Blur

Review

posted 5/25/2010 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: PS3
Bizarre Creations knows how to make a killer racing game.  With games like Metropolis Street Racer and Project Gotham Racing, this Liverpool-based game developer knows a thing or two about making a worthwhile racing game.  After a three year break, Bizarre Creations is back to doing what they do best.  Blur is a fast-paced racing game that is equal parts Burnout and Super Mario Kart.  It's a winning combination that adds something new to the racing genre, even if it never feels as deep or polished as Project Gotham Racing.

I don't make the Super Mario Kart comparison out of hand.  Ever since the game was first announced, the developers and the general game press have been trumpeting the similarities.  Like Super Mario Kart, Blur is a competitive racing game featuring a whole bevy of cool multi-use weapons.  This is the type of game where racing skills alone won't get you over that finish line, you're going to need to blow up your competition or die trying.


The good news is you'll find eight different items littering the race course, each with its own pros and cons.  The shunt, for example, is a slow-moving homing projectile.  The barge, on the other hand, is a cool item that pushes away all of the cars around you.  There's a shock icon that showers the race course with EMP fields.  Racers will also pick up mines (which you lay anywhere on the track), shields (to protect you front others), nitro (to make you go faster) and the repair kit (to nurse you back to health).  Unlike Super Mario Kart (and other similar weapons-bases racers) Blur allows you to hold more than one item at once, your car can carry up to three weapons at any given time.

Blur is not interested in telling you a fancy story.  This is a traditional racing game with very little filler.  When you press "start" you'll be treated to a brief tutorial, but outside of that cinema there is literally nothing in the way of story.  All you know is that you're competing in a number of cool events trying to earn 450 fans.  The single-player offers nine different areas (Proving Grounds, City Slickers, Ruthless Aggression, etc.) each with seven events.  Each area will have a nice smattering of modes, including races, checkpoint matches, destruction events and the always popular one-on-one boss battle.


For the most part none of these modes stray too far from the Burnout/Super Mario Kart formula.  Races are filled with 10 - 20 cars shooting projectiles and dropping mines all in the name of coming in first.  It's a violent free-for-all across the planet.  In the checkpoint events you are racing against the clock, picking up icons that boost your time and speed you up.  The destruction mode, on the other hand, has you firing the bolt cannons into reappearing enemy cars.  The object of this mode is to earn enough points to advance.

Just to add a little more insanity, Blur ratchets up the crazy by giving you optional fan requests.  As you race around the tracks you'll notice a small orange icon, this will open up one of several fan demands.  The idea is simple, you pull off the demand (such as performing a perfect drift or driving through a dozen gates) and you'll earn a bunch of extra fans.  While these demands are optional, you'll need to complete them to unlock certain boss characters and earn all 450 points.
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