E3 2008: MotorStorm: Pacific Rift Impressions
It's basically the first game you see as soon as you enter the front doors of the Concourse Hall at the LA Convention Center. And there's no doubt about it that MotorStorm 2 is, indeed, the first game you'll want to see when entering an event like E3. MotorStorm 2 is precisely what the next-generation consoles are all about.
Immediately, what strikes you most about MotorStorm 2 is how utterly gorgeous it is. The amount of lavish details you see on screen are far and beyond what you saw in the original game. In all honesty, there is simply no comparison to the visuals of the original MotorStorm and its follow-up, the term 'night and day' couldn't possibly be any more applicable in this instance.
Nevermind the environments being vivid and gorgeous, they're also enormous! There are a number of different routes you can take throughout each course, some routes that are in plain sight, others that you'll have to discover. The game also does an amazing job of showing you just how vast the environment is, as you'll frequently be treated to an eye-candy angle of what's off in the distance of course you're racing on. You'll see everything from forests crowded with greenery to waterfalls. It's simply jaw-dropping stuff.
Of course, visuals are all great, but it's how MotorStorm 2 plays that makes it a winner. The sense of speed has been bumped up a bit, so even the heavier and piggish cars have a bit more excitement when raced with. Using the boost is still done the same way, and if you overdo it, you can blow your engine. Speaking of damage, the vehicular damage is incredible. If the impact is strong enough, your vehicles will deform into all sorts of shapes and sizes. Additionally, damage doesn't end just there, as panels will also fly off your car once they've been critically hit.
The framerate is silky smooth in a single-player match, and A.I. racers you square off against are extremely smart, so smart that they'll repeatedly ram you until they've taken you out. Sony wasn't kidding when they said that MotorStorm 2 would boast aggressive A.I.
The only complaint I have with MotorStorm 2 is likely one that'll get fixed in time for the final release. The visuals during split-screen two-player races were notably worse, which leads me to believe that the game requires a lot more optimization before it launches. But with months still left in development, I'm hopeful that it'll all get squared out.
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift is no doubt an impressive title. It's definitely a great way for me to start off the show.
Related Game(s): MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
7/15/2008 Arnold Katayev