The third console edition of the MotorStorm franchise, Apocalypse leaves the relatively pastoral settings of the first two game behind.  (Well, okay, Monument Valley was kind of a desert, and the volcanic areas from the second game may not really qualify as “pastoral,” but I digress.) This time, the Motorstorm Festival is headed to The City.

Inspired by the Bay Area in the great State of California, The City (yes, that’s what it’s called) becomes home to the MotorStorm gang.  Suffering an onslaught of natural disasters, “the city will be ripped to pieces, in real-time, as you race.”  Tracks will deform and change course as a result of these events.

Acknowledging criticisms that the previous games in the series were ultimately a bit on the shallow and repetitive side, Matt Southern, Game Director at Evolution Studios,  promises MotorStorm Apocalypse will be jammed full of features, including the following:

  • Sixteen player online multiplayer.
  • Four player split-screen.
  • Combinations of the two. Play with three friends in the living room against 12 more online.
  • Massive vehicle customization. Change vinyls, vehicle parts, vehicle shapes and more. Upload them to the community site and share them with others. They automatically work on all vehicle types, and include your PSN ID.
  • Vehicle perks. Modify your handling, boosting and offensive abilities as you unlock new perks.
  • A wealth of rankings to progress through online with associated rewards and recognition.
  • Stacks of online rewards to earn and persistent progress giving the most determined and successful racers the status and recognition they deserve.
  • Persistent matchmaking. Keep your party together throughout your gaming session.
  • A Game Mode Creator. From a completely blank canvas you can design your own game rules and victory conditions, play them online, and incorporate them into tournaments.

Apocalypse looks to be upholding the already high visual standards of the series, as evidenced by these shots of the game.

MotorStorm Apocalypse Buggy

MotorStorm Apocalypse Building

MotorStorm Apocalypse Runner

MotorStorm Apocalypse Motorcycle

MotorStorm Pacific Rift was a lot of fun.  Despite a less-than-smooth difficulty curve, the engaging, multi-pathed courses, and fantastic physics-heavy handling of the varied vehicles kept the game fresh for quite a while. The impressively imagined and rendered world of The island made for a great racing environment.  Plus, Evolution did a great job supporting the title post-launch, with updates to vehicles, liveries, and tracks.

While I’m excited by the possibilities created by moving the game to a city in the throes of destruction, it’s going to be difficult to avoid comparing Apocalypse to the recently released (and fantastic) Split/Second.  Will MotorStorm’s “survival racing” have what it takes to stand up to Split/Second’s environmental combat?  I can’t wait to find out.

Ranters, are you fans of the MotorStorm series?  What do you think of the setting for Apocalypse?

MotorStorm Apocalypse will likely be released this winter, exclusively for the PlayStation 3.

Source: PlayStation Blog

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