Twisted Metal vs. Motorstorm Apocalypse: Plot Elements

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There was once a time when gamers who wanted a gritty, explosive driving experience with solid storytelling could turn to the Twisted Metal series. With 15 years of excellent installments (and the odd dud here and there), Twisted Metal has proven its worth as one of the most recognizable series to appear on Sony consoles. Another series has been making its rounds since 2006. Though a racing franchise at its core, Motorstorm has a different look than other racers and rides high on grittiness and car-crashing, two features that first put Twisted Metal on the map.

Currently slated for launch in 2011 are Twisted Metal and Motorstorm: Apocalypse. Both games will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3, and they both have a legacy of quality titles behind them. Ultimately, gamers are going to buy the game that best suits their personal gaming needs. Vehicular combat aficionados would do well to snag a copy of Twisted Metal when it launches later this year, while racing fans with a hankering for something a lot more unorthodox to contemporary racers would probably be better off with Motorstorm: Apocalypse.

When you compare these two games side-by-side, their differences are easily noticeable. But they also have a myriad of similiarites. Both Twisted Metal and Motorstorm: Apocalypse are set in a dark, gritty urban environment. Car crashes, loud sounds, and a distinct underground vibe are all a part of what both of these upcoming driving games offer players. There's also a distinct story element behind both of these titles that sets them apart from other vehicular games.

When you look at driving games, you hardly ever think about plot lines, revenge tales, and eerie stories. Twisted Metal immediately distinguishes itself from other driving games by allowing players to know the characters behind the wheel. While gamers can expect a new set of stories in the upcoming Twisted Metal, Motorstorm: Apocalypse has taken a similar route by placing a strong emphasis on plot detail. This aspect wasn't part of the experience in past games, but much like Twisted Metal, Motorstorm: Apocalypse will now give gamers the chance to get acquainted with the drivers.

The game's plot revolves around racers who have practically been left stranded in a demolished urban city. Each of the game's three difficulties tells the story of a different racer, and players will get to see the story unravel by completing the campaign. Along the way, the game's characters encounter other drivers who have a few destructive goals, the first being a desire to destroy the three protagonists. While Motorstorm: Apocalypse is a racing game, the environment and plot combine to create a different type of racing experience that's more about survival, much like Twisted Metal.

Is developer Evolution Studios making a wise decision by giving its racing game a story? When you think about adding a story to the battle mode in Mario Kart, you may chuckle, but that same formula worked for Twisted Metal, and the decade-and-a-half life of that franchise has proven that a component as simple as car combat can work with an interesting plot if executed well. By adding a developing tale to the gritty racing action of Motorstorm: Apocalypse, the series molds its own identity and attempts to do something unique. And while a big move like this is definitely risky, there's always the possibility for a big reward: most notably, new fans with a modern appreciation for the series.

Now it's time for gamers to consider both franchises and decide whether they want a brand new, story-driven experience or another addition to a long-running car combat series. By the looks of it, there are admirable aspects to Twisted Metal as well as Motorstorm: Apocalypse. Because they offer such comparable aspects—dark atmosphere, attention to plot, the constant theme of survival—it's difficult to predict the success of these two PlayStation 3 exclusives. Ultimately, the edge goes Twisted Metal. With 15 years of experience, co-creator David Jaffe surely has big ambitions for the upcoming title. And while Motorstorm: Apocalypse certainly looks impressive, it's still too early to tell how well the plot implementation will fare once the game launches.

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