MotorStorm is a racing game series published by Sony Computer Entertainment and is developed by Evolution Studios, and Bigbig Studios. The titles are "off-road racing" games featuring different types of vehicles with their own strengths and weaknesses and tracks with different terrains which may either hinder the vehicles' handling, or improve it.
The central premise of the series is a gathering of off-road racing enthusiasts for an event entitled the "MotorStorm Festival". Participants in the MotorStorm Festival are not limited to their vehicle choice for any event and cutthroat racing is encouraged. Races allow for any combination of vehicles to be used together in a single event.
The first MotorStorm game was released in December 2006 in Japan, 6 March in North America and in Europe on 23 March. The first MotorStorm game includes vehicles, ranging from Bikes to Big Rigs, each with their own abilities and weaknesses. While Bikes are fast vehicles in the game, alongside with Rally Cars, they are prone to being punched out by other drivers with ATVs or other Bikes, and can be easily destroyed by any other vehicles other than ATVs or any other Bikes. Rally Cars are the fastest vehicle in its class, but can easily suffer through rough bumps and terrains, and thus can be easily damaged by any other heavy vehicles. Mud Pluggers are medium-heavy vehicles, and can tackle any terrain they find, but does not excel well in speed. Big Rigs are the heaviest vehicles in its class. While it favours any terrain, excluding rocky terrains, it's speed is very slow, and this can be a problem when racing against faster vehicles.
There are 8 tracks that can be raced in the Monument Valley from the sand dunes to rocky canyons, with the additional four tracks that can be purchased through the PlayStation Store, totalling up to 12 tracks. For example, the "Mudpool" consists a racetrack that is completely filled with mud, giving lighter vehicles a massive disadvantage, thus forcing them to use the ramps which does not contain mud, while Mud Pluggers and Big Rigs gains the advantage through the muddy terrains. "Dust Devil" consists a sandy desert, which can be suited for any vehicles, though hazards are present in the track, such as stacks of burnt out wrecks and including dangerous rocks.
Nitrous Boost plays a large part in MotorStorm for the first time and is used to either catch up to opponents or pull away from them. Players must keep an eye on their boost meter, which shows how hot the car's engine is. The longer the boost is held, the hotter the engine becomes. If the boost is held when the engine reaches its critical temperature, it will explode, thus forcing the player to catch up with opponents again, who are further away from the player. Since explosions resulting from the boost typically rocket the player's vehicle forward, they can be used to edge out another racer across the finish line. This can be very useful when behind, although this does not work all of the time if the AI opponent gains the upper hand.
Since then, Motorstorm has achieved global sales of over 3 million copies.
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
The second MotorStorm game (also known as MotorStorm 2 in Japan) was released on 28 October 2008 in North America and 7 November 2008 in Europe. The game has sold over one million copies as of 9 December 2008.
There are 8 vehicle classes to drive, including the Monster truck, for the first time. The Monster truck can handle any terrain, just like the Mud Plugger vehicles. The Monster truck is not only surprisingly fast, it is also considered to be deadly, since it can run over any vehicles on sight, including other Monster Trucks and Big Rigs. It is, however, still very vulnerable against Big Rigs, since Monster Trucks have the tendency to roll over.
The "cooldown" technique is a new addition to MotorStorm, by driving through ponds, rivers and beaches. While this helps cool down the vehicles' boost temperature quicker, light vehicles will have a problem with speed reducing due to driving around any wet areas around any terrain. Another new feature are lava pools (lava bombs in the Adrenaline pack), which heats up the car's temperature boost quicker if discharging boost. The vehicle can instantaneously explode of overboosting on heated surfaces. Lava bombs can pose as a dangerous threat, because slamming head on will cause the vehicle to explode, even when driving over through a small lava bomb.
Speed events are firstly introduced in MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, where players must pass through checkpoints before the time runs out. Players can also select Drivers, firstly introduced, allowing users to no longer rely on vehicles, depending on driver's gender within each vehicles.
Photo Mode can be taken whilst racing, and can be exported to the PlayStation 3's HDD and can be used as wallpaper. Another new addition are known as the use of custom soundtracks that can be played via XMB.
MotorStorm: Arctic Edge
MotorStorm: Arctic Edge (MotorStorm: Raging Ice in Japan) is a the third MotorStorm racing game developed by Bigbig Studios and for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. It was released in September 2009. To date it is the only MotorStorm title not to appear on the PlayStation 3.
The "cooldown" system from Pacific Rift (driving through water or deep snow in Arctic Edge to speed up the rate of boost cooling) remains. A new feature of Arctic Edge is the ability to outfit the vehicles with new body kits, liveries, and exhaust systems (though none of the enhancements affect the performance of the vehicle). Sponsor decals can also be applied to the vehicle.
A new hazard that racers need to be aware of are avalanches, which can be triggered by a vehicle's explosion or blowing the horn. A wave of snow will rush down the hillside in the avalanche areas and sweep away any vehicle trapped under it, regardless of the vehicles' strength rating. Ice bridges present another new obstacle unique to Arctic Edge. While small vehicles can get through ice bridges, heavier vehicles can cause it to break and disintegrate, making the shortcut unusable but also preventing other competitors from using it to gain an advantage.
MotorStorm: Apocalypse (or MotorStorm 3) is the fourth MotorStorm game, expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2011. It is the third game of the series to appear on the PlayStation 3. Apocalypse is the first MotorStorm game set in an urban environment as opposed to natural settings, taking place in a decaying city suffering the aftermath of a natural disaster. Competitors are challenged to race through these ruins whilst avoiding collapsed buildings, explosions, and tremors that will actively and visually redefine the routes mid-race. The opponents, along with the player, will need to be wary of the two warring "factions" as bystanders will present a hazard for the first time in the series. Survivors are seen wandering around the city, scavenging items and starting fights against each other. Stragglers, however, will attempt to hijack vehicles from opponents, including the player, and that they are armed with weapons that will attempt to shoot down opponents, along with the player.