Evolution Studios is leaving the vistas of Monument Valley and the lush jungles of the Pacific for an experience more deadly and destructive with MotorStorm: Apocalypse, it's latest combative racer for the PlayStation 3. Oh, it's in 3D!
That's how I played my first session of MotorStorm: Apocalypse, strapped into a mean virtual muscle car with 3D glasses strapped on to my head. Just last week, I played MotorStorm: Pacific Rift in 3D and loved it. The more frantic pace of MotorStorm: Apocalypse was less idyllic in 3D, but much more dramatic, as the race course fell apart and reassembled around me.
MotorStorm: Apocalypse takes place in a "major metropolitan city" ravaged by a massive earthquake. As inhabitants flee for their lives, the racers of MotorStorm's world decide it's a great place to have a new racing festival. They don't seem to care if pedestrians get in their way or are unlucky enough to be run down at high speeds.
The dynamically changing environments in MotorStorm: Apocalypse reminded me of another recent explosion-filled racer, Split/Second. The experience of driving on the side of toppled buildings, falling through streets and into tunnels and parking garages was frequent, unsettling, just plain crazy. At one point, an out of control tanker truck lurched onto the race track, the type of obstacle that make MotorStorm: Apocalypse that much more bananas.
It's MotorStorm alright, full of rubbin', racin' and explosive crashes. But there are also a few new things.
Perhaps the most minor of those new additions is a newer, optional control layout. It essentially swaps the braking buttons with the ramming buttons, an update that might point to a stronger emphasis on the physical battle between MotorStorm: Apocalypse racers.
Also expect new racing classes, with "supercars, muscle cars, superbikes, choppers" and more added to the mix. There will be 48 new race events, spread across a story of three MotorStorm: Apocalypse contestants.
Oh, and there's the 3D thing, which looks good in MotorStorm: Apocalypse, but maybe not as good as the previous game did stereoscopically. Hey, it's not done yet and we've only seen one track so far, so we'll withhold judgment on it graphically for now.
New to MotorStorm: Apocalypse are what the developer is calling (internally) "look at events." These are things like buildings crumbling, massive explosions and other eye-catching moments. When they happen, an on-screen button prompt appears, essentially saying "Hey, check this out." The action can slow down and zoom in on the carnage, should players choose to divert their attention.
Evolution Studios are also planning a Game Mode Creator for MotorStorm: Apocalypse, which lets players define rules and playlists, uploading and sharing them in the "Play. Create. Share." style.
For multiplayer, expect four-player split screen offline and online, with up to 16 racers on a destruction filled multiplayer track at any time.
No date yet for MotorStorm: Apocalypse for the PlayStation 3, but we're guessing you'll have time to save up for the 3D television before it hits.