FlatOut vs. MotorStorm = M$ vs. $ony?

MotorStorm on PS3

Gosh, it seems a little friendly cross-platform rivalry is beginning between FlatOut developer Empire Interactive and MotorStorm developer Evolution Studios. FlatOut producer Danny Rawles was asked by CVG whether they were taking any cues from PS3-exclusive MotorStorm when working on Xbox 360-exclusive FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage. He was of the opinion that the PS3-exclusive future-franchise had actually taken a little…inspiration from their series, saying “Looking at some of their features, perhaps they’ve been influenced by FlatOut.’

FlatOut Carnage

While the visual styles and lots of the gameplay elements are different, I’d say he’s right. However, neither game is exactly pushing the boundaries of the racing genre…

Thanks to $e73n for the heads up…

MotorStorm Online Play Detailed

MotorStorm on PS3

We’re just about a month (give or take) away from the international release of MotorStorm, the new version with modestly improved visuals and some other tweaks, most notably online play. A foreign site pelaajalehti.com has posted up hands-on impressions of this updated version and they seem to like it. In fact, they seem to like it a little too much, being awfully forgiving about a number of points:

There’s no online leaderboard, it’s all kept really simple and clean with no over-complex clans or leagues or anything like that, its all about racing. There are stats you can check out like how many races you have won, which vehicle type you’ve used the most and least, times lost and so on. You do also gain fame by racing online, not quite sure how you build this since a a few wins online still had mine at zero.

Online leaderboards and leagues are considered too complex for racing games and we’re better off without them? Forgive me for disagreeing.

Thanks to wotter for the heads up.

MotorStorm and Fatal Inertia Delayed Again in US

MotorStorm on PS3

Alas, two more PS3 racers are slip-sliding away from their initial releases. Both were at one point launch titles, now it seems neither will make their adjusted release dates. IGN has the news for MotorStorm, including a mind-boggling (English?) quote from a Sony rep saying “It’ll come out in March, though we make the specific date public yet.” Fatal Inertia is moving further back, to a more ambiguous “Summer” according to 1UP.

So, disappointment for the early-adopting racing fans, myself included, continues to grow.

Edge Interviews MotorStorm Devs, WRC for PS3 Discussed

MotorStorm on PS3

Edge Online has published a rather lazy-man’s interview with MotorStorm developer Evolution Studios, lazy because they let the readers submit all the questions. The interview covers a variety of topics, from voice chat to split-screen gameplay, also touching on the (mostly) highly regarded WRC series for the PS2, also from Evolution, specifically asking when we can expect to see that franchise hit the PS3. It seems, however, that Sony has lost the rights to the WRC series and doesn’t sound all that particularly interested in picking it up again:

I want to know what’s happening with the WRC series: will it be coming to the PS3? If news is scarce, when could we expect some news?

MS: This is more a question for an ‘Ask the publisher’ session! For some time we didn’t admit it publicly, but the truth is that we have not done any WRC work since Rally Evolved shipped. SCEE and ISC (the rights holders) are still having executive conversations, but the licence expired last year and the future of the WRC franchise is anyone’s guess. It doesn’t help that the sport recently lost several key car manufacturers.

Thanks to Loudninja for the heads up

More Misinformation – US MotorStorm to NOT be 1080p

Geez…another day, another dose of misinformation from Sony. First it was the SIXAXIS Emmy thing (which they’ve officially called a “miscommunication between the two organisations“). Now, the 1080p/60 fps claim for the US release of MotorStorm is apparently untrue, despite a Sony rep confirming it in this video.

1UP has received confirmation that the game will not be 1080p nor 60 fps at this point. It will actually run at 720p and 30 fps.

US MotorStorm to be 1080p

MotorStorm on PS3

The list of upgrades for the US release of MotorStorm, just over a month away, continues to grow. Now according to this report at I4U News (seen at Evil Avatar) we can look forward to 1080p gameplay in addition to the earlier announced 12-player online multi and, perhaps most exciting of all, the ability to race at night. Whoo.

The higher resolution is good news for those with 1080p native HDTV sets, but somewhat bad news for others with 720p TVs thanks to the PS3’s unfortunate lack of scaling hardware. If the game doesn’t handle scaling internally (like the GT HD demo does) they may be stuck relying on their sets to handle some the conversion internally, something that may slap a little extra mud on the otherwise stellar looking visuals.

UPDATE: This is another PR mixup from Sony. The game is actually 720p. Read more here.

New MotorStorm Screens Show Multiplayer, Evening

MotorStorm on PS3

IGN has been playing around with their updated version of MotorStorm and have a series of new screens to share. You may be a bit bored with the idea of more screens of this one, but these are the first in-game shots depicting some of the additions made after the recent Japanese release, namely multiplayer and evening races. While I can’t say I’m exactly bowled over by the blue filter applied to make things look duskish, it’s good to see multiplayer is working with performance of at least 1 FPS.

Eurogamer Gushes on MotorStorm

MotorStorm on PS3

Eurogamer reviewer Tom Bramwell has written up a lengthy review that largely praises the merits of Sony’s premier PS3 racer, MotorStorm, saying that while it may be a rather simple racer in many ways, it’s bloody good fun:

This is no game of driving to the end of the road and going left. It’s about constant adjustment as you’re buffeted by the terrain, angling your buggy, car or whatever to cushion your landing whenever you’re rocked free of the ground. It’s about using the handbrake and the boost buttons as much as the clutch, because traction’s at a premium and momentum’s often your biggest foe. Every race has the endless need to compensate of a rally game, along with the depth of choice and epic scope familiar to fans of the first two, long-form SSX games.

However, it’s apparently not perfect, scoring 8/10. Perhaps this leaves room for a point or two to be added when the later, multiplayer-infused release comes along?