As some of you may already be aware, especially if you’ve been following the Motorstorm Apocalypse Live event on the interwebs, our very own Tom Wallis was hand picked to compete for our good friends over at IGN against some other, lesser known publications such as The FHM, that Games Radar one and something called Eurogamer. Let us hand over to Tom to see what he made of the whole thing…
When I received an email from IGN inviting me to the qualifying session for Motorstorm Apocalypse Live I could barely remember entering. Looking back, I now remember that entry couldn’t have been simpler: by leaving a comment on IGN’s Facebook picture that stated how you would survive the apocalypse. My answer was suitably witty, if a little populist; something about eating the excess fat from James Corden, because he may as well be good for something, so it should have been no surprise that I was granted a place. Jumping on the James Corden hating band wagon was the only thing I could think of at the time, and for that I can only apologise to him and anyone else that I’ve hurt with my remarks. Especially Adam, who as we all know, is a complete idiot.
I arrived at the IGN office early for the qualifying session. As more contenders began to trickle in, two things became very clear: 1. They each had a lot more experience with Motorstorm games than I did, and 2. They had all been playing the demo pretty much non-stop since it was released the previous week.
In all there were 12 competitors in the qualifiers, each vying for one of four places to represent IGN against the other publications in the final event, later that evening. After a few trial runs we were ushered out of the conference room, leaving only the first four contestants to race for their place. A few minutes later and Dom, our IGN handler for the day, emerged to announce who had earned the first place. This was a little irrelevant, because at that stage I couldn’t remember the names of any of the other competitors; after all, you don’t name a pig before you slaughter it.
My turn came in the third round, and in true newbreview.com style I came in second to the kid with inhuman reflexes. As I crossed the finish line Dom patted me on the shoulder and told me not to worry, the runners up from the heats would each have another chance to win the final spot for the event. Here luck was on my side, and I sped to victory and secured my place in the annuls of history… or to compete at the event, one of the two. I forget which.
Flash forward a few hours and we’d been given our briefing for the final. The first stage was to be raced by the editors of each publication, and… well, there was a lot going on, and the whole event was very noisy, so some of the details may be a little sketchy. Also there was a free bar. In any case, our turn came in the third round, and each of the four IGN competitors took their places to fight it out for a place in the final in front of a crowd of 200 spectators.
To make the challenge harder still, followers at home could vote over Twitter to cause added distractions during the competition. The two rounds preceding my race only added to that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, as racers were blasted with rocky debris, and generally seemed to be a bit better than me. When it was finally our turn, the distraction involved being electrocuted, and wasn’t a whole lot of fun either.
After a few early crashes I managed to blast into the lead on the penultimate lap, keeping my lead throughout the final lap thanks to some mistakes from the other drivers. Everyone was incredibly gracious in defeat, and as we shook hands they each told me to “Smash it” in the final.
There was another twist to come in the final round. Clearly one apocalyptic distraction wasn’t enough, so this time they fired all of them at us throughout. The electric shock was more intense than before, debris was blasted at me, a rather friendly Alsatian barked and snapped at my leg, and explosions went off all around the players’ cages. On top of that, a pair of motocross riders showed up to rev their engines loudly right next to me. I’m not going to speculate as to whether it was these distractions, my poor choice of vehicle, or my general lack of skill at racing games, but suffice to say I didn’t ‘bring home the bacon’. To my surprise the pre-pubescent, avid reader of FHM won the grand prize of a trip to E3, so we’ll have to find some other way to get you coverage when the LA event rolls round in August.
Thanks to everyone that made the event such a success, especially Martin from IGN, who raced gallantly in the editors’ challenge, Dom who helped look after us throughout the day (and gave me a drunken man hug in consolation), and to Tom Champion, who invited the rest of the newbs along to watch me lose. Motorstorm Apocalypse is available now on PS3 from all good retailers and our very own Amazon store. It’s quite good.
- Tom Wallis