First, I must warn players new to Motorstorm, the driving style can be a little crazy. Being that it is Off-Road, you can expect your vehicle's traction to be virtually non-existent traveling over loose dirt,gravel and mud. I have had several friends play along side me and just get completely discouraged in a matter of minutes with there inability to avoid trees and rocks or have any idea where the track is and what counts as out-of-bounds. It IS a bit tricky at first but you mustn't let that get you down, you have to explore the tracks, find out through a little trial&error what are the best paths. You also have to be into drifting, or planning your turns well before you reach the bend. It's not as hard as it sounds and it's AWESOME fun once you get it down. You also cannot come into it thinking you can make it through a track unscathed, especially if your brand new to Motorstorm. Crashing is a way of life here as it is in the Burnout series, it happens, expect it and don't allow it to discourage you, I have WON several races after frustrating and lame crashes that leave me in 16th of 16 places. Don't worry yourself to death, the "catch-up" AI is brilliantly engineered in Motorstorm, making you feel like it's always still possible to make up for lost time and win, as the AI is just as fallible as you will be. However make no mistake in thinking you can simply dominate this game, you will always have to fight hard for the gold. Getting to that position will require a boost, and if you were not a fan of original Motorstorm's lame boost feature always being just shy of over-heated throughout the race, you should be delighted to hear that this being a wet tropical climate rather then a dry arid desert region, there is plenty of moisture all around the tracks that will sizzle your engines down to a cooler temperature real quick [provided your not holding the boost through the water]. Now nothing against the desert, as far as content I would have liked to have been able to import the first games tracks into PR, because I liked the tracks in the first one, The first game just lacked a lot of options, a problem that this sequel amends.
Pacific Rift offers more then it's predecessor in that there is now a selection of modes besides just the career[Festival] and Online. There is now a new option called "Wreckreation", where you can setup single races or practice alone or against ghosts through some time trials.
The tracks: Flying off cliff-edges, hopping over lava-flows, bogging through mud and rivers, speeding through forests of giant tropical leaves into the unknown, the tracks are as diverse as an Island based game could get. I get the feeling they're not all in the same region of the Pacific. I believe Hawaii was the basis for the models, but I got a sort of Vietnam/Philippines vibe from some of the tracks. All these tracks are filled with risky yet not impossible jumps and obstacles, bringing forth your inner-most wreckless desires to screw the rules and just go, what ever happens, happens.
To take on this journey you are provided a variety of vehicle types to choose from. As with the previous Motorstorm, Bikes are the first choice, followed by ATVs, and Buggys. Then there's the "Rally-Cars" which aren't necessarily Lancers and Imprezas, but rather a mix of tuners and muscle cars even a stock-car all fitted with rally-gear. Following that is "Rally-Trucks" which are just bigger rally-vehicles, some aren't even trucks. The final three variety are the ones I find myself using most, "Mudpluggers" are off-road vehicles with extra fat tires meant to bog through mud with better traction. Big-Rigs are awesome, I love having just as equal a chance at winning in a big hulking Diesel Truck-Cab as in a bike or car. And the final choice is new to this sequel of Motorstorm, the Monster Trucks should never be overlooked, they are one of the best and most useful classes, and can go places with their giant balloon tires, that the other vehicles wouldn't dream of. Not to mention will knock anyone else out of there way. Beware all drivers of vehicles of a lesser mass, you are hunted! You will be crushed under the weight of the mighty conversion van/ Pick-up Truck/ Dinosaur-Head with GIANT wheels!
I will simply say about the graphics and sound that they are superb and will last a long while before appearing dated. This game is the first game including licensed music that turned out almost all to -my- tastes [Mostly mixtures of Metal,Harsh Drum & Bass and Electronic] SlipKnot, Noisia, Pendulum...
Online is always good and was pretty much the only strong point with the previous game. It remains just as awesome fun here as before, though it's of course better with friends. The only thing I didn't like about this, as with all racing games, is the 30 second cut-off after the 1st place racer crosses the line. I can handle not being first, but DNF just sucks, so try to stay less then 30 seconds behind the leader.
In closing I must say if you have any wreckless desire inside you and like to drive off-road THIS GAME IS FOR YOU.
P.S. Speed and Adrenaline DLC is worth every penny!! Hollowed Earth/and Hollowed Earth Volcanic are my favorite tracks overall!
and as a tip I will mention buying the Livery packs will unlock some vehicles your not supposed to have just yet, although you'll only be able to use the one new paint scheme.
[CAUTION: I have lost my completed Festival save TWICE becuase of a rare glitch in the save process that will strike when you least suspect. The 2nd time I was one race away from completing it all including DLC, and it froze while saving, which corrupted my data AGAIN. This game is lucky I Love it so much, whereas most games this would have been unforgivable. So fair warning, Just Save a backup of your main Save Data somewhere off of the PS3, and your good.]