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developer: Bizarre Creations
|ESRB rating: E
release date: May 25, 10
|» All About Blur on ActionTrip|
Some of you may remember Bizarre Creations and their popular Xbox-exclusive racing series, Project Gotham Racing. We dived into this game, expecting another top-quality racer, given the developers reputation. In Blur, things are geared towards the arcade-style racing game, similarly to Disney's Split/Second. There are also certain elements, which experienced players will no doubt recognize from Bizarre's PGR. To cut a long story short, Blur offers a straightforward and easy-to-jump-in racing experience, which is obviously one of its defining characteristics. Gamers who wish to get into the game as quickly and easily as possible, especially into multiplayer races, will be able to do so in this game. It's a trait we really appreciated right off the bat. I'm sure most players would agree with me on that.
OMG! A huge, red blob is coming towards me!
Can't talk while driving. Also, my mind is blurred from all the drugs...
After spending several long hours with the single-player, I soon became well-acquainted with the game's handy power-up mechanics. These actually represent the heart of Blur in both multiplayer and solo modes. Racing against AI-controlled racers is fun, since most of them are capable of putting your driving skills to the test in each event. Still, Blur's fun factor rapidly increases the moment you experience the thrill of using power-ups against live opponents. The game offers you a chance to race with up to 4 players through split-screen and online variants with 20 players (max.). It's possible to set up a match called World Tour, basically the easiest way to get into a quick game for players who wish to do just that. In this instance, you are given a random vehicle and can take part in random events. As you gather fan points, other events are unlocked and so on.
So, yeah, as you may have realized by now, the game is immensely more engaging in multiplayer pretty much in the same way as Split/Second. Once you get a grip on how all the power-ups work, you'll be hooked in no time. Power-ups are scattered across each tracks and range from a variety of aggressive ones to numerous defensive ones that protect your car from attacks. During racing events players may pull off diverse stunts and after each of these events so-called 'fan points' are distributed, which are sort of like the Kudos system in PGR. Beyond the racing and usual struggle over who's gonna win the event, I guess what really made this ride enjoyable for me was resorting to all the mods and power-ups and using them strategically. The cool part is, you have to think about what you're doing and there's usually very little time on the track for that. Players may hold several power-ups simultaneously and then use them as they see fit. Fan points and other benefits are dished out depending on how well you've utilized these power-ups against opposing racers. It's a very exciting and rewarding experience and to tell you the truth, I've had a blast in almost every multiplayer race.
Another fun aspect was going through several additional challenges that were incorporated into the main race. These challenges can be picked up on the track. They usually involve things like unlocking a mini-event within the main racing event. One of these denotes activating number of gateways which you have to race through within a specific time limit. Additionally, there are secondary objectives to complete in each event, which can lead to various helpful upgrades. For instance, you can gain a passive modification that automatically provides a turbo charge at the beginning of a race. All in all, it's a lot more engaging that most racers where you get little beyond the standard racing mechanics.
The atmosphere in this game resembles older flashy racers such as Need for Speed Underground. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It works for this game. The graphics are decent, as is the quality of sound and music.
Bzzzt! Gotcha, sucker!
LOL! Look at him go!
Okay, so there are still a few things that didn't please me in Blur. While I did enjoy having the option to tweak passive mods and such, I was hoping for a more elaborate vehicle customization system. It would've greatly increased the diversity of cars in multiplayer and the overall quality of the experience. Another drawback is that most of the rewards and unlocks won't be in your hands unless you finish first and that's usually very difficult. This may ward off a lot of gamers, particularly those who wish to make the most out of the single-player portion.
Despite its somewhat unbalanced difficulty and the lack of car customization, Blur can be a highly addictive game. Once you get the hang of the cool power-up mechanics, it's likely you'll want to stick to the game's extremely enjoyable and challenging multiplayer segment. Using the vehicles mods and power-ups strategically, makes every victory all the more rewarding. All racing fans should really give this one a go. Sure it's as arcadish as they come, but the core mechanics are very compelling and will keep you occupied for many hours.
8.1 Very Good
Easy to get into, solo play is mildly entertaining compared to the multiplayer which makes come crawling back for more, looks and sounds okay;
It's often too difficult to win a race, the game needs more vehicle customization options.
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