MotorStorm Monday: Crashing in Pacific Rift

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Today the staff at Evo are doing a little dance and breathing a huge sigh of relief. For today is the day of our fist gold master candidate, which as I write this is winging its way to assorted testers around the world ready for them to give MotorStorm: Pacific Rift one last hammering. This isn’t the end, chances are there still a few bugs to be fixed, but we’ve finished dessert, and are now just waiting for coffee and the bill. Phew.

But rather than browsing through vacation brochures, I thought this impasse would be best spent writing a few blog posts which answer some of the questions that have been floating around the internet about Pacific Rift. The first one of which I noticed is how many people I’ve seen decrying the fact the lovely little pause camera from the first game isn’t present in the recent demo.

Well guess what? We’ve taken it out because we’ve introduced a photo mode to the main game, essentially the old pause camera on steroids. Hopefully it will be a good substitute and give your greasy little paws something to do while the game is paused, other than just going to the khazi. No doubt some of you will probably use it for rubbing our noses into any graphical glitches you may find, or taking comedy pictures of dismounted drivers looking like they’re humping trees, but hopefully more of you will use it for grabbing some ace action pictures of the carnage and destruction we’ve worked so hard to give you in the game. You see we like the carnage in MotorStorm.

Years of doing more sanitized racing games, coupled with an unhealthy obsession with breaking stuff really made us try and push the boat out with the amount of things that falls apart in the game.

This desire for destruction gave us a few headaches when designing the game. The problem with racing games (and Motorsports in general) is that crashing is probably the most spectacular and exiting part of the whole affair. Unfortunately, crashing is also mutually exclusive to winning.

After much deliberation we were left with two solutions to the problem –

    Option 1 – Every time you crash in MotorStorm one of our army of in-house vivisectionists ritually sacrifices a cute kitten to punish MotorStorm players and make sure they learn that crashing will only lead to kitty Armageddon.

    Option 2 – Make crashes look awesome, dismember the vehicles, spew bits across the track, crumple them, crush them and toss the drivers into the path of other vehicles causing bigger and more spectacular crashes. Most importantly allow players involved in the crash to savor the carnage and then get back into the racing with as little time lost as possible.

Guess which one we picked?

The levels of destruction in the first MotorStorm were pretty good, but this time around we really wanted to go to town. First off we developed a completely new vehicle deformation system that realistically crumples mashed vehicles into twisted wrecks, as well as throw components across the track. The end results are, in our honest opinion, smashing (excuse the anglo-centric pun). Secondly we took a real close look at the way we throw ragdoll drivers around, because breaking cars is amusing, but seeing your driver fly through the air to land in a crumpled heap only to be run over by a monster truck, tossed around and end up as a hood ornament on a big rig is the pinnacle of the whole MotorStorm experience. Don’t worry though, it’s more ‘Tom and Jerry’ than ‘Faces of Death’. Good clean wholesome fun.

So, crash a lot, enjoy it, and send us your photo mode screenshots of all that lovely carnage. And if you’ve used photo mode to take pictures of things you think we got wrong, please address them to –

Uzbekistan Automobile and River Transport Agency,
3 Usman Yusupov Street

Till next time.

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