MotorStorm RC Review: A Free Change of Pace, For Now
Tons of content wrapped in a minuscule package; MotorStorm RC is the bite-size racing game with a lot of heart.
MotorStorm RC is a different beast than its predecessors. It isn’t the high octane, crash-and-burn style racer that fans of the series have come to know and admire since 2006. It’s a top-down classic arcade racer with a similar feel to the Hot Wheels track sets all car fanatics were enthused with at some point in their lives.
For those who are unfamiliar, MotorStorm is the brainchild of Sony’s Evolution Studios in England. The series is known for its ability to combine the physics and control of a dedicated racer with wonderfully scenic environments just pining for motor-vehicle accidents. MotorStorm games never fail to get blood rushing through the veins as you race to the top.
Each iteration has been built around a centralized theme: the original MotorStorm featured the rocky open desert terrain of Colorado’s Monument Valley; Pacific Rift introduced the natural elements of a tropical island and pitted racers against one another in lush forests, bursting volcanoes, towering cliff sides, and gushing waterfalls; Arctic Edge put cars on ice and made racers muck through rain, sleet, and snow to achieve victory; Apocalypse placed racers in the ruins of a post-earthquake city making them race against one another as they battled against after quakes and the shattered remains of architecture to survive. MotorStorm: RC takes all of the above and puts its own unique spin.
Think of it as a greatest hits album of sorts for the series. RC takes a bit of something from each game and redefines it into a top-down racer that gives you an entirely new experience. It is an amalgam chock full of content. With more than 200 cars to collect, there are over 100 medals to claim spread across 48 challenges to conquer where thousands of other racers are just waiting to be challenged.
When MotorStorm: RC was announced, a mixed reception was given from both the gaming community and MS fans alike. How would a tiny toy car compete with the awesomeness of hearing your engine roar at full speed? How exciting would the races be without being able to decimate the cars of your opponents into a fiery crash? How thrilling would the climb to first place be on a scaled down race track?
Pretty damn well. RC boasts the exact same graphical and physical prowess that the series has always prided itself on. Competition is tense, speed is just as much your enemy as it is your ally, sharp turns take timing and precision, all of the differing terrains are responsive and have a realistic feel to them as you maneuver across.
Online multiplayer isn’t the blood pumping head-to-head filled thrill that fans are used to though. It hampers the excitement for the game quite a bit. Instead, RC lives up to its arcade racer moniker via the leaderboards. Friends and strangers alike are able to keep tabs on each another, posting their best times to see if anyone can best them.
The lack of any real-time online multiplayer is naturally a disappointment to many. Racing games are all about the challenge after all, and beating someone’s completion time just isn’t as exciting as passing someone at the finish line by a hair.
However, it doesn’t stop RC from being fun. With so much to do in the game, it strives to provide ample amounts of entertainment in bite-sized racing chunks as you race your way to the top. It’s a tiny package full of moxie, and that’s one aspect that definitely works in its favor.
MotorStorm RC retails on PSN at $9.99. Buying the game once nets you two copies: one for your PS3 at home and another for those on the go with their Vita. Though for a limited time, both versions of the full game are free to download so long as it’s done so off of the Vita, thanks to a licensing deal with Scion in North America. The game may not be exactly what MotorStorm veterans are used to, but it’s an interesting change of pace and worth giving a try for both PS3 and Vita users alike.
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