Hands-on / MotorStorm: Apocalypse (3D)

Hitting the throttle, powering through a crumbling city, desperately dodging the debris effortlessly flung in front of you in a mad dash to the finish line; sounds pretty boring don’t it? What if I told you it was in 3D? Oh now you’re interested? Okay then!

That’s basically what MotorStorm: Apocalypse is offering; the fast-paced, frantic racing we all know the series for, now mixed with Sony’s much-pushed 3D technology. We sat down for a lap around The (decaying) City, armed with the will to win and a chunky pair of glasses.

With Apocalypse you’ll notice one difference to past MotorStorm games straight away: there’s no starting line in our race. Instead we get a running start, which helps to pick up an immediate sense of speed as we took over control of a bulky red rally car.

The other thing we noticed that was different to past games is that you don’t usually have a huge flaming truck thrown at you at the start of the race. The sudden “oh crap!” moment that forced to make a quick change of direction was welcome though, and certainly set the tone for things to come. This truck was just the very tip of a firey, unstable iceberg; there was barely time to breathe before a skyscraper tumbled towards the ground, nearly crushing us in the process.

In fact our race seemed to carry the theme of throwing everything and the kitchen sink at us, sending us speeding through sewer pipes and climbing up the sides of toppled buildings. We’ve seen plenty of games set in the apocalypse before, but we can’t name too many of them that have used it as an excuse for incredibly unique and exciting race tracks.

Of course all this destruction in itself is an excuse for something else: 3D. MotorStorm is one of the big games behind Sony’s 3D line-up, and that makes sense what with all the rubble/people/cars flying into view. The option really does produce a convincing effect meaning you won’t be able to resist taking your eyes off of the track so you can gaze at some pour soul that you’ve just run over spin towards the screen. Of course if you do that you’ll crash… a lot. If anything we found the 3D filter to be a little too good; we were too busy oooh and aaahing to actually win the race.

So if you’re still wondering after all this time then yes, 3D is cool, maybe not new TV and expensive glasses cool (just yet), but cool all the same. We’re sure it’ll be a nice bonus for those that already own a compatible box, but everyone else isn’t missing out too much.

The handling of the car itself was smooth; I’m a big MotorStorm fan so I found myself comfortably pulling off tight turns and boosting down straights. It’s accessible and (more importantly) fun racing that anyone can jump into. Gran Turismo 5 not your thing? Then check out this title, because it really is the other end of the scale for racing games.

If you were a fan of the other MotorStorm games, then this game will be right up your street and probably end up being the best of the trilogy. Evolution Studios did a great job improving on their original game with Pacific Rift, and they’re set to continue the trend here. We’re looking forward to more urban road rage when the title next hits next February.