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On Wednesday night the Oxford Art Factory played host to what would be a once in a lifetime experience for some lucky community members. Why you ask? Because they would be some of the first people in Australia to check out what is sure to be one of the best racer’s released in 2011, MotorStorm: Apocalypse.
As the doors opened and the crowd entered, we all got our first looks at the venue and the game, both of which were incredible. The venue had an industrial feel with exposed iron pillars and wooded beams along with MotorStorm: Apocalypse livery throughout. The community quickly snatched up all the controllers for one of the many games set up throughout the venue with something set up to appeal to everyone’s taste.
Stations had been set to play in either HD, 3D, 4 Player Split Screen and for those adventurous enough to try it 3D MotorStorm: Apocalypse projected in HD onto a massive 4m screen so that everyone could see your epic victory or crushing defeat.
As the crowd mingled and had a chance to get some hands on time with the game, our attention was directed to the stage as we were welcomed us all to the event and introduced the special guest of the night, Assistant Games Producer Simon Barlow of Evolution Studios, who was about to give us an exclusive behind the screen look at history and evolution of MotorStorm: Apocalypse.
Simon shared the journey that took place to create this latest and greatest instalment in the MotorStorm franchise. He explained that before MotorStorm, Evolution Studios was working on a new IP referred to as Urban Smash which was an open world racers that took place throughout major cities with players creating there own paths though the world using the environment or what ever else they had available to them. If the shortest root to the finish line involved going over the rooftops or cutting through a shopping centre then you could do it and after being shown some early footage of the original Urban Smash game it was easy to see how some of these ideals had been incorporated into the design of MotorStorm Apocalypse.
Simon then went on to explain some of the concerns Evolution had about releasing another MotorStorm game, such as franchise fatigue, remaining faithful to the DNA of the game and of course its fans. We were lucky enough to be shown some of the other ideas that helped to drive MotorStorm: Apocalypse to this next stage in its evolution, such as giving the city its own pulse though the triggered real time events and making sure that it was the prefect blend of brutal off road racing in an urban environment, a “party at the end of the world so to speak”.
When asked about the how long it would take for an average player to “Platinum” this game the response from Simon was that you should put aside the rest of the year for this game as the online modes would take at least 150 hours to complete everything and with both free and paid for DLC planned for future release that figure could grow exponentially.
Klaus Badelt (of Pirates of the Caribbean fame) created 4 unique tracks for the game that received a remixing from 3 leading Drum and Bass/ Dub Step DJs to give the tracks an extra twist to fit in with the theme of MotorStorm.
After playing MotorStorm: Apocalypse myself, it has definitely stayed true to the original while adding plenty of extras that should appeal to both old and new players.
The environment is unforgiving, the city feels almost alive and out to get you and with the constant threat from the remaining locals and the private military, you have more than enough to keep you on your toes and the edge of your seat.
Finally for those of you that missed out on the event check out the below video for exclusive Motorstorm Apocalypse - Developer Interview with the one and only Simon Barlow
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