Motorstorm : The first hour

Has it been an hour already? Wow … time flies when you’re mudding with an ATV and you keep getting run over by a freaking GARBAGE TRUCK!

I digress,

I figured I’d take a break from my game purchase to give you all my first impression.

Let’s try three words that describe this game :




Frenetic … it’s been a LONG time since I’ve played a racing game like this … in fact, I’m not sure if I’ve EVER played a racing game like this … if you’re playing a lighter vehicle (Motorcycle, ATV, Buggy) you can literally get SQUASHED by the heavier vehicles that come up from behind or your sides… so there’s actually a high level of practicality in the “look around / behind” views from the right analog stick. There’s something very very cool about the way that the vehicles jam up / smash through each other in the races … and the AI is actually pretty aggressive in terms of going after you in a race.

Exciting … there’s a lot of room to turn things around if you’re down a few positions in a lap … very much like SSX, this game has some clever branching paths that can put you ahead of the pack in a pinch … and if you deal with your “boosts” properly you should be able to maintain a good lead (at least in the early stages … I’m really not that far in.) Again, it’s been a while since I’ve played a white-knuckle racer … I own Ridge Racer 7, and I’ve logged quite a few hours with that … but since I’m a veteran of that series (and a devotee since the 4th entry) while fun, it doesn’t really make my palms sweat like it used to … Motorstorm has enough unpredictability to make me nervous on a final lap (ESPECIALLY ONLINE where I got dogged in the last laps of the races that I’ve lost.)

Fun … the PS3 REALLY needed something like this. As other reviews have stated, it’s pretty basic in it’s form and function. You pop it in, decide online or off, you pick a race, you pick a vehicle, and you race. That’s it. You win or you lose. Sure, there appears to be tracks and cars to unlock, but that all seems to be (at this point) pretty academic and straightforward … no hidden “coins” to collect on the tracks … just win the races and you get the stuff. And what that all translates into for now is a DISTRACTION FREE racing experience with the goal of winning being the most important one … especially online.

Graphically, it’s beautiful (even at it’s max resolution of 720p), the particle effects are stunning (even if it’s all messy dirt, dust, and crunched metal flying all over the place.)

The dashboard camera angle from the cars, bikes, and ATV’s looks VERY. VERY. CLOSE. to the E3 not-real time-demo that some of us drooled over last year, and the way the camera reacts / shakes is really photo-realistic looking. It’s a bit tougher to play that way, but I love the visual experience.

The music is decent. Some bands I love (Reverend Horton Heat FTW!) and some I’ve never heard of … I suppose that’s another striking similarity to Burnout. Chalk one up for that school of thought.

And with the good, comes the bad, here’s my gripes :

They IMPROVED the SixaxiS motion sensing control from the demo to the final release…but…there’s NO freaking way that you could possibly use it to win a race. It just doesn’t have the sensitivity that the analog sticks have. This makes me sad … but, not enough to ruin the whole game experience.

Online needs an patch / update. It froze up on the “communicating with server” screen more than once on me. But, this is something that Sony can fix, and if it’s a persistent global issue, I have faith that they will.

No split screen … which I find odd that I’m listing as a gripe, as I’m not a fan of split screen multiplayer in ANY game that requires real-time strategy (if you can SEE what your opponent is doing, it takes away from their privacy / strategy even in a racing game.)

And here’s something that’s not quite a gripe, but something that had me scratching my head … my INSTRUCTION MANUAL is totally mis-printed! It goes from page 4 to page 11 … and there are crucial instructions regarding play setup in the pages that I’m missing (and NO in-game tutorials.) LOL … oh well.

That’s pretty much it. I’m going to go back to playing some more later…so if I have any afterthoughts, I’ll be sure to post them here.

On a scale of 1 to 10, so far I’m feeling this game as an 8 right now, and that could scale up slightly or down severely if I encounter some kind of major turn-off.

If you own a PS3, you own Resistance, and you dig racing games … this should be on your list of potential purchases. It’s as much of a show-piece as it is fun online and off.

Having seen Motorstorm many times on a japanese PS3 I find it rather underwhelming really, graphics are nothing to write home about (especially not compared to what was promised in the trailer). It’s a decent racer alright, and it’s main advantage is that there aren’t too many off road racers beyond Flatout and the Colin McCrae series… but on the other hand, compared to Excite Truck it actually feels slow. Of course, on the PS3 it’s the best racing game you can get right now.

As to Resistance… that’s nothing too special either.

It is a pretty shallow experience in it’s design, especially in terms of options.

But, hey for a first generation effort, this is a title where they clearly focused on the graphics, physics, environments, tracks and gameplay, those all feel very polished.

the lack of options, unlockables, customizables, and whatnots, well, that they can easily build on in future iterations. (Or even patch with upgrades / downloads from the Playstation Store.)

And, yeah the online options are very, very limited, (no text chats, no match filters, etc.) but the gameplay in actual online matches is great.

I wouldn’t say that I’m dissapointed, simply because the actual gameplay is just so damned fun. If it were a mess in that department, the game would score a lot lower.

My biggest dissapointment is the lack of (quality) use of the SixaxiS.

After three days, I feel like my original scoring is a bit more liquid, but the absolute lowest I’d be willing to give it is a 7.5 with the understanding that while that’s an average score that, it’s still a very very fun game.