Motorstorm: Pacific Rift Demo

The good people at Sony have graciously allowed me to download and play the demo for Motorstorm Pacific Rift a bit ahead of schedule and I’m going to pass my experience on to you, the reader, in the form of an informal blog-type thing.

It starts off quite well, with a video showcasing some of the fun and exciting times you might have while playing the game, for examples a monster truck spinning through the air whilst also being in flames and falling to pieces into a chasm. All this to a pretty cool song (note: need to find out who it was by). After about five minutes of waiting for the menu to show up, it never did and I realised I’d been watching the same video and music loop for a long time.

When I decided to press X and saw the menu I was a bit disappointed that there is only one track (Rain God Spires) on offer, in both single and two player modes, and then a choice of three vehicles. You can try out the Bike, the Racing Truck or the behemoth Monster Truck in single player. Oh well, after all it is only a demo and the soundtrack is quite good, with rocky songs and also some drum-and-bass type stuff if that’s your cup of tea. Loading times are excruciatingly long, even as it’s a demo and loading from the hard drive anyway, something which I hope will be sorted for the final release. I couldn’t seem to do anything with the sixaxis either even though in the instructions it says clearly ‘tilt left’ and ‘tilt right’, maybe I’m just being stupid.

On my first few goes around the track I didn’t think it was anything special, the scenery wasn’t remarkable and the track fairly straightforward. As soon as I started taking the alternative paths and got really used to the controls, the game opened up a fair bit. The Monster Truck is not as all-powerful as it was claimed, dammit, I wanted to be able to crush other cars with my mighty wheels. I found it slow and skiddy and it can’t even make it through the spindliest of trees. Although none of the scenery in the demo level seems to be destructible, I’m not sure if this is just a one-off for the level or if that’s not going to be a major feature (in the video it clearly shows a wooden structure collapsing…)

On the other hand the cars are happily very destructible, sometimes if a race isn’t going your way it’s even worth driving off a cliff just to see what happens to all the pieces that fall off the car on the way down or when it hits a wall. For the ultimate finale, I find holding the boost as much as possible just before the finish line can be timed to allow you to cross the line as a flying petrol-fuelled inferno.

The two-player multiplayer option is where I truly had some great fun with the demo with the funky Buggy and groovy Rally Car available to race in which are much more enjoyable than the offerings of the single-player mode. Also the sense of speed seems much greater in split-screen, probably just because of the smaller screen size or something.

So, to sum up. A more interesting level could have been chosen to show off the game, multiplayer is great fun, monster truck is not as fun as it could have been, loading is a problem and destruction is brilliantly done. A mixed verdict that will only be resolved by seeing the complete version if the pictures are anything to go by.