There are those who say that there are all too few games to play on the PS3. But those people can STFU and step away from the console. Motorstorm 2, Pacific Rift
is in the building. When I received this news, I sprinted to the SPOnG office, and grasped the joypad with delight, only to find that the thing had locked up - which is fine, since this is very early demo code (70%). A quick restart and we were ready to play.
There was a lot of demand for a go on the game so my first experience was a two-player vertical split screen race against Tim. Playing a versus on a new track - Raingod Spire - for the first time on a new Motorstorm
was a little unnerving since I have a reputation as a 'Motostorm
playing robot' to uphold.
I selected a buggy - the preview has only three kinds of vehicle in the two-player race: Buggy, Rally Car and Racing Truck, the single-player preview game offers more vehicles including a motorcycle and all new monster truck - and we were ready to race.
The tracks are reminiscent of those from the first game - which is not surprising - with the notable exception of the vegetation. Where the first game took place in an arid desert environment, Pacific Rift
takes place in altogether more lush surroundings. Not only does this make a visual distinction but the palm fronds and leaves make planning your route, and discerning hazard from track more difficult.
As with the previous version, choosing the right vehicle for the track,and the right route for the vehicle make all the difference. After that it's a case of memorising the blind drop-offs - knowing where and at what angle to hit the ramps can make the difference between a smooth arc of flight leading to a painless landing, and series of midair collisions leading to a wreck. If you get it really wrong, you can find yourself taking a tumble all the way down the mountain.
The tracks are littered, as always, with a selection of deformable obstacles that you can destroy or knock out of the way, and some others that are more fixed in construction. Of course, it all depends on what you are riding or driving, burned-out wrecks that are all too easy for a Big Rig to plough out of the way will unseat a motorcyclist unceremoniously.