Sony Computer Entertainment Motorstorm Pacific Rift

MotorStorm Pacific Rift boasts intense racing, diverse tracks and plenty of vehicles to choose from. But doesn't every racing game make that claim?

Sony Computer Entertainment Motorstorm Pacific Rift
  • Sony Computer Entertainment Motorstorm Pacific Rift
  • Sony Computer Entertainment Motorstorm Pacific Rift
  • Sony Computer Entertainment Motorstorm Pacific Rift
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Intuitive controls, fast-paced action, looks great

Cons

  • Long recovery time after crashing, no vehicle upgrades

Bottom Line

A beautiful, in-depth racing experience, MotorStorm delivers on all fronts while remaining a damn fun game to boot.

Would you buy this?

This follow up to last year's MotorStorm delivers in a big way. Set in a tropical backdrop, Pacific Rift offers some of the most intense off-road racing I've ever seen. Races are divided up into the four basic elements; water, fire, earth and wind. Tracks from each of these categories are dominated by the elements they represent. Fire has you racing alongside volcanoes and jumping over streams of lava while tracks in the air circuit are up in the mountains and so on. Each category has more than enough tracks to keep you interested and every one has its own unique challenges

Another great aspect of this game is the variety of vehicles. There are seven classes of vehicles, ranging from Rally Cars to Buggies to Bikes and even Monster Trucks, and each has its own pros and cons. Monster Trucks are tough and surprisingly fast, but they flip over very easily. Bikes are difficult to control but while riding one, you can actually take a swing at nearby racers. A few seconds into each race you'll have access to a speed boost that will always be available to you. Using it is the perfect way to get some extra lift over a jump or catch up to an opponent, buy overuse it and you're car will burst into flames and eventually explode

Everything in this game looks great; courses, vehicles and backgrounds all look crisp and distinct. It's a good thing the environments in Pacific Rift are interactive, as a quick dip in some water is a great way to cool your car off. Likewise, vegetation, mud, rocks and water all have an impact on your ride. No good time goes unpunished though, so expect some major damage to your vehicle when you abuse it.

One of the cooler aspects of this game is that laps can be completed in multiple ways. Alternate routes are not always short cuts. In fact, as you begin to grow comfortable with each vehicle, it become possible to choose your route based on your particular vehicle's strengths and weaknesses. If you're riding a Bike, you may want to avoid a route that has you careening around cliffs. While you can't upgrade specific vehicles, you can unlock better ones.

The controls for Pacific Rift are simple and intuitive, only taking a few races to get the hang of. And gameplay is crazy in a sort of controlled way so that you are always on the verge of wiping out but it's still possible to run a clean race at very high speeds. Crashing does slow the pace down dramatically. Even though it only takes a second to recover, you might find yourself abusing the x button to avoid having to the replay of you flipping your Buggy over or flying off your Bike. Another minor nuisance is that the screen flashes white when you enter the final lap. It's nothing crazy, but at first it's just distracting enough that you might slip back a little.

Online play can support up to 12 players and 4 people can play on a split screen offline. Extras include one on one races against the computer and solo runs so you can work on your time. There are even trophies for meeting such milestones as running 50 people over.

Fans of the previous MotorStorm title or off-road racing in general will definitely enjoy this follow-up. But the easy learning curve and fast-paced action might be enough to keep gamers who don't normally play racing games entertained.

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