A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is an off-road racer where aggression is the key to victory. Players will often bump into vehicles to force them into crashes. When riding bikes or ATVs, you can even push fellow bikers off their rides. Parents of new teen drivers might want to consider a recent study which suggests that playing some racing games can increase one's willingness to take risks while driving in real life. The game is playable online, a feature Common Sense Media doesn't recommend for children under age 12.
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What's it about?
Sony returns to the roads less traveled with off-roader MOTORSTORM: PACIFIC RIFT, an intense and thrilling racing game. The sequel to MotorStorm packs a wealth of new tracks and game types that give the series more heft. The story revolves around a racing festival on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. As you win races, you'll earn experience points that earn you festival tickets to tougher challenges. Players can also enjoy the game online through 12-player races, rankings, and matchmaking.
Pacific Rift packs a ton of options for players to choose from. Vehicles vary in speed and size, ranging from motorcycles and ATVs to monster trucks. The tracks look fantastic, offering multiple paths toward the finish. For example, big trucks can muck it up on muddier tracks while ATVs take higher, narrower paths and jumps. Environments are equally balanced. One moment, you're racing through thick brush in a forest. The next race, you're jumping over lava flows or through waterfalls. You'll also earn the opportunity to unlock different events like time trials and eliminators.
Is it any good?
For those unfamiliar with MotorStorm, each vehicle includes a boost meter to ramp up your speeds. But if you use your boost for too long, your vehicle explodes. Overall, the racing is exhilarating. Computer-controlled drivers are pretty smart and aggressive. They'll often attempt to bump you off the road or into embankments. When you rush through mud or water, specks will splash onto the screen. Wrecks look explosive. Chunks of metal fly across the screen as vehicles crunch against obstructions. One minor annoyance with Pacific Rift is you're not punished very severely for crashes. This is good for novices, but can feel cheap to the expert player. This proves to be a minor speed bump in the long run, as Pacific Rift presents an invigorating style of off-road racing.
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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.