MotorStorm: Arctic Edge is the third entry in the MotorStorm series of video games, developed by Bigbig Studios and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. Unlike previous games in the series, the game was developed by Bigbig Studios and it's the first game in the series not to be released on the PlayStation 3.
The game once again moves away from the desert environments of the original title and the lush island environment of the sequel and relocates itself to the harsh Arctic climate of Alaska on the edge of the Arctic Circle. Gameplay is similar to that of previous titles in the series such as Nitrous Boosts, environmental hazards and destructible environments. Unlike the previous titles in the series, the game will only feature up to a maximum of ten racers in each race.
New hazards include avalanches, which can be triggered by vehicle explosion or blowing the vehicle's horn, which causes a large amount of snow to rumble down the track and will strike away opponents, including the player, no matter the vehicles' strengths. Icy bridges can also be dangerous for heavy vehicles. While small vehicles can get over ice bridges, heavier vehicles can cause them to disintegrate and break, making the short-cut impossible to cross.
There will also be differences between PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2 edition of the game in order to make use of each systems specific capabilities. Such as the PlayStation Portable version featuring a Photo Mode, custom soundtracks and online play which features 6-player online multiplayer. On the other hand, the PlayStation 2 version will feature a split-screen multiplayer mode like the one present in the previous game, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift. The Time Attack game mode will only record the player's timings from the leaderboard in the PlayStation Portable version of the game though the mode itself has been confirmed for both consoles.
The main gameplay mode of the game is known as the Wreckreation Mode which consists of various game modes such as,
- Free Play, is the classic racing mode in most racing games where players select a track followed by a track and race with computer controlled opponents.
- Time-Attack, is where players are timed as to how long they take to navigate through the curves and turns one lap at the time, on later laps the ghost of the best recorded time by the player can be seen racing alongside the player on the course which allows the player to try and beat his previous set record.
MotorStorm: Arctic Edge will feature a total of twenty-four vehicles from eight vehicle classes, most of which are specially designed to suit the Arctic climate. The classes of the Racing Truck, Mud Plugger and the more recent Monster Truck in previous games have since been replaced by the Snowmobile, Snowplugger and the Snowplow due to the Arctic environment. Each vehicle is all fully customizable with examples such as liveries, spoilers, exhaust, and sponsor stickers.
There are eight unique vehicle classes in the game:
- Snow machine
- Rally Car
- Big Rig
New additions include the return of the "cooldown" technique by driving through deep snow, and vehicles can be customized with body kits, liveries, spoilers, exhausts and sponsor stickers, though its performance cannot be enhanced.
MotorStorm: Arctic Edge features a total of twelve tracks in the game, such as Wolfpack Mountain, Eagle Falls, Widow Maker, Log Jam, Gold Rush, and Vertigo. Icy bridges are seen during races in each track, and these will pose as a hazard for drivers below. While small vehicles can easily navigate through, larger and heavy vehicles can easily disintegrate the bridge, thus causing the opponents or the player to tumble down the track, and will either become wrecked or receive some damage and drive off, if one of the heavy vehicles drives through while the other one behind falls down as the bridge gives way. Vehicles will have the ability to cool down the boost by driving through deep snow or under waterfalls, the same technique used for driving through the water in MotorStorm: Pacific Rift. A new hazard, known as the avalanche, can be triggered by blowing the vehicles' horns, or by explosions from vehicles. The avalanche will then strike away opponents, along with the player, if not evaded in time. The amount of snow also increases as the player drives up the mountain which would cause the surface to become more slippery for players.
MotorStorm: Arctic Edge for the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2 was first officially announced on February 24, 2009 by Sony Computer Entertainment and would not be developed by Evolution Studios who had previously developed the past two titles but instead by Bigbig Studios. Prior to that rumors of a PlayStation Portable edition of the previously PlayStation 3 Exclusive Motorstorm had been swirling due to a tip by a staff member of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in November, 2008.
The first gameplay video was unveiled on April 29, 2009 showcasing the new gameplay mechanics of the game while an official trailer was released on 3 June 2009 which include a computer generated cinematic of the game. A second official trailer was released during Gamescom 2009 in Germany showcasing more gameplay as well as new content.
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