Our first few hours with MotorStorm Apocalypse (MA) were full of bliss. As a racer, voluntarily taking part in a post-apocalyptic racing festival, MA will push your driver to the limits, challenging him with aggressive racers and the forces of nature.
Buildings will fall around you, opening up new routes or doubling up as gigantic ramps, while a nearby cyclone can fling vehicles all around the track, creating a new shortcut that didn’t exist in the previous lap.
There are also an unruly bunch of civilians to deal with, who’ll constantly throw Molotov cocktails at you or even try to shoot you down. While you can run over most of them, you must make sure your car does not soak up too much damage, as it could lead to overheating.
You can spawn back into the race with the press of a button, but you’ll lose precious seconds and on higher difficulties, this becomes a real problem. The MA’s difficulty level goes up after a few hours of gaming. The career is split up into three sections — Rookie, Pro and Veteran. Cruising through the Rookie phase is easy, when you enter the Pro territory, the difficulty increases significantly.
The aggressive AI players are hell-bent on annihilating your ride. MA keeps up the frantic pace in its online mode, where up to 16 players can bang it out for online supremacy. Like most competitive games on the block today, you compete in a bunch of races and winning them allows you to soup-up your ride and racer. You even have a bunch of preset perks to choose from, which could make your car handle better, boost more or cool down faster. The insane destruction from the single player campaign makes its way into multiplayer as well; but unless you’re somewhere close to the first racer, you won’t witness it.
Visually, the game does not disappoint. There are a few low-resolution textures, but these pale in comparison to the grand scheme of things, like witnessing a cyclone throwing up shipwrecks across the same track you’re on. The cut scenes depicting the rather cheesy story are highly annoying and, thankfully, can be skipped.
We did encounter a few slowdowns but overall, the frame rates held up just fine even during some of the more chaotic races.
MotorStorm Apocalypse is one of the most exciting racers we’ve played. But sadly, it’s burdened by erratic difficulty, stupid gameplay mechanics and highly aggressive AI players. This, more often than not, converts an otherwise intense and nerve-wracking experience into something a lot more frustrating. If you can somehow look past that, then this is an apocalypse worth-experiencing.