James Ireland On March - 10 - 2010

There’s nothing blurry about it

Many a journalist has been sceptical with Bizarre Creation’s Blur. Mainly because their teaser trailers have been a tad underwhelming and that there was a little stigma over Activision last year over some of their business practices. I had heard nothing personally remotely exciting about Blur. I just had it down for being nothing more than Wipeout but with cars. However, today I am glad to report that there is nothing remotely blurry or forgetful about Blur. Now, we haven’t had a chance to play the single player as it wasn’t bundled with the beta but the online is superb.

blur power up screenshot Blur Multiplayer Preview

The premise of the racer is to win races, you can collect power-ups to take out other cars and relinquish first place. There are two main reasons why Blur will do well. The power-ups aren’t a gimmick. They are very well thought out and work extremely well to mould the whole experience together. The second reason why Blur will be extremely successful is that the power-ups are incredibly easy to use. You use the A button to deploy the power-up and use the X button to cycle between them. You couldn’t get much simpler. All other controls are easily recognisable. Right trigger, accelerate, left trigger to brake and then the B button to e-brake. It’s essentially the same control scheme as PGR but with added ferocity.

The levels we got to play in the beta were set at dock, barren wastelands and Tokyo. Each level had extremely satisfying jumps, great drifting points and an atmosphere that excites and stays fresh. I’m astounded by how good this game is and I think some of it plays part because of the fact that you don’t need an amazing racing line to stay within the pack, use your weapons wisely and even your average racing player can win a race or two. Power-ups are vicious, some will have you flying into barriers, spinning through the air, or losing control of your vehicle. Where this works is down to how long Bizarre decided to keep these animations going for. One of the biggest disadvantages of kart racers for instance are that being hit with a big weapon can render you out of the race, or at least the top three positions. In Blur animations last long enough for you to lose a position, two at most and for that reason it’s literally impossible to get annoyed at being hit with weapons all the time. It’s a lovely balance that compliments racing and combat perfectly.

blur 1024x576 Blur Multiplayer Preview

Many racers have an age old problem of finding a sticking point, finding something to work for, not in Blur. Blur rewards you for racing by opening up new vehicles and a car modification feature, through playing races. The better your rank, the more options there are available to you and this ultimately will be a big draw for those that like their games online and not off. Although locked in the game there is also split screen multiplayer and there is also a challenge list to work through to give you more incentive to play. There are two race lobbies that we had access to, 2-10 player racing and a second lobby which connected 20 racers together, now that is intense. I have a sneaky feeling that Blur will emerge from the dust and rubble and actually be a more successful game than Split Second. The car handling is better than Split Second and whilst I could scream about Blackrock Studios apocalyptic masterpiece, I am finding myself addicted more so to Activision’s answer for Need For Speed on crack.

Categories: Feature, Previews

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