So let's back up a bit, and set the scene. Picture a rocky, sandy, craggy mesa scattered with dry brush and flaming wreckage. You're racing against a pack of psychos in jeeps and on bikes, hitting ramps, flying into the air, and generally screwing with each other. In the post-Burnout world, who cares if your car literally blows up or goes spiraling hundreds of feet to its doom? Seconds later, you'll be magically revived and ready to race. Some of the track offered multiple pathways: down below for more jumps; up above for the relative safety of not being next to that long, long drop.
To survive requires keeping watch of your opponents and the track, which fortunately is wide. The jeep we played with had a super-springy suspension that made leaping around fun, but could do a real number on the steering. Floaty, jumpy gameplay is the way of MotorStorm. Don't buy this game if you're not interested in swearing a lot while you figure out how to deal with the races. Fortunately, hitting the select button will put you back on the track. We even abused it a bit; sliding backwards down the mountain and into the abyss, we casually tapped it before the game realized we were beyond hope of recovery.
The game may not live up to the fakery Sony has been showing off - including the brand-new images in this article - but it's still a looker. For a little while we were actually happy to go sliding off the course into the great beyond because it all looked so damn good: that huge, huge view was compelling. The novelty of dying did wear off, but the graphics - which by rights, should almost be dull, since it was mostly sand and rocks - never got old.