In a world where electronics rule, remote control isn’t all that special. In fact, the basic idea is downright old-fashioned, as it’s something that fascinated our parents decades ago. These days, it’s all about interactive entertainment and when it comes to racing, the fans want high-octane, in-your-face intensity for arcade-based titles and extreme authenticity in simulations. But there’s still room for the innocent and the fun, especially in the world of handhelds.
Enter MotorStorm RC, in development at Evolution Studios and scheduled to launch alongside the PlayStation Vita on February 22. Obviously, the title is based on the popular off-road franchise, which has – in our opinion – delivered the goods in spades. The only difference is that instead of full-size vehicles, we’ll be driving one of 24 remote-controlled cars, each with its own individual set of characteristics. Yes, of course you have to unlock some of them.
The developers are also including circuits taken directly from previous series entries, like Pacific Rift and the recently released Apocalypse. The tracks are smaller in scale, of course, but we shouldn’t see too much in the way of visual diminishing. After all, the Vita is a pretty powerful unit, so a reduced size doesn’t necessarily mean reduced graphical quality. That won’t require much of an adjustment on the gamer’s part, but the basic control might…
When scale effects a vehicle, it effects everything about it, especially the driving physics. So a remote-controlled car has a very tight turning radius and isn’t quite as stable overall. The other difference is on the gamepad: instead of standard racing controls, Evolution is adopting the controls you would normally find on a standard remote control. That’s correct, the right analog stick handles acceleration, which is something else that might take some getting used to.
And remember, RC cars were always more fun with friends, so the social element involved in this game will be significant. Using the Vita’s NEAR feature, you’ll always have a new set of challenges and you’ll always have to top your buddies; in fact, you’ll see little ghost trails of your friends when racing. You can send challenges, post your best lap times on Facebook, and engage in four-player split-screen fun. There’s no cross-platform play with the PS3/PSN versions, though.
If everything turns out well, MotorStorm RC should be a quality launch title for the Vita. By the way, is anyone else reminded of the old Off Road arcade game…? Those weren’t supposed to be RC trucks but the game looked a lot like this, right?
12/1/2011 Ben Dutka