Motorstorm: Apocalypse

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Motorstorm: Apocalypse Game Poster Image
Latest entry in fantasy racing series is most violent yet.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 4 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Motorstorm games have always reveled in fantasy racing carnage, but this is the first one to let the violence spill over to pedestrians. The game's sole message is to drive fast and place first, no matter the consequences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game's protagonists -- a group of rebellious racers who share a frail fraternity -- are egotistical and aggressive pranksters. Movies shown between races depict friendships and even a budding romantic relationship, but most narrative scenes are dedicated to crass humor depicting characters getting hurt in funny ways.

Ease of Play

Standard arcade racing controls apply, making this racer pretty easy to pick up and play. The game grows progressively more difficult through the Festival mode, with racers forced to perform better in order to advance to the next stage.


Players can ram their vehicles into their opponents, causing them to wipe out. Spectacular crashes are depicted in slow motion, with riders often flung out of their vehicles and landing harshly within the environment. Racers often involuntarily plow through pedestrians, sending them soaring through the air. Some bystanders try to grab on to passing cars, dangling painfully from the sides of vehicles until either the wind or a passing obstacle tears them off. Some cut scenes depict characters being shot at by a security force monitoring the dilapidated city.


Cut scenes show cartoonish women in sexually revealing clothing. One woman depicted as a temptress calls attention to her watermelon-sized breasts, which jiggle noticeably when she moves.


Spoken dialogue includes infrequent profanity, including the word “s--t.”

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cut scenes depict men drinking beer and hard liquor. A man in a drunken stupor accidentally tosses his liquor bottle at a car, then drinks from the Molotov cocktail he meant to throw, setting himself on fire. A man can be seen smoking in one scene, and a brief reference to peyote is made.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Motorstorm: Apocalypse is a fantasy racing game that is noticeably more violent and racy than its predecessors. In addition to spectacular slow motion crashes that depict riders flung from their vehicles, players can now run through crowds of pedestrians at high speeds, sending them soaring through the air. Plus, the story mode depicts characters drinking and smoking, coming under fire from security forces, and flirting with a woman who has over-sized novelty breasts. Parents should also note that this game can be played online with open voice communication, a feature that Common Sense Media does not recommend for pre-teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBrioCyrain May 6, 2012

Wipe Out

A fun racing game where the funnest parts are you getting wiped out by the competition, especially riding a motorbike.
Teen, 14 years old Written byGamersnews32 March 19, 2020

More destruction and more vehicular violent action

Motorstorm: Apocalypse is a great sequel that takes place during an apocalyptic setting where buildings and cities are tearing apart. Violence is vehicular and... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAudenC July 5, 2015

Motorstorm: Apocolypse

A really fun game. Controls are super easy and the multiplayer is fantastic! When the people your playing as fall off the bike it looks bit graphic but there is... Continue reading

What's it about?

The latest entry in Sony’s popular series of off-road fantasy racing games, MOTORSTORM: APOCALYPSE sees the franchise's thrill-seeking drivers arriving via aircraft carrier to a destroyed and mostly deserted city. Ravaged by ongoing earthquakes, the metropolis is literally falling apart as players drive through its ruins, with skyscrapers tumbling down around them. Players can work through a short but challenging narrative that follows a few racers through the two day racing festival, then move on to tackle dozens of bonus challenges unlocked during the story mode. Online play offers players the ability to select a trio of special abilities, such as faster power boost regeneration and crashes with larger explosions.

Is it any good?

While the basic racing action remains similar to that of its predecessors -- vehicles of various size and ability power through imaginative courses filled with hidden shortcuts -- Motorstorm: Apocalypse has a much different vibe. Part of it comes from the story mode, which lets players get a better sense of the people who participate in Motorstorm festival races (not surprisingly, they’re probably not the kind of folks you’d want to be friends with), but another part comes from the added violence of mowing down the destroyed city’s hapless inhabitants. These bystanders are depicted as dangerous, but carelessly slamming through crowds of them on the street doesn’t necessarily feel right.

Darker tone aside, the racing action is as much fun as it’s ever been. Some of the dynamic environments are wildly inventive, with bridges and skyscrapers breaking apart even as you drive through and over them, altering the course for each subsequent lap. Fantasy racing games don’t come much more spectacular than this.

Online interaction: This game can be played online with other players and supports open voice communication. Younger players could be exposed to inappropriate language and topics of conversation, or share personal information with strangers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in racing games. From authentic-looking crashes in race simulators to gratuitous road kills in over-the-top fantasy racers, the genre has no shortage of violence. How do you determine which racing games are appropriate for your kids?

  • Families can also discuss the effect of racing games on young drivers. How do these games impact real world driving habits?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 3
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Release date: May 3, 2011
  • Genre: Racing
  • ESRB rating: T for Crude Humor, Drug References, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love racing and fast action games

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate