MotorStorm is one of the many games that I thought would never look as good as its initial tech-demo did. But upon playing it, I soon realized I was pretty darn wrong. First thing's first, this is a report on the demo version of the game that is available on the PlayStation Network. With that in mind, keep this at the top of your head too: the graphics in the demo and final game will actually vary, as the complete version will look considerably better than the PSN demo. The newest wave of screenshots that Sony's been releasing proves that much, too. Everything about MotorStorm says that it's one of the finest examples of just what the PS3 is capable of; from the mud and gravel, down to the environments all around you. The game utilizes some of the sharpest texture work on a console game to date, and it's absolutely brilliant. What's more brilliant is that the frame rate is a rock solid 60 frames per second, and in a game that looks as good as MotorStorm, that's fantastic.
The game plays rather well, but it does require some adjusting too. I'll be honest when I thought this game would play like Burnout with mud, but I was wrong. The cars feel pretty genuine and won't accelerate to 200MPH in a heartbeat. But even though the game's speed may sound civilized, the sense of speed is actually quite impressive. In addition to that, you do have a constantly re-filling boost meter to keep things moving fast too. Certainly though, as you progress through the game you'll unlock faster vehicles, bikes, buggies, trucks, and what have you. The demo allows the use of either a truck or a bike, and there's clear disparity in speed between the two of them. But where as the bike is faster, it is also much more susceptible to damage and ultimately exploding. But don't worry, your vehicle of choice will just re-generate once you've demolished it, and the race goes on.
Initially, you may feel a little discouraged. But just give the game a little bit of practice time and you'll get the hang of the races. Don't attempt to just blast through the competition, because some of the areas (such as the one in the demo) are open, and you can skid out of track and lose your spot in the race. Moreover, learn the intricacies of each stage, as various curves and jumps may throw you for a loop and have you crashing into a wall. The gameplay is pretty furious though, and curiously addictive. Even though I was a little stressed out learning the ropes, I couldn't tear myself away by the fourth race. And if the demo is any indication of what's to come, it looks like Sony has put together a pretty decent soundtrack for MotorStorm too. So far Nirvana's "Breed" and "Slam" by Pendulum are present on the PSN demo version, and "Leave You Far Behind" by Lunatic Calm has been heard in the kiosk demo, in addition to the other two.
Unfortunately MotorStorm is still a bit away from release, as currently it's forecasted for March 6th, 2007. That's almost exactly a 4 month wait as I write this, so just hold on. Few people expected Motorstorm to generate such hype, but it did, and Sony's dedicated on releasing a product as polished as possible. Thus far it seems like Motorstorm is quite worthy of the hype and anticipation it's garnering, and hopefully that keeps everyone who may have had their doubts resting assured.