Pure Motorstorm Fuel: Off-Road Racing Comes in Threes
In the early PS3 days Motorstorm languished in an unchallenged pole position on the console. With some of the most dazzling graphics to be found anywhere in the current generation of consoles, it earned a deserved following of fans.
Never before had brutal off-road racing been so well executed through the combination of a great physics engine and extremely impressive AI programming.
Baja and Colin McRae: DiRT followed later to a race hungry audience. DiRT was brilliantly designed to build on what had come before in the series, and impressed gamers and critics alike with a mighty Metacritic score of 83. It lacked the open-world feel of Motorstorm, opting instead for a larger number of tracks and a more realistic approach.
It was only a matter of time before the gaming public had confirmation of Evolution Studios’ upcoming sequel, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift. This time things are different though. Whilst the success of Motorstorm was still shining, a couple of developers were squirreling away on new IPs, namely Pure (from Black Rock Studios) and Fuel (from Asobo Studios).
Pure is now available on the high street and has been doing well with a Metacritic score of 83 – beating the lofty heights set by the original Motorstorm by just one point. With some beautiful graphics, clever trick systems and a huge variety of customization options, Pure has clearly been very carefully designed.
Previously, I was rather short with my hands-on with Pure. Having played some more of the game I feel that it is only fair to address this now. Pure is an exceptionally playable game. All the pieces which constitute a “good” racing game are there in spades. It simply comes down to personal taste as to which a player prefers between Pure and Motorstorm.
I maintain that the latter is my first option, but hasten to add that this is only because it released first.
What about Fuel? Four years in the making and not due for a release until 2009, does this extraordinary racer have the drive to throttle the competition?
The game certainly can’t be criticized for a lack of ambition; containing a predicted 5,000 square miles of continuous terrain this is surely the (physically) largest game that has been attempted. With a proprietary engine doing some serious number crunching behind a veil of dazzling graphics the gaming populous is sure to fall over its collective self to get hold of this when it is released next year.
The big question is, will it beat the Evolution powerhouse that has been building up the hype train in recent months?
Set on a Pacific island crammed full of new dangers such as lava and water hazards, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift is the very epitome of brutal off-road racing. With new vehicles, split-screen multiplayer options and a bigger and better overall package than its predecessor, can MSPR pull ahead of the competition in the coming year?
Only time will tell, and we’ll probably have to measure the difference in hundredths of a second.