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Motorstorm Apocalypse: Dissected

Trailer Analysis: Picking apart the destructive footage...

We've talked about the carnage. We've shown the gameplay. We've done the review.

But now it's time to break down the devastation of Motorstorm Apocalypse into manageable bite-sized concrete chunks.

Let's get to work on that first trailer from E3 last year; it might be an oldie but it's certainly still a goldie and it's got everything we need to get a good look at what's going to be going down in Evolution's third go at off-road racing, this time with an earth-shaking twist.

The twist, in case you didn't know by now, is that this is off-road racing in the urban confines of an American, sky-scraping city. How can those two things possibly together? We hear you scream wildly. Simple: this time we'll be racing along tarmac tracks that are cracking and crumbling at the epicentre of a massive earthquake.

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Cue the first screengrab, then and you can see how the proud Americana skyline is ailing a bit. Trust us, they may be standing on their last iron legs at the moment, but they're guaranteed to come crashing down at some point.

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Except they rarely come crashing down directly upon you, that'd be too harsh. Instead, from what we've seen, they're a part of what's best described as an evolving track; as the city crumbles its layout inevitably shifts - often drastically - meaning that routes close but new ones inevitably open.

In the case of the scene above, the sky-scrapers have come crashing into a triangle forcing cars down the middle of the track (and scaring the life out of every racer involved no doubt). The other way the evolving track changes your scenery and route very quickly is by taking the race sub-terrainian. At any point the floor could just give way, dropping you into the sewer-system or an underground car park. Either way you suddenly have to readjust to a sudden change of environment and deal with new obstacles.

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When it comes to Skyline tracks, things get a little bit crazier. As you can see vehicles are air-lifted to the top of sky-scrapers to race along roof-tops. That sounds crazy enough but, as you'll see in the Skyline trailer, it gets much worse.

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You're not only racing on rooftops, you're racing on rooftops as the buildings themselves explode and start to fall. The only way you can survive is by getting to the next rooftop in time or quickly adjusting your path slightly to take advantage of a new route that's opened up thanks to crumbling structures ahead of you. As a result the race takes you in and out of office blocks and apartments as well as on top of them.

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But not all of Apocalypse's damage and destruction has to be world-endingly epic to have an impact on the gaming experience. There's clearly going to be all-sorts of dirt and debris filling the apocalyptic screen all the time and while it adds to the overall atmosphere, we think the bits of fluttering paper are going to have the biggest impact when it comes to 3D.

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Don't get us wrong, having massive hunks of breeze block spin towards your head, or an exploding lorry fly across the screen is going to provide most of the spectacle here, 3D or otherwise. But, if you're anything like us, you'll notice the little bits of paper flutter in and out of the foreground as well.

This is where Apocalypse's stunning 3D credentials come to the fore and you only need to have a look at the 3D-centric trailer Sony served up (in 2D of course) to see how the little things can make the biggest difference.

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Check out the burning embers and the shreds of paper dancing in and out of the foreground in this shot, for example. They look great in the set-up montages, but they continue to add to the atmosphere and visual showcase as well.

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