MotorStorm RC Preview – Back to Basics
Written Friday, December 23, 2011 By Lee BradleyView author's profile
The Vita's launch line-up is stuffed with titles designed to show-off the handheld's capabilities. Games like Little Deviants and Reality Fighters wouldn't, probably couldn't, exist on any other platform. Even slightly more traditional experiences like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and LittleBigPlanet use as many of the handheld's unique features as possible. And why not, eh? If you've got it, flaunt it.
Spend some time with MotorStorm RC however, and all of this couldn't be further from your mind. This is a game that's designed not to showcase the Vita's features, nor justify the handheld's overflowing capabilities. It just wants to be fun. No more, no less. Based on early experiences, that's exactly what it achieves.
You pilot a little remote-controlled car around a set of small, tight tracks using the dual analogue sticks in the same way you'd use an actual RC remote: one stick for the steering, one stick for acceleration. However, such is the unbridled joy of chucking your little zippy car around at top speed, you're likely keep the accelerator jammed to maximum regardless of the consequences.
There's no oil slicks and no tornadoes and very little in the way of distractions. It's just you, your rivals and some joyful arcade racing with cars that are ultra-responsive, ultra-fun and ultra-maneouverable. It works so well because it's so pure.
Adding variety are the tracks and the cars. There are 24 different RCs to unlock from a selection of eight categories, from buggies to big-rigs and super-minis, each displaying subtly different handling models and speeds. They hit all of the marks you'd expect, with the fastest cars sacrificing acceleration or steering and the slower cars offering improved manoeuvrability or out-of-the-gate speed. Every single one of them sounds like a swarm of wasps trapped in a biscuit tin.
Multiplayer is an odd one. Rather than go the traditional route and offer Wi-Fi or 3G-enabled match-ups, MotorStorm RC instead offers what they're calling "asynchronous multiplayer." What this seems to mean is that there basically isn't a multiplayer. Instead, there's a kind of Autolog-esque leader board system called the Pitwall, allowing you to check out your friend's best times and attempt to top them.
Rather niftily, the Pitwall extends across the PS3 version of the game, meaning that a kind of cross-platform play is possible. Kind of. The PS3 version, incidentally, also gets good old fashioned four-player split-screen in lieu of online multiplayer. You can access both versions for the price of one download.