on 31-05-2010 09:17 PM
This is my first review in a while and I'm planning to get back into the swing of doing them again so any feedback is hugely appreciated.
So the week after the release of Split/Second and ModNation Racers comes blur, the new arcade racer from Bizzare Creations; developers of the truly fantastic PGR series on Xbox and Metropolis Street Racer on Dreamcast. This game seems to have slipped under the radar of some, not receiving the same hype as its rivals.
Blur sets itself out, as you may have seen from its adverts, as a "big boy racer", taking the basic premise of a kart racer and combining it with realistic locations and real cars.
It certainly matches up to it's inspiration in terms of weaponry, featuring genre staples such as Shunts (a giant ball of energy that works as a homing missie), Nitro (speed boosts) and Mines (these can be dropped behind or fired forwards). They seem to have struck a good balance with the power-up's as none of them feel unfair and most can be avoided or countered with other items.
Aside from its varied weaponry blur also likes to mix things up in its events what with standard races, checkpoint runs and one on ones all being standard fare during single player with multi-player adding other events such as team races, Motor mash, a destruction derby style free for all where causing damage is the aim of the game, and hardcore racing, stripping away the power-ups leaving the race to be decided on driving skill alone.
Perhaps a downside to blur is it's graphics, while it's main competitors are both being rightly applauded for their design (Split/Second looks like it should be part of a summer blockbuster and ModNation does a great job of creating a bright, vibrant, fully customisable world) blur just feels a bit samey.
blur boasts a slick easy to navigate menu but the in game graphics leave a little to be desired, it's by no means an ugly game it just seems a little under-developed, it does however seem to have a solid, consistent frame rate which in a game like this is often more important. It does seem odd that there is no licensed soundtrack although it does allow you to play your own music in the background.
blur's gameplay is very slick an does a great job of mixing kart style driving with more traditional driving physics, the biggest problem it faces is normally wall-riding is quicker than actually slowing and taking the corners normally. As previously mentioned the power-up's are varied without being over-powered, meaning no blue shell substitute.
Online blur offers a great deal of modes including small and large races, Motor mash's and team racing it works in a similar style to Call of Duty, allowing the player to rank up by gaining fans and completing challenges (such as shunt 10 opponents) and rewarding ranking up with new cars and mods, mods are basically perks such as longer lasting shields and increased armour that you can attach to your vehicle. The biggest current problem is the lack of players online, it never seems to top 1000 meaning there are some empty races, but I feel it is unfair to mark the game down for this.
Unconfirmed stories claim that the reason this game is difficult to find in shops/ has such a high price tag is due to a falling out between Activision and Game/Gamestation, so if you are interested in it it may be best to look elsewhere.
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