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Impressions of MotorStorm 2
by Jeff Gerstmann on
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift is getting a slightly different name in Japan, but the end result is the same: hot racing.
The circuit I drove was filled with what seemed to be low-grade volcanic activity. So when I wasn't making quick cuts on cliffs to keep from spilling off into the ocean, I was jumping my racing truck over and through fire. The neat thing about all the fire on the track is that jumping through it actually sets your vehicle ablaze, which felt like it might have had a negative effect on the turbo meter, which heats up and overheats if you boost too frequently. Small shower areas were strung around the hotter sections of the track, which cool down your engine and give the game a boosting and cooling process that makes the whole thing feel a little bit more like Excitebike.
Of course, the other big danger is the track itself. With multiple pathways leading to the finish line and lots of obstacles and cliffs, crashing is a fact of life in MotorStorm. The vehicles deform nicely when you wreck, which takes you out of the action for a bit so you can watch your truck smash up or come apart. You can skip the crash animations if you just want to get back behind the wheel where you belong.
Visually, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift builds on the beauty of the original game, but it gets a few more tricks than its predecessor had. Instead of just showing you mud splatters on the sides of your vehicle, the hot level I drove on had a terrific-looking heat wash effect, as well as the aforementioned flaming vehicles as you pass through the hot spots of the course.
It doesn't feel like it's completely reinventing itself, but for fans of the original MotorStorm, that's probably a very good thing. More track variety and a new class of monster trucks to choose from should make this one pretty exciting for PS3 race fans come the end of the month.