September 8, 2008 // 12:57 pm
- We had a chance to check in with MotorStorm: Pacific Rift once again. An "80% complete" demo we played gave us access to four different levels: two single player and two split-screen races. Easily the most impressive level we played had to be the Wildfire level.
This level takes everything that's good about MotorStorm and amplifies it to the extreme. Pacific Rift's play on hot versus cold goes into full effect here, in this dark volcanic level. It's unlike anything we've seen from the game so far, and it's a terrific contrast to the usual lush greens of the game.
With deadly lava and fire everywhere, this is quite possibly the most dramatic level in the MotorStorm series so far. Of course, with the heat so high, your vehicle will have a rather easy disposition to overheat whilst boosting -- we even went so far as to explode our bike. Ouch!
Thankfully, there are numerous showering stations scattered throughout the branching course, which will cool down your vehicle and take out any fire which may still be clinging to your vehicle. The constant switch between molten lava and refreshing water is not only visually arresting, but creates a very good gameplay balance. Do you opt to take a shorter route to shave a few seconds off your time, or do you go headstrong through the water to cool down your vehicle, and earn a little bit more boost?
Fans of the MotorStorm series should know how the game will control. For us, we found it rather difficult to navigate many of the courses, simply because of the multiple branching paths, and the overwhelming amount of environmental detail. Perhaps once we've learned the layouts of these "roads," we'll become a bit better at the game. Until then, first place still seems like an impossible goal just beyond our reach.
Handling is just as difficult as ever, especially in comparison to other similar racers, like Pure. The breaking and powersliding mechanics just aren't as responsive as we'd like -- especially in a game as fast and arcadey as this. However, it's undeniable that MotorStorm is a blast: jumping over fiery pits of lava as you try to fight other racers is intense.
Pacific Rift will launch exclusively on PS3 this October.