You sit back as the intro begins to roll and you are greeted with glorious HD footage of an lifeless and unforgiving landscape, the dark eerie music and low tone voice over gives you a sense of danger. The music gets louder and louder and you know something is immediately different about this game, yet you haven't begun playing it yet.
From insanity of the The Grizzly with its sharp rocky walls to the blinding sands of Dust Devil, Motorstorm oozes visual quality like no other game before and indeed, there are few... if any - Crisis included, that has such a rich blend of colours and textures. It is almost as though the tracks in the carnage filled racer was scanned by laser from above. Despite this sense of realism on the track and the background, the developers went even further as to add a glorious effect of camera shake where slightest of change in the terrain you just so happen to be on results in the view being tilted for a microsecond and the whole effect just repeats and repeats and repeats. If you ever saw the in car views on Rallying programs, you will know what this is. All together puts you the person in that car, with the HD image quality you can simply go as close to screen as you like and feel immersed in a new world.
The Photorealism is the just first thing to hit you, and hit you hard it does. But it isn't until your second lap around the very first race takes your amazement over the edge. Truth be told, any beginner will have no clue as to where they are supposed to go, instead following the AI (which we talk about soon). Yet you find that your route is different, and the whole race appears to play out on a completely different track. It is possible to have a completely different race with every lap that passes, and even so you are not going to be alone. Add to that the different lighting scenario's and the 7 tracks begin to feel 37. From morning before sunrise to dead black and white of moonlight, the track itself seems like your worst enemy. And with the lighting technique which is independent of the surrounding, it is a truly beautiful enemy.
The design of the various tracks is simply masterful, as each plays to strengths of each vehicle class available to you. The high roads are great for the smaller classes, where bikes and ATVs have the manoeuvrability to navigate deadly cliff edges. While the meaty Mud Pluggers and Big Rigs can make stunning time through mud slewn lower lands. Not that those low lands are safer, with ruts in the floor from other vehicles death is always around the corner. As for the medium weight vehicle who use generally faster routes, they are confronted with the eerie prospect of sharp turns, wall faces on either side and ofcourse.... eachother. Handling is superb on each class, there is a learning involved in all of the them and the bikes are by far the most difficult to master however everyone will be able to get used to them with practice... unless you not a heavy weight and and find yourself in the quagmire amongst the 18-wheelers.
Which brings me on them anyway, The AI. It is hard to describe any game that has AI comparable to the MotorStorm gang. They move and react in a frighteningly realistic manner, where you see it is obvious physics not only applies to you. They ain't going to bully you as well, it is mano-a-mano stuff in this title. Bikes will look behind them if they hear engines, buggies will give you mexican throat cut sign if you bump them, rally cars will evade the big boys at the last moment... possibly spinning out of control in the process. And the Racing Trucks, Mud Pluggers and Big Rigs will display an air of aggression that will strike fear into the heart of the most fearless people. You only have to hear the roar of a Big Rig to feel the adrenaline begin to coarse through your viens and hope to high heaven that you have not been targetted and that it only wants P1!
There are 8 tracks in total, all of epic proportion. Multiple vehicle classes to impress everyone. And difficulty levels to siut anyone. It doesn't matter if the game is over quickly, you will always want to come back for more. And this is not about the online, on the last races it doesn't matter how quick you are. If you do not go the shortcuts, you will not outrun the opponents. It is as simple as that, the most gifted expert will be challenged forever. You go faster, they go faster. You get nasty, they go homicidal.
This is a game where driving plays equal prominence to strategy. Learn the tracks, know the vehicle classes and most imprtantly of all.... never take you eyes off the enemy. They are all around you, they are fighting amongst themselves if you ain't watching behind you then one of them is going to boost right up into you and before you know you hard worked P1 becomes a morale sapping P15. I spend around 50% of the time looking left, right and rear. And around you can witness the carnage of the most mental racing genre game the planet has to offer, with all kinds of vehicle ripping to pieces, flywheels launching 20 foot the air, bikers flung 30 foot along the track and rally cars going head over heel in a spectacularly distorted heap of twisted metal and flames. All in real time, these are crashes that put all other games including Paradise to shame. Slow-mo is all very well and good, but what what it look like from inside your car? This game answers that and I can tell you know, it isn't pretty. It is one of those moments that makes your eyes open and pupil's expand.
You can expect much the same in the online aspect of this title, but you can expect less aggression. You can choose whatever class of you want providing the host allows them, this is somewhat different to the Single Player mode, where you have to ride what the ticket for each race states. But even then on Single Player mode you get races where you are free to choose. With Online you can even choose what time of day the race will occur. Do you go for midday perfect vision or sunset where sunglare and even worse dust makes the whole thing a little more daunting than it already is.
This is truly the best racer that has ever been created. Some say not enough tracks, others not enough game modes, others again say the action is not quick enough. Truth be told, using in car view things will be happening on the screen to often and in too much detail for you notice lack of speed or worry about lack of game modes. Thats because MotorStorm was designed for one thing, to show you how mental an illegal, real life off-roading event could be where even the track seems to be out to get you.
This is 10/10 stuff, its pure entertainment and that is what you want from a game. When you buy your Aston Martin DB-S do you expect a car radio installed? No, you buy a DB-S to go faster than an a DB-9! This game may lack the extra's that other have, but when it comes to actual point of this game, the racing, there is nothing in the world that comes close.
10 / 10