MotorStorm hands-on

Friday 12 May 2006
When we gripped the PS3 pad to play MotorStorm it was - we realise now - with impossibly high expectations. Last year at Sony's E3 press conference we saw a game that seemed to promise intense, high velocity and high danger off-road racing, but the demo we played mere minutes ago was a tame, unexciting circuit racer. It's like Burnout never happened.

While a variety of motors were certainly present, there was absolutely no sign of anything quite as dramatic or exciting as a storm. The game felt slow, even when using the obligatory boost, and we can only hope that developer Evolution Studios will kick things up a notch or several for the final game.

We almost got excited when our dune buggy took off from a ramp, hit another vehicle, spun in the air and one of the wheels went bouncing off, but this was just one sleeping policeman-sized adrenaline spike in a race that was otherwise a certifiable flat-liner.

Above: Last year's promo movie held so much promise...

Besides lots of dusty, desert track, there was the odd stretch of mud that we can exclusively reveal does - yes - churn up realistically. However, it also slows you down and who honestly wants to be reduced to the speed of a short-sighted Sunday driver when playing a next-gen racer? We don't. We want it to be fast, frantic and full-on.

Of course, before we declare MotorStorm a complete write-off and cast it into the inspection pit of no return, we should remind ourselves that it is still early doors in the game's development and that this is still just a demo. Oh, and it does look rather stunning in the old visuals department.

As it is, though, MotorStorm is more blowout than burnout and it's going to need a hefty jump start up the exhaust kazoo before we bother getting excited about it again.