basically, a track that gets muddy. Big rigs can plough through these deep bogs, but bikes and cars will struggle needing to stick to the higher ground.

This is all set within an environment that has a good sense of place. Racing through the tracks you are aware that these are all created in a geographic location with limitations and a common palette of materials and colours.

Maybe due to it being a lunch title for the PS3, and slightly rushed, there is no local split screen multiplayer option - something of a staple on driving games. Although there is a solid online multiplayer option.

So what experience should I play this game for...

Racing off in a pack of vehicles - bikes, cars and trucks - recreates that cross country Paris to Dakar feel. You are part of a rag tag bunch up against not only each other but the land itself. This is most evident as you hare along sheer cliff faces or take a low line around a disappearing banked curve.

And when can I take a break...

This is a game that needs a little more time to properly enjoy. When you first play you are likely to need a good hour or two to adjust to the tactics and courses involved. To do well relies on your ability to learn each track in detail for each type of vehicle.

A good two hour session will enable you to get the most out of the game, and you should have to put in a good ten to fifteen of these before you start to complete the game.

This is a great game for who...

Beginner gamers should be impressed with the setting and impressive array of vehicle types. The simple thrills and spills controls also enable most people to pick them up and get going without a problem.

Other less aggressive and less navigation dependant racing games would suit very young gamers better than Motorstorm, although our three year old still seems to have fun doing donuts in the muddy sections, or watching daddy race.

Expert players will rise to the challenge of learning each course in detail. This, the impressive setting and array of vehicular options make it something of a watershed for racing games

Written by Andy Robertson

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Andy Robertson writes the Family Gamer column.

"Videogame reviews for the whole family, not just the kids. I dig out videogame experiences to intrigue and interest grownups and children. This is post-hardcore gaming where accessibility, emotion and storytelling are as important as realism, explosions and bravado."

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