MotorStorm is a 2006 racing video game developed by Evolution Studios and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the Sony PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system. First announced at E3 2005, the game was released in Japan on 14 December 2006 and the rest of the world in March 2007. MotorStorm has achieved global sales of over 3 million copies. Two sequels were made, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift in 2008, and MotorStorm: Apocalypse in 2011. Another game was also created, MotorStorm: Arctic Edge.
The events of the game take place at the fictional MotorStorm Festival in Monument Valley. The objective of the game is to win a series of off-road races and to be the overall winner of the Festival. MotorStorm holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest variety of vehicles in a racing game - players are in control of seven different types of vehicles throughout the game: bikes, ATVs, Dune buggies, rally cars, racing trucks, mudpluggers and big rigs. Each vehicle has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, dirt bikes are capable of accelerating very fast and capable of maneuvering through tight spaces, but they are also easily damaged, and only reach mediocre top speeds. On the other hand, big rigs have great durability, medium speed, but poor acceleration and handling.
Each race requires the player to choose a particular vehicle type and often race against many of the other vehicles. Every track has many different ways of getting through it, each catering to a specific class of vehicle thereby making the racing field more even. The events in the game occur in real-time, such as the mud effects, tire marks, and crashes (for example, if a car loses a wheel, it will remain where it lands for the duration of the race). Each track is filled with a variety of jumps, bumps, cliffs, ledges, mud pits, parts from other cars, and other obstacles. Races are generally three-lap events with two to fifteen racers. There are eight playable tracks in the game with a further four are available to purchase as downloadable content through the PlayStation Store.
Tracks experience real-time deformation, which means each lap is different from the last; obstacles and other elements that are displaced from their original position will remain that way unless disturbed again. Larger vehicles can create large holes or leave ruts that can easily upset smaller, lighter vehicles, and every vehicle responds differently to different track environments. Vehicles like big rigs and mudpluggers get excellent traction in mud, whereas lighter vehicles like dirt bikes and ATVs will slip and slide.
Nitrous boost plays a large part in MotorStorm and is used to either catch up to opponents or pull away from them. Players must keep an eye on their boost meter, which shows how hot the car's engine is. The longer the boost is held, the hotter the engine becomes. If the boost is held when the engine reaches its critical temperature, it will explode. Since explosions resulting from the boost typically rocket the player's vehicle forward, they can be used to edge out another racer across the finish line. This can be very useful when behind, although this does not work all of the time if the AI opponent gains the upper hand.
In online play, Catch-up mode can be enabled. This means the leader of a race has less boost than everyone else, allowing players further back in the field to "catch-up". If the leader changes, so does the racer with less boost. This makes using boost for the leader a technical task, in theory they should only use it when necessary, and relying on their individual driving skills to win them the race.