MotorStorm Pacific Rift is a welcome blast from the past

Custom game cover.

Custom game cover.

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Still waiting for new racing games to come out?

Maybe a blast to the past may provide a challenge for you in your hunt for a new game. MotorStorm Pacific Rift could be the game for you.

MotorStorm Pacific Rift is an off-road, single player game that is co-op and multiplayer as well. MotorStorm Pacific Rift made its debut in 2008 as a Playstation 3 exclusive and has been a much sought-after game. The objective of the game is like any other racing game: be the first, second, or third to cross the finish line. But there’s a catch. The CPU doesn’t play fair. They will do everything they can to stop you from taking first place, including crushing you, running you over, teaming, blocking your path and worst of all, targeting you if you dare ride a bike.

The game takes place on an island born from fire, shaped by the elements, claimed by nature and abandoned by man. This island was once home to a fair and many other attractions that made the island a tourist attraction. It even had a gas station, a sugar factory and a sugar plantation. Sadly, the island had to be abandoned due to the volcano’s last eruption, causing it to rain ash and have rivers of molten lava. Most of the lava has cooled and formed land with beautiful landscapes that make up most of the island.

When it comes to events and races, there are four tickets with maps that fit into the theme of each ticket and four events spreaded out amongst them. The first ticket is called Earth Zone. All the maps that correspond with this ticket are riddled with mud, dirt, caves, small swamps and hidden paths covered or blocked by fallen trees. These races will put your vehicle to the test as you traverse through trees and swamps as well as mud pits with one goal: first place.

The second ticket is called the Air Zone. All races are held on the side of the still active volcano. High stakes racing takes places in this ticket, including xtreme jumps through waterfalls and jumps over cliff faces that can be fatal if not made. Super steep hills will put any vehicle’s handling to the test.

Heating things up is the third ticket: Fire Zone. This ticket’s races are more dangerous than the rest. With pits and rivers of lava to jump, avoiding the competition makes this a near impossible task. Racing next to lava is scary enough, but having a CPU racer pressuring you into molten lava, with nowhere to turn or escape, is insane. It’s either you or the CPU.

Cooling things off is the final ticket, Water Zone. The races that are held on this ticket are beautiful, but dangerous. Water can either be your friend or enemy as you race through, over, and under rivers, waterfalls, lakes and ponds. You could be driving on solid rock, then all of a sudden you’re in the deep end.

Keeping your eyes open while racing is one thing, but choose the right vehicle and you should have no problem with defending yourself. Each vehicle is built to handle the terrain and pull off certain stunts that others can’t. There are eight different vehicle classes in all and each class has different designs and paint jobs to choose from for each vehicle. Let’s see how they stack up.

Bikes are fast, agile and easy to maneuver and handle. Being small can sometimes be a blessing and a curse. Bikes are small enough to be moved by the rider without losing momentum. This allows the player to duck and bunny hop (the rider jumps causing the bike to jump), as well as over and under obstacles while being able to take shortcuts other vehicles can’t.

ATVs (all terrain vehicles) are just like bikes except they have four wheels. ATVs have a slight advantage; they are heavier and have four wheels for better traction. This allows them to travel through mud without sliding as much like a bike would. This could be a key advantage when it comes to racing in certain tickets.

Buggies are off-road champions built for the sole intention of tackling dirt, sand, and hilly terrain. Heavy duty suspension and tires allow buggies to perform better than the rest of the competition. With high flying jumps and incredible maneuverability, buggies are fast, sleek and tricky to catch.

Rally cars are low to the ground and built for speed. With heavy duty suspension and roll cages, these cars take a hit and keep on rolling. Even though they are built for endurance doesn’t mean they are built for all terrain. Dirt and sand are easy hurdles for rally cars, but if it’s mud or water, traction is almost non-existent.

Racing trucks are plain and simple, built to perform just like rally cars, except they are trucks. High performance parts are the key parts that make these trucks shine. Jumps are easily conquered due to their heavy duty shocks. This is what makes these trucks a worthy opponent.

Rounding out the options are mud pluggers, big rigs, and monster trucks, each of which have their pros and cons when you’re trying to claim first place.

As you can see, choosing the right vehicle is important, but that’s if you have a choice. For each race there is already a choice of what class of vehicles you can choose. It is rare that there are races that allow you to use any vehicle you want. With this being one of the most sought-out games, MotorStorm Pacific Rift would make a great entry in anyone’s collection. The only question that stands is this: Will you rise to the challenge?