MotorStorm: Arctic Edge continues the successful MotorStorm series, though with several changes – most noticeably, it’s been developed by a different studio, and is no longer available for the PS3, having come out for the PS2 and PSP instead.
Still, this shouldn’t drive you away from trying it, as MotorStorm: Arctic Edge is a surprisingly effective combination of various elements from the previous games, plus a few new ideas.
You’ll be driving in an all new environment – a snowy one, as the game’s title suggests. There’s no sign of the forests and deserts that surrounded the tracks in the previous games, and the new setting freshens up the game’s feeling very nicely. You’ll once again have to race against other players while avoiding the dangers nature poses to you, this time in the form of avalanches and slippery bridges.
An interesting addition to the gameplay is the ability to intentionally cause an avalanche by sounding your car’s horn – a perfect way to kick that guy in front of you out of the lead, but also a perfect way to go down the slope with him if you’re not careful.
There’s a fine balance between using a light and a heavy vehicle, as each offers its own advantages and drawbacks – for example, if you’re driving a light one, you’ll have no problem crossing the frozen bridge obstacles (provided you don’t slip of course), while heavier ones may even cause the bridge to crumble under their weight. On the other hand, an avalanche can spell the end of the line for a light car, while their heavier counterparts can just plow through the accumulated snow and keep going.
Graphics and System Requirements
The new frozen environments are beautiful and captivating, with great effects and highly-detailed assets. You need to keep reminding yourself you’re playing a PS2 game – that’s how impressive MotorStorm: Arctic Edge looks. Still, the console’s shortcomings do come through from time to time, and you may notice some pixelated elements on your screen. This will by no means ruin the impression that the game makes as a whole though.
Both of the game’s versions take advantage of their respective hardware very well, and have some differences in what they offer you with regards to that – for example, the PSP version only supports online play, while the regular PS2 version allows you to play head to head with your friend in a split screen mode, popular for console racers.
The realism related to the snow on the tracks can sometimes get a bit too annoying for the game’s own good – especially as you progress on to the more difficult tracks, which are appropriately more heavily covered with snow. The game becomes quite a challenge to handle well under those circumstances, but we guess this can be seen as a plus for veteran players.
The new developers have handled the title very well, and Arctic Edge certainly lives up to the success enjoyed by its predecessors, despite moving back a generation in terms of hardware.