Get the most out of your vehicle on the trickier tracks by using your boost as cleverly as possible. It not only gives you a speed injection, but acts like a steering aid, much like the smaller rockets on space shuttles. Judicious boosting will save your skin in many precarious situations as you get the kick needed to stop yourself hurtling into more killer topography.
The counterpoint to this is the engine temperature. If you keep hold of the boost button (“X”) too long you’ll overcook, violently combust and be treated to a cool slo -mo close-up of your handiwork. The temperature gauge is the most important meter on your screen - and there’s no need for a speedometer. You’ll know when to slow down because you’ll see the racers in front of you exploding when they smash into roadside obstacles.
PS3 generally handles the heavy workload of pushing up to 15 vehicles around huge environments and high speeds very well, although we spotted a couple of instances of slowdown, usually when all the vehicles were on screen at the same time. However, the screen did shudder once when there was only open desert ahead of us.
The soundtrack deserves a mention, too. The very fact that there’s no wailing cock-rock guitar solos deserves praise, but the inclusion of Spiritualized’s druggy Electricity and some choice cuts from the likes of Primal Scream and Kings of Leon only underline the game’s overall quality. The music’s even been mixed to sound like it’s pumping out across the desert from some stage in the distance. A nice touch.