I received today the Japanese release of MotorStorm for the Sony PS3. The US version of MotorStorm is still about 3 month away.
MotorStorm is a rally racing game with real-time deforming terrain and damage, lots of damage to cars and to what ever is not a rock. This Sony PS3 game displays at 720p high definition (Update: Sony rep. says at CES that U.S. version will support 1080p, watch video)
I tested the game on a 50 inch Panasonic Plasma HDTV. Of course the intro movie is stunning. It shows breathtaking desert landscape with crazy off-road cars ripping through the scenery. The game play actually sometimes looks nearly as good as the pre-rendered intro.
The first race tracks in the game are nicely designed and feature lots of details. Nothing over the top though. The more interesting race tracks are coming later in the game, judging based on the screenshots in the manual (Japanese language only). Damage to cars and other things on the track look fantastic with nice use of physics.
My first round I finished last, as the steering is not that easy. As I found the Wii motion controller experience so cool, I wanted to test how the SIXAXIS motion control works. MotorStrom offers to enable motion controlling. You can then steer your car like you hold a steering wheel. I actually like this a lot. If I do not look at the controller it actually feels like holding a steering wheel. I will continue to play MotorStorm like this.
Directional pads and joysticks are just totally out of fashion. The main menus in the game and the voice over are in English. The manual and the controller description inside the game are in Japanese. I could figure out already most functions. Some details I still need to do some more research.
Overall my initial impression of MotorStorm is positive. I am not blown away though and I did not feel really revolutionary. I will see how it develops when I get more skills playing the game. Also tonight I will try it on my projector in front of a 100 inch screen, this should help getting into it.
The Japanese MotorStorm version does not support online multi-player. It seems Sony is not ready with the infrastructure yet.
The Japanese MotorStorm PS3 game sells for $59.90 on Play-Asia.
Gamestop offers pre-order of the US version of MotorStorm for $59.90 with a shipping date of February 27th 2007.
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