Pacific Rift is to MotorStorm as Wipeout 2097 was to Wipeout," says game director Nigel Kershaw, who's about to spoil the peace of Hawaii with some brutal offroad racing and monster trucks.
Of PS3's European launch titles, MotorStorm's chaotic, multi-pathed racing was perhaps the one that offered a new experience that didn't rely solely on glossy hi-def graphics. With courses filled with interweaving tracks that favored each of its vehicle types, from big rigs to dirt bikes, and AI racers that balanced aggression with idiocy, careening through laps against each other as much as they did the player, choice and strategy were as important as twitch reactions and technique. The result was a sense of complexity and life that made many other racers feel awfully staid.
It's little surprise, then, that sequel Pacific Rift has not attempted to change the original's basic design.
Though it currently looks slightly rough, with a lack of flying mud and some sparse vegetation, Kershaw says that his team has a lot more time for polishing compared to what they experienced working on MotorStorm. "It's not a luxury, it's a necessity," he says. But with a strong template to build from, it will be a shock if Rift doesn't achieve all the first game did and more.