MotorStorm 2 Preview - 19/03/2008

Following the release of the new CG-rendered trailer, the rumour-mill has been on full blast with talk about MotorStorm 2, the sequel to the biggest selling Playstation 3 game to date and by far the most successful launch title.

This comes as no surprise, however, considering how similar the finished article was in comparison to that in-famous CG trailer Sony showed off prior to the release of the original, with only the mud not coming out quite as well (having been toned down to stop it getting impossible to play, which is obviously a good thing overall). Now let’s hope that Evolution can get it right again and come up with an even better example of the PS3’s power and show other developers how to program for the Playstation 3.

The original game, which featured the following as vehicle classes: Bikes; ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles for any novices to the series or anything like this); Rally Cars; Buggies; Racing Trucks; Mud Pluggers and Big Rigs, has been joined by Monster Trucks which will help to close the gap between the faster, smaller, more agile vehicles and the Big Rigs, which means there are even more options for each course, of which there will be 16 in the game but many more to surely be added like in the original with Coyote Revenge etc, and this will make it even harder to know which vehicle is best on each track, which in-turn makes the online more interesting. Also there could now be courses where two or more vehicles are the best, making for even more chaos and diversity.

The new setting for the game is a tropical island.

Another new addition to the game is the option of up-to 4 player split-screen, something the original really missed if you don’t have online or you just have friends round and want to play against each other. I know I wanted to, just to show my friends how to race through Monument Valley. The added split-screen option could also add another dimension to the single player game, where you could perhaps have challenges, for example two players must finish in the top 5 on some track and you unlock this car or skin etc, this would therefore lengthen the game. It is set in the tropics and will therefore feature less mud than in Monument Valley, but much more foliage. It will be closer and more compact, causing more crashes and increasing the difficulty further. The plush scenery, including a luxuriant Harbour and a Volcano (and more), ensure this is shaping up great. The fact it feels more enclosed gives the feeling of more routes, shortcuts and jumps.

One area of the game where MotorStorm 2 will amaze will be if the soundtrack is bettered, as MotorStorm had perhaps the greatest soundtrack ever, including Nirvana and Wolfmother. The great songs went expertly well together and gave the sense they actually had someone spend weeks and months picking the best songs. If MotorStorm 2 matches the original, I will be an extremely happy man.

It should be quite a departure from the dusty dirt of MotorStorm 1.

The new additions, split-screen and Monster Trucks as well as more tracks, greatly excite me and give me hope in the fact this could be the greatest racing game ever, and it has taken much less time to complete than GT5 already, even if it does get delayed, and I plead to God it doesn’t. The venue looks to be terrific and although this trailer, which could turn out to be just as famous as that E3 one for the original from way back in 2005, is CG, I think that Evolution can match it, stride for stride. The clip the Monster Truck gives to the tower, making it fall on to the track, creating another obstacle, is tremendous, likewise the biker hitting their head on the plank of wood, which looked just like real life. If this is anything to go by, the game could be the surprise entry for Game of the Year, and I cannot wait now for Autumn to arrive.

- James Edwards



Evolution Studios