Your motorbike can outrun the entire field, but it’ll get chewed up and spat out by a couple of monster trucks, which as expected, start throwing their weight around at the beginning of the race. You hang back and watch in awe as a big rig ploughs through an ATV, sending parts and wheels skittering across the track. As the course leads into thick jungle and splits two-ways, you separate from the pack by taking the left-hand fork, ducking just in time to avoid being decapitated by a low branch.
The crunching sound behind you suggests the driver of a buggy hasn’t been so alert, but the narrow trail means it’s too risky to look back. The jungle ends and you boost off a ramp, flying over 100 feet and landing near the top of a stunning waterfall. There’s no time to admire the scenery though, as a fellow biker tries to overtake, so you swat him off his ride with a backhand to the throat.
At the bottom of the waterfall you choose your path carefully to avoid hazardous rocks and deep water, which don’t give the bigger vehicles any problems. The shallow water does at least cool your engine, which is dangerously close to exploding due to excessive boosting. You’re in first place as the finish line comes into view, and just to rub it in, you taunt the trailing pack with a rude hand gesture. Unfortunately that’s the cue for one of the monster trucks to steamroller you just yards from the line, and by the time you’re reset, you only manage to limp home in last place. Welcome to the thrilling, crazy world of Pacific Rift.
If Pacific Rift were a film, we’d be using cheap buzz phrases such as ‘an adrenaline-fuelled rollercoaster ride’ to describe it and bag ourselves a spot on the poster. But that’s exactly what it is. The team at Evolution has ditched the dry deserts of the first game and come up with a stunning selection of new and varied tracks while sensibly keeping everything else pretty much the same. The island is split into four so-called Elemental Zones: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, which roughly translated means dense jungle, cliffs and precipices, volcanoes and lava, and beaches and waterfalls.