MotorStorm: Apocalypse Review

Motorstorm: Apocalypse

Skyscrapers topple as the world’s biggest city crumbles above the devastating movement of an apocalyptic earthquake. Now let’s race!

The premise for MotorStorm: Apocalypse isn’t the most lucid or cohesive set of ideas but the combination of Armageddon and racing makes for enough “Oh s***!” moments to fill a Michael Bay flick. The distribution of destruction between interactive and purely visual set pieces (that is, crashing airplanes, exploding tankers, upending freeways) is about half and half: enough to keep players on their toes but not so much to annoy.

Outside of the large-scale mayhem, Apocalypse is racing as usual. Managing the potential to boost requires about as much attention as staying on course, especially given the shifting landscape around the player. Water cools off the boost making it last longer, fire the opposite. While this adds a dimension of strategy to the way that players plan their routes through each level and time their boost usage, it gets old. Fast. Seriously, if I have to hear that boosting noise one more time… let’s just say it dominates the audio and gameplay landscapes, leaving little room for subtlety. Minimizing the role of boosting might have allowed for a smoother experience, but the boost management is the core challenge of the game. It’s irrevocably sutured to the fabric of Apocalypse.


Apocalypse has got the modes any racing game needs — single-player campaign, multiplayer (online and local), free race — and it pulls them off passably. The campaign plays out some kind story or other. It’s in comic book cutscenes. I don’t know. The free races are the campaign races without impetus. The multiplayer appears to have some fantastic RPG elements like unlockable perks and vehicles that can keep interest for a while. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this review, the PlayStation Network has been down for over a week and has crippled this reviewer’s ability to actually play through any races online.

Bottom line: the levels, grand cityscapes collapsing all around the launching and spinning cars, are a spectacle, and give Apocalypse the adrenaline shot it needs to stay afloat. But it fails to rise above other, more innovative racing titles by relying too heavily on the annoying boost mechanic and doing little else. Uncharted 2‘s set pieces have come to racing in MotorStorm: Apocalypse. Now it just needs… tighter controls, collision-checked textures, integrated storytelling, balanced vehicle classes, and stunt modes.


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Author: Dan Crabtree View all posts by
Dan is Managing Editor for GamerNode and a freelance gaming writer. His dog is pretty great. Check him out on Twitter @DanRCrabtree.

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