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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.
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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?
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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.