There are so many dormant racing game franchises that could really use a revival, like Ridge Racer, F-Zero, Project Gotham Racing or anything Sega’s ever made. Among them is MotorStorm, a series that enjoyed three entries on PlayStation 3 and a couple handheld spinoffs before disappearing after 2012. Passion for MotorStorm among its fanbase remains strong, however. If you need proof, consider what one fan’s created in Dreams, a PS4 game where you make games.
Now Dreams has been out for two years, and especially skillful builders have developed a lot of impressive stuff in it. It also released right before the end of the previous console generation, and could desperately use a PC port to broaden its reach and truly showcase the vast amount of talent on display in the community. Cyphlen’s reimagining of MotorStorm, called MotorStorm: New Horizons, is a perfect example of what can be achieved when Dreams is taken to its zenith. I’ve never made anything in the game, but I’m very familiar with MotorStorm, and the accuracy here is astounding.
Everything from the detail of the car models to the position of the chase cam, the boost mechanic, the track design and even minute stuff like the user interface and the way the camera zooms into the player’s car during the countdown to green is dead on when viewed side-by-side with Evolution Studios’ original work. Here’s gameplay of the second MotorStorm game, Pacific Rift, for those who’d like to compare.
The camera shake of the Dreams version does kind of make my head hurt, but that’s the only criticism I can think of. Dreams is a blank canvas of an editor, so the fact Cyphlen managed to strike so close to the source material is a remarkable achievement.
Not coincidentally, the mashup of Dreams’ colourful simplicity and MotorStorm’s raucous nature ends up manifesting as something with a striking similarity to On Rush — a game developed by the ex-MotorStorm team once they moved on to Codemasters. That, too, was an off-road racer that really deserved more attention than it got.
MotorStorm isn’t the only beloved racing game the Dreams community has brought back to life; a YouTuber named DG1 Games authored a tribute of their own, titled Ridge Racer Evolution. While the execution here isn’t quite at the level of Cyphlen’s MotorStorm, it still captures the vibe of Namco’s ’90s arcade classic — something you certainly wouldn’t say about the last, official Ridge Racer.
I’m no publishing exec, but the fact people are going so far as to remake these games in a tool like Dreams inspires a glimmer of hope within me that there’s at least enough public enthusiasm to justify remasters of them, if nothing else. Both series have been away for so long — a comparable number of years, as a matter of fact. Surely we haven’t seen their end. If we have, though, I’m half-tempted to pick up Dreams and buy a one-way ticket back to Monument Valley.