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Overview

MotorStorm: Apocalypse is the fourth game in the Sony-exclusive MotorStorm franchise, returning to the PlayStation 3 after the previous game, MotorStorm: Arctic Edge, which was released for PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2. It is built upon the engine used in the second instalment of the franchise, Pacific Rift, which was itself built upon the engine used in the original MotorStorm.

It features new gameplay mechanics such as character drivers with prologues and epilogues, nighttime races, NPC "factions" waging war during races, and more advanced vehicle customization - ranging from decals and paint work all the way up to actual vehicle performance upgrades earned with race winnings.

Pedestrians and non-racing vehicle also inhabit the tracks as hazards and obstacles that can be collided with.

Characters

In MotorStorm: Apocalypse, the career mode incorporates a story with the player being dropped into three different characters, each with their own personas, prologues, races and epilogues. Each character is used for '48 hours' of the festival offering a different viewpoint on the festival as it progresses.

  • Mash - "The Rookie": A newbie racer who snuck aboard the carrier to get to the Festival, Mash's campaign is considered the 'tutorial' of the game, providing a gentler introduction to the mechanics of MotorStorm.
  • Tyler - "The Pro": Already a skilled driver, and a former member of the ruined city's populace, Tyler offers an average challenge as far as difficulty goes, and is suitable for returning 'Stormers.
  • Big Dog - "The Veteren": The aging adrenaline junkie in charge of the MotorStorm festival, Big Dog is a grizzled racing vet who promises punishing challenges for skilled players.

Each of these characters has their own storyline as they all try to race in and escape from the city being torn apart by the Festival, the Earthquake, and the rival factions. Their stories overlap and run parallel throughout the 48 hours.

Two rival factions battle it out on the streets while you participate in racers. The first being the left over residents, madmen and crazies who refused to leave the city during the initial evacuation. The second is a private military security force called 'Dusklite' who was hired by the American government to take back the city from bands of crazies and chase out the MotorStorm racers so rebuilding can begin. These factions fight it out during the Festival, with high tech weaponry from the Dusklite side, and more basic methods such as wrecking balls and Molotov cocktails from the crazies -- with the "innocent" MotorStorm revellers caught in the middle.

Environment

This time the MotorStorm Festival moves inland and urban, taking place in a fictional location known as 'The City' which is inspired by areas on the west coast of America, specifically the 'Bay' area of California. Despite the urban setting the game remains about frantic destruction-racing over traditional street or drag-racing. With the pre-release catchphrase: Brutal Urban Off-road Racing.

Contrary to early speculation the game is not set in a Post-Apocalyptic environment, but rather a city ravaged by a natural disaster. In this case an earthquake which festival organizers catch wind of and decide to make this city the home of the next MotorStorm festival.

However this city is not quite as deserted as organizers assumed, and statements indicating two rival factions already occupying the ghost city and being unhappy with the 'Stormers presence there have been released, along with hints that "Mother Nature is not quite done yet." Indeed it is not, as the biggest earthquake ever recorded, referred to as the Big One, is slated to hit The City.

Gameplay

The core focus of MotorStorm has been kept in Apocalypse, with vehicle class-based "combat" and shortcuts in the environment triggered by destruction and exploration. Collapsing walls, skyscrapers, subways and sewers, vehicle pile ups, office blocks and giant bridges are just some of the environments for racers to traverse. The environment changes are consistent through the chronology of the storyline; for example a collapsed skyscraper in one race will remain fallen for the rest of the Festival, even if that track is revisited.

Multiplayer/Single Player Changes

Apocalypse features some vastly improved multiplayer features, including:

  • Sixteen player online multiplayer.
  • Four player split-screen.
  • Combinations of the two. Play with three friends in the living room against 12 more online.
  • Betting system.
  • Massive vehicle customization. Change vinyls, vehicle parts, vehicle shapes and more. Upload them to the community site and share them with others. They are identified by the vehicle used to create the, but work on all vehicle types, and include the creator's PSN ID.
  • Vehicle perk system similar to Blur. Modify handling, boosting and offensive abilities as you unlock new perks.
  • A wealth of rankings to progress through online with associated rewards and recognition.
  • Stacks of online rewards to earn and persistent progress giving the most determined and successful racers the status and recognition they deserve.
  • Persistent matchmaking. Keep your party together throughout your gaming session.
  • Game Mode Creator. From a completely blank canvas you can design your own game rules and victory conditions, play them online, and incorporate them into tournaments.
  • No more "rubber band AI".
  • Re-engineered camera system.
  • 5 New Vehicle Classes, including Supermini and Chopper.
  • 40 Single Player Races.

Ranking Chips and Betting

Players will unlock betting chips as they progress through the racing tiers. They can be earned through wrecking other racers, drift time, placing high, etc. as the main progression rank system. Players can take these chips and wager them in future races against another player to see if they can beat them. The wager is higher based on how skilled the other racer is. You will be able to cash these chips in to rank up if you win, or you can carry them forward immediately to boost the wager for the next race.

Rewards

Players will also be able to unlock medals, accolades, and other types of rewards. Based on what rank you earn, players can earn new parts, color schemes, and many other objects in order to customize their vehicle. This is the first MotorStorm that will allow full customization of how your vehicle will look.

Perks

MotorStorm: Apocalypse features a perk system for the very first time. Perks can be unlocked by earning chips from races. The perks are broken into three categories, Handling, Boost, and Combat:

CategoryPerk NamePerk Effect
HandlingSwift ReturnHalves the the time it takes to reset to the track after wrecking.
HandlingSunday DrivingImproved brakes.
HandlingBurn Rubberincreased grip.
HandlingFlight ControlIncreased the amount of in-air control.
HandlingHot Rodimproved acceleration.
HandlingPart FIshReduced water drag.
HandlingAerodynamicFaster top speed
BoostCriticalStay longer in Critical Booster before exploding.
BoostUp and AwayYou can hold Accelerate and still gain in-air Boost cooling (at a reduced cooling rate.)
BoostAsbestosThe effect of fire on your engine temperature is reduced.
BoostChilledFaster boost cooldown rate.
BoostAquaticIncreases the cooling effect if water on your engine temperature.
BoostShoot the BreezeImproves your in-air Boost Cooling.
BoostSlow Burnit takes longer to reach Critical Boost.
CombatParting GiftCreates a shockwave whenever you wreck.
CombatCheap ShotPerforming a Ram uses less Boost.
CombatHeavy WeightYour Rams are more effective against other vehicles.
CombatArmourTake more damage before wrecking.
CombatImmovableRams against you are less effective.
CombatCritical StrikeWhilst in Critical you can perform Rams without a Boost penalty.
CombatExplosiveIncreasing Shockwave range when Overboosting.

Pre-order Bonuses

MotorStorm: Apocalypse featured various pre-order bonuses specific to certain retailers.

Super Car (GameStop)

  • Dynamic Motorstorm Theme
  • Various Vinyls for vehicles
  • PSN Avatar
  • Carbon Edition Supercar

Rally Car (Amazon)

  • Dynamic Motorstorm Theme
  • Various Vinyls for vehicles
  • PSN Avatar
  • Carbon Edition Rally Car

Super Bike (Best Buy)

  • Dynamic Motorstorm Theme
  • Various Vinyls for vehicles
  • PSN Avatar
  • Carbon Edition Super Bike

Delay

Following the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March of 2011, MotorStorm: Apocalypse was officially delayed in all territories, and advertising on the game, which features a city destroyed by an earthquake, was greatly scaled back. Later, the European release date was announced to be on March 31st, with the United States date moved to May 3rd.

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