Motorstorm Apocalypse: We remember the last official installment of Motorstorm, a game that 10 years later remains in a unique and little explored profileIn December 2006 MotorStorm appeared as one of the spearheads of the recent PlayStation 3. The heir to the almighty PS2 had arrived late, with a vaunted architecture called to be revolutionary and at a very high price, so a certain need was perceived that it had exclusive games that justified its existence under those conditions (let’s not forget that Gears of Wars came out in November with a resounding success and impressive audiovisual performance). One of those called to occupy that space was the British studio Evolution, which after a solid relationship with Sony developing World Rally Champion on PS2, became part of its narrower orbit and was entrusted with the task of starting at launch. of the new machine.
To do so, the team opted for a game of a rabidly arcade nature, departing from the demanding orthodoxy of rally and “serious” driving games that were already clearly dominant at the time. The idea was to create something open, rough and wild, based on the idea of an automotive festival in which everything was worth and with spectacular graphics, which showed the generational leap. It was one of the participating projects in the infamous E3 2005, when Sony got out of hand with the use of pre-rendered material, being also one of the most outstanding games due to the degree of graphic detail and effects around it, a ceiling that could never reach.
But beyond unfortunate practices and ignoring the impossible E3 2005 trailer, MotorStorm turned out to be a great game and one of the strongest bets in the checkered initial PS3 catalog. Armed with a great graphic look, a soundtrack full of rock energy and imbued with the most hooligan arcade essence, MotorStorm was an ode to games like Road Rash, Destruction Derby or the same BurnOut, but endowed with its own personality thanks to the thematic, its roads full of mud and some very well raised mechanics such as the unlimited turbo but dependent on the engine temperature, which forced us to calculate its use and make good use of areas with large pools of water to accelerate to full speed without fear that reached critical temperature, a tactical element that stood out in the wildness of races packed with vehicles of all kinds and tonnage.
A good start
It was not the “savior” of PS3, but it established a saga called to stay time with us. A few months later, the sale of Evolution to Sony would be confirmed and the team set its sights on giving continuity to its creature. At the end of 2018, Pacific Rift appeared, an even wilder sequel taken to a tropical environment with multiple novelties and additions, another deluxe soundtrack with themes from Nirvana, Megadeth, Bowie and other eclectic selections that made it the perfect game to enjoy with friends and a beer on a lazy weekend. The following would not be Evolution nor would it be for PS3, since Artic Edge would arrive for PSP from Bigbig, accompanied by a version for PS2. All three games would achieve good marks and a warm reception from fans, but not the kind of success that other internal games within the company were achieving.
Perhaps that is why, with the third installment of Evolution’s MotorStorm, the Runcorn studio decided to play it and go for it, emphasizing the elements that made the series unique compared to the many good driving games that were appearing: the element The arcade, the chaos, the unexpected in racing took on a new dimension in Apocalyse, which brought the action to urban terrain, a west coast city simply called The City, which had been evacuated by a succession of natural disasters such as earthquakes and siphons they had destroyed infrastructure, cracked roads and left buildings dangerously close to demolition. It was the perfect litter box for the most extreme edition of MotorStorm.
The circuits of Apocalypse are insane, truly unique both within the series and in the video game in general. Imagine competing in a circuit on the rooftops of a city, with roads precariously built on top of buildings on the verge of collapsing, making us speed through rooftops full of leaps into the void or through old offices full of furniture that jump into the air before our engines enraged. In a show of physics simulation, the very structure of the circuits could change from one lap to the next as floors sank and walls fell, forming alternate routes that you could tackle if you had enough skill. Always on the go, there was always that sense of out of control all around us, in contrast to our attempts to control the vehicle and not fall off some of the crazy set designs.
Of course, this display of practical chaos on screen took its toll in terms of graphic fidelity, but that did not matter in a title that impressed precisely because of the constant madness that each race entailed, to which complementary elements such as helicopters were added. they shot as we passed, spectators armed with missile launchers or hurricanes moving heavy objects at hundreds of kilometers per hour brushing against our vehicle. All in addition to about 30 non-negotiable FPS. If in the first the mud effects were impressive, in the second the water effects, in the third on PS3 it was made clear that Evolution had managed to bring the CELL architecture and the use of the SPUs of the latest Kutaragi console to its maximum expression .
Apocalypse, he goes no more
Apocalypse was special within a unique saga, which was anchored as something of its own and exclusive to the PS3 catalog. As a detail that reaffirms its own character is its soundtrack, in which the use of a licensed soundtrack was discarded for the first time to create an orchestrated and dynamic own sound, as changeable as that of the terrain in which we moved – a decision That, making sense, does not take away from the adrenaline presence of some licensed songs that we had enjoyed in later installments. However, he also arrived with some bad luck behind him, the result of coinciding in time with the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. It was not the best publicity in the world to be celebrating a game based on carefree enjoyment in the midst of the destruction of a city while on the news the Japanese population was seen in anguish and escaping from the real destruction of their cities.