GC 2008: Motorstorm: Pacific Rift Hands-On

We got to see the new volcano track in Motorstorm's tropical lineup, as well as talk to the team behind the game.

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It's encouraging to see just how well Motorstorm: Pacific Rift has progressed since we first played it three months ago. With the game just weeks away from its final submission to Sony, Leipzig is the last time we'll see it before its release sometime next quarter. To mark the occasion, we checked out Motorstorm's new fire-based track and played more of the split-screen multiplayer.

The new fire track is called Wildfire, and looks set to challenge even the most hardened of Motorstorm veterans. As you get close to the lava and pockets of fire, the heat will accelerate the damage done to your engine by boosting. As fans will know, overboosting can make your vehicle explode, and going near hot objects will only make this happen quicker. Luckily, the organisers of the sport have included misting tunnels to quickly cool you down as you race around the edge of the volcano. The only downside is that they're placed on some pretty inefficient routes, meaning you'll have to take a detour to get to them.

We also got to see new characters and moves in the Leipzig demo. A fat redneck character will make it into the game complete with his white vest, while it was also revealed that bikers will be able to punch other riders by using the L1/R1 buttons. There will also be full XMB support, allowing you to save replays as videos to watch anytime you want from the PlayStation 3's main menu. You'll also be able to play your own custom soundtracks, although the team hopes you won't, as it compiled 40 new tracks from drum 'n' bass artists such as Pendulum to rock gods like David Bowie.

Finally, the team also confirmed trophy support, as well as new cars and tracks via downloadable content once the game comes out. The team is also thinking about what it calls more "imaginitive" DLC, just as long as it gets the financial backing to do so. While the official release date for Pacific Rift is still the disappointingly vague "Q4 2008," the team told us that the game is going into its final submission with Sony in a month's time, so we hold out hope for seeing it soon after that.

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