Just over five years ago, I was standing in the now defunct Woolworth’s getting very annoyed with the staff as my launch day PlayStation 3 was nowhere to be seen. It eventually made an appearance just as the store was about close and with it were two games, Resistance: Fall Of Man and Motorstorm.
I rushed home (handily just a few hundred metres), plugged in the console and fired up Motorstorm. A menacing voice over intoned that a new breed of warrior had been born and the Motorstorm festival has begun! Look at those gorgeous HD intro graphics, it looks so real! Woohoo!
It doesn't quite have the visual impact of the latest sequels but it still looks okay.
As I am writing this Playback on Easter Sunday, and I have a day to myself, I have decided to go back and play all those games I never finished, or in Motorstorm’s case, never really started. For five years the case has remained on the shelf, unloved and never touched Insert your own joke here
The first thing that strikes me about the game is that it requires an update – fair enough – but rather than quitting the title, the update occurs in game and only after it has downloaded will the system require a reboot. Obviously Motorstorm was completed before Sony had finalised how patches were to be delivered via the PSN.
The second thing that strikes me is that the intro graphics which looked so photo-realistic back in the day are photo realistic as it’s video footage with a few vehicles imposed on top. No wonder I was so impressed in 2007.
As the 102mb patch downloads, the thumping dance soundtrack of Motorstorm begins, at this very moment Krafty Kuts & Tim Deluxe’s ‘Bass Phenomenon’ is playing and it’s setting the mood perfectly. The Motorstorm sequels concentrated on the racing and the idea of the festival has became and more of an after thought, a shame as it was a new and invigorating idea for the racing genre and helped set the game apart from other racers.
For the first race I will be driving a ‘mud plugger’, an off-road buggy. The countdown reaches one and we’re off, I smoothly accelerate past the pack and then smash into a wall. Something is wrong, my buggy is not responding. I remember this is a launch title and by default (and strict instructions from Sony to use the damn thing) control is via the motion sensors in the sixaxis.
For me, the Motorstorm series has got progressively worse rather than better, culminating with the incomprehensible controls in Motorstorm:RC and the explode-if-you-so-much-as-graze the scenery Motorstorm: Apocalypse. Once the controls are configured in original Motorstorm, the vehicles handle perfectly – huzzah!
Original Motorstorm still bounces the vehicles across the screen but with the muddy tracks rather than concrete roads of Apocalypse the vehicles are much easier to handle.
Look at that arty blur!
What the game does have is fun, and by the bucket load. The wide tracks offer plenty of opportunity to skid past the A.I. vehicles and boosting across a jump – and several opponents – is an exhilarating experience.
Sadly Sony turned off the servers for online play at the start of the year and trophy hunters will find the game was never patched so it remains a trinket free experience.
Nevertheless, you can grab the game for a couple of pounds now and for a quiet Sunday afternoon you could do a whole lot worse (Yes, I’m talking about you, terrible racers that have been plaguing the PSN recently.)
Five years on and Motorstorm is still one of the best racers on PlayStation, if you are a recent convert to the Church Of Sony then I highly recommend spending a few quid on the game.