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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: THQ
Developed by: Rainbow Studios
Genre: Racing
Players: 1-12
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: December 17, 2007
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty








Heading into the next-gen battles, Evolution Studio's MotorStorm set a new benchmark with photo-realistic tracks and vehicles, thanks in part to the adoption of High Definition, for their off-road racer for the PlayStation 3. Selling more than a million units to date, MotorStorm was a treat only given to Sony followers and no one else. However, thanks to THQ, gamers across all consoles have their first real taste of off-road racing, which looks not to disappoint.

What sets this title apart from previous installments was the fact that THQ used two developers to ensure proper time was spent on each version. The Wii and the PS2 versions were developed by Incinerator, while the next-gen version (PS3 & X360) are being developed by Rainbow Studios. By doing this, the next-gen versions were filled with new and enhance features, one of which was the inclusion of motocross venues, which is a first for the series.

First analyzing the visuals, Untamed doesn't quite live up to the realism brought to the genre via MotorStorm, but is able to hold its own when it comes to the animations of the riders and the amount of detail put into the landscapes. It is clear that Rainbow Studios did not go to the same extent as Evolution Studios in developing this title, but were able to capture the same detailed venues often seen in actual venues. Thus capturing the authenticity of the sport within the realm of its visuals and feel it gives off.



Letting loose in a truck or a sand rail is rather impressive, but at the end of the day, nothing beats the look and feel of tearing up the tracks on motorbikes and atvs. However, no game can be without its issues, which is the case with musical soundtrack. Having played racing games for more than 10 years, I feel its best when the music features no lyrics, which allows the player to bond more with the game and focusing on the lyrics of the songs. Don't get me wrong, I love the edgy metal music featured in Untamed, but I feel they could of took a page from Namco's Ridge Racer series, which features no lyrics in their musical tracks.

As I mentioned earlier, there are tons of features and enhancements will keep gamers’ attention, in my opinion, far longer than MotorStorm (not including downloadable content). The bike and rider customizations are unmatched within the next-gen realm. The vehicles can be customized in almost everyway, including the tires, handgrips, and company decals. The riders can don gear and clothing from all the major outfitters, thus adding to the overall presentation and depth of the game. Keeping the features and enhancements coming, there are Quick and/or Custom Events, which are comprised of Hill climbs, Waypoints, Free Climbs, etc. While these are indeed plentiful additions, the heart and soul of the game comes via the Event Series and X-Cross Tournaments.

Within Event Series and X-Cross Tournament, there is a multitude of racing events to take part in, which are contingent upon what preferences and venues are selected. Some of the events featured within this mode include Outdoor Nationals, Supercross, SuperMoto, and almost a dozen other events. With vehicles, almost every vehicle in off-road racing are available for use, which include ORV Sports, Trophy Trucks, Monster Trucks, Sand Rails, ATVs, Minis, MXBikes and 4X4's.



After selecting your vehicle, you are giving the option to fine-tune your ride prior to hitting the track. The features are kept relatively simple so players can adjust the suspension, tire pressure, etc. without spending a long time figuring out the options and keeping yourself from hitting the tracks.

Just like MotorStorm, there are no invisible walls keeping riders on the track and from wiping out. Unless you are a veteran with off-road racers, you will find yourself crashing and wiping out the first couple of times, before acquiring your bearings for that given track. In addition, as your skill level rises, more and more competition that is interesting will come your way via computer opponents; as well as online competitions.

In speaking on online competition, thus just another piece of the overall puzzle. You can compete against up to 11 other players from around the world, which you are sure to come across several memorable moments. In regards to lag, I did not really notice any instances, though it's hard to tell when not that many people actually have the game in their possession. Next to the online mode, gamers can also compete in several different minigames, as well as split-screen battles with some of your close friends. Overall, another solid piece to the puzzle.



MX vs. ATV: Untamed is one of the best racing experiences to be release for a next generation platform. Several of the elements found within MotorStorm are also present within this title, while at the same time, new features have been added to enhance the racing experience. Overall, whether you own a PS3 or an Xbox 360, this title is definitely worth picking up.

8.5/10

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