In single-player, MotorStorm’s AI is aggressive. It angrily knocks you about, nudges you into obstacles and sends you hurtling over the sides of cliffs. And you’re only racing unthinking robots blindly following strings of code. When you play online you’re racing against real people. And people are bastards. And these particular bastards will stop at nothing to batter you off the course and, if you have a headset, you’ll be treated to a slew of swears at every turn. But it gives every race a sense of urgency - you’ll do anything to beat this lot.
But you’ll probably come last because it’s incredibly difficult. As is the case with most online games, everyone else seems to be infinitely better than you. You’d better get used to eating dirt. But no matter how good you are, everyone’s at the mercy of the game’s exemplary physics. Our tactic was to pin down the leader and hound him mercilessly. Eventually he’d crack under the pressure, make a mistake and we’d skid off into the lead. Well, for about three seconds until he came rolling up behind us and returned the favor. Right up our exhaust pipe.
There are some problems with lag from time to time, most noticeably when a car goes off a ramp - sometimes it’ll flicker and disappear, before appearing on the track below. There are other similar graphical anomalies, but nothing that affects gameplay too seriously. Your main worry will be getting better at racing. Your opponents, depending on how hardcore they are, will know each of the courses inside-out, so you’re better off learning them in single-player before even attempting to take yourself on the net.
MotorStorm online is constantly being updated via downloadable patches. In fact, the most recent update fixes the boosting glitch we explain over the page, makes the lobby screens clearer, lets you turn player names off, and sorts out a load of flaws. But it won’t fix everything. Online play is always evolving.