PSP Preview: MotorStorm Arctic Edge

PSP Preview: MotorStorm Arctic Edge
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Big Shoes To Fill

When the PlayStation 3 was first revealed as the super-powered home console that it is, many looked to MotorStorm to show them something that simply couldn’t be done on any other console. When the game was finally released after months of delays it was a technical marvel, showcasing real-time terrain deformation, advanced particle effects and a (mostly) smooth framerate.

The sequel took the series formula and did was sequels do best; made it bigger, faster and prettier than it had ever been. Adding jungle locales to the mostly-tan environments of the first game was a great idea and really let the system flex its processing might with an insane amount of vegetation littering every track on the circuit.

Many, including myself, raised an eyebrow when it was revealed that this new itteration of the series would be making its way to Sony’s portable device as well as the last-generation PlayStation 2. However, some of our fears were put to rest when the screenshots revealed a game that was very much in line with previous titles in the series and really looked to push the power of the PSP to its limit.

New Additions

The first two games in the MotorStorm series had unique themes; MotorStorm was desert while Pacific Rift was very much jungle-oriented. Arctic Edge, as the name implies, sets its roots in the snow-covered tracks of yet another unique locale.

This setting works great for the limited power of the handheld platform as snowy hills are much easier to render than a thick jungle environment. However, this really doesn’t hurt the visual appeal of the game and from what we’ve seen there is still plenty of eye candy to enjoy in the arctic.

One particularly exciting feature is the addition of snowmobiles and the Snow Cat to the ranks of selectable vehicles. The snowmobile handles much like the bike in the first two titles and it cuts through the snow just as it would if you were really tearing up the slopes in one. The Snow Cat, if you’ve never seen one before, is essentially a semi-sized front cab with a giant snowmobile-esque set of tracks in the rear that allow it to really power through the powder. Both of these vehicles are exclusive to Arctic Edge and are sure to put a frigid smile on gamers' faces.

By The Numbers

MotorStorm: Arctic Edge will feature a total of 12 tracks on which to toss your vehicle around. Players will have the option to chose from 10 different vehicle classes including the new additions: Snowmobile and Snow Cat. Taking advantage of the PSP’s online capabilities, racers will be able to test their skills against up to seven others at one time. MotorStorm: Arctic Edge will be released Fall of 2009 for both the PSP and PlayStation 2.