Motorstorm Review for Sony Playstation 3

What a way to show off the PS3!

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 03, 2008

Right from the start I was impressed and overwhelmed with the capabilities of the PlayStation 3 as MotorStorm played its introduction video. As good as the video was, I found myself wanting to click the X button to skip the movie because I wanted to play. Could it really look this good in game?

When introduced to the main menu, players are given very few options. Not being one to fiddle around with options anyway, I immediately started a race. Once the race was over all I wanted to do was jump back in and start another one.

Developed by Evolution Studios and published by Sony, MotorStorm presents the player with an intense racing game featuring a wide variety of vehicles - dirt bikes, ATVs, off-road buggies and semis - and they are all racing at once on the same track! Be prepared for a very different experience and different race (even if on the same track) when you pick your vehicle. Although you won’t be able to select all vehicles at first, a few hours of playing for a mid-level gamer should be to experience a taste of them all.

Game Details
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by: Evolution Studios
Release Date: March 6, 2007
Avaialable on: Sony Playstation 3
Number of Players: 1-12 online
As expected, each different vehicle brings a very different driving or riding experience and track layout. I found vehicles such as the semi and off-road buggy very easy to learn to drive and race in and these provided me the most wins early on. The bikes, however, gave me a frustrating first ride. As with any game everything has its learning curve and the bikes proved to be my mountain for their high learning curve. With very touchy turning and low grip I found myself time and time again falling off cliffs and being run over by semis - ooops! By the fifth or sixth race I was more than comfortable and actually placing first. All vehicles provided their own challenges, either from the track itself or the ability to control and drive them, and each came with their own pleasure.

One thing that I did not care for in the game was the SIXAXIS support. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the SIXAXIS controller, which comes standard with the PS3, has a built-in gyroscope. This allows you to tilt and twist the controller and control the game in a similar fashion as the Nintendo Wii. Soon after turning on the SIXAXIS, actually half a lap to be exact, I was quick to turn it off and left it off for good. I found it much too sensitive and hard to control and it was not something I found improved the game-play experience.

As soon as you start your first race you will be impressed with the graphical beauty that is MotorStorm. Jaw-dropping crashes, realistic mud trails, sandy paths, mud flying onto the screen as countless dirt bikes and ATVs pass you – it all looks fantastic. As frustrating as it was to crash, it never got old watching the car tear apart with pieces flying everywhere or watching my body tumble and topple on the ground as I got thrown from my motorcycle. Everything from the sky, to the billboards and background scenery, all is impressive and really adds to the feeling of actually being there. The game also keeps a high frame rate, which rarely has noticeable slowdown. If all its games come with the same effort put into the graphics then the PS3 will enjoy a very long life.

Audio in the game is more than fitting, giving you a rush by involving you in the game. From the loud screams of the bikes to the roar of the semis, all the sound effects are there, even accurate crash sounds. The audio can be turned off through a welcomed play list selector. The game features plenty of audio tracks, just enough not to make them seem repetitive.

Perhaps the games only drawback is the lack of features. Even though it is one of the PS3 debut titles, its lackluster options really hurt the game. Offering no split screen support, which has become pretty much standard in racing games, is shocking. However, the game does feature an online mode which can help fill this void. Nothing says fun like trash-talking your friends while running them off the road in a semi.

The game also lacks the options to easily select a vehicle, track and customize. It is setup in such a way that the number of laps are set and the player must unlock the track for certain vehicles through an event system – only then is the player able to pick from that point on.

Another drawback is the lack of tracks. Players will soon find the small selection of tracks repetitive and boring. Lastly the game suffers from long load times. Players can expect to wait up to 10 seconds for an initial vehicle to load in the vehicle select screen, and then up to 2-5 more for a variation or another vehicle load – way to long and annoying, but perhaps a necessary evil for the outstanding vehicle models

Overall, MotorStorm is a great title that just needs some polishing. The game offers all the vehicle choices you could ask for, but its shortcomings in the number of tracks and lack of two-player mode hold it back from being one of the best ever.

Regardless, I expect players will keep coming back to play so they can unlock more and more events and vehicles each time they race.

Gameplay 8 / 10
  • learning curve on all vehicles
  • intense and muddy racing
Graphics 9 / 10
  • amazing and jaw dropping at times
  • enough can’t be said about the crashes
  • no detail unspaired
Audio 8 / 10
  • very fitting for style of game
  • easily customizable
  • realistic vehicle sound effects
Lasting Appeal 7 / 10
  • no split screen mode
  • not enough tracks, easy to get bored of quickly and repetitive
Overall Score 8.75 / 10
  • very fun off-road racer, put up a high standard for graphics for other PS3 games
  • lack of options and 2 player support hold it back
  • online mode is a must play