Blur Review

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Developer: Bizarre Creations Publisher: Activision
Release Date: May 25, 2010 Available On: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

Lately, more and more racing games have been released, perhaps to try and compete with the soon-to-be-released racing juggernaut, Gran Turismo 5. How does one stand out from the flooded market of other racing games? Somehow Bizzare Creations, creators of the mega-popular Project Gotham series, found a way to make a unique experience with Blur that is actually a lot of fun.

Project Gotham Racing tends to have a nice bit of realism while maintaining a slight arcade-y edge that keeps it fun and not too serious. Blur, however, throws any sense of realism out the window to deliver a fun and unique experience, which seems to be a cross between Need for Speed and Mario Kart. To be more specific, it is a combat racing game which pits you against other speed demons whilst flinging lightning bolts, Force-like pushes, and metal bolts at each other. This formula is amazing online, and provides virtually endless gameplay for racing buffs of all calibers.

That, however, is where the buck stops. The single player “campaign” for Blur is pretty run of the mill. The combat racing is fun and fast paced, drawing the player in early with the various upgraded cars and perks you get from reaching certain “Fan” milestones. One of the biggest problems with not playing online is that the A.I. is brutal. You can race as hard as possible and still end up being very, very proud of your 5th place finish. The “lights” system is similar to the “credits” system in Project Gotham Racing. You earn them for doing cool stuff like drifting and smacking someone really hard.

There are real licensed cars in Blur, which is a plus for any racing title, but customization does not go as far as one would like from a game like this. Aside from the “perks” you can unlock, you can change the color of the car, but that is about it. It is quite a disappointment, but you don’t spend your hard earned money just for some new tires and pink seat belts for your in-game racing machine do you?

Visually, Blur is a little above average. The car models look great, but the environments are a little repetitive and leave much to be desired. However, in the frantic chaos of 20 cars blowing through a straightaway, the multiple colors of the power-ups can be a treat for the eyes. This is usually to a fault as it can be very distracting. “Ooooh look a pretty red glowing orb… “, then you’re in a wall watching the opposition drive right past you.

This game is published by Activision, the same company that publishes music games such as DJ Hero and Guitar Hero. I don’t understand why a game under this house has to have such a bad soundtrack. The music is boring and downright repetitive, and the game sounds aren’t much better. In fact, when I installed the game to my hard drive, I had a terrible problem with audio lagging and skipping. This was resolved when I deleted the game from my drive, but came back when I installed it again. The sounds of the weapon power-ups sound cool for about 20 seconds and then get annoying.

Blur controls very well on a controller, as most racers do, since there are not many buttons to use. However, apparently sticking true to the “no realism!” rule, Bizzare Creations omitted use of the Microsoft Force-Feedback wheel. The wheel worked to a very slight extent, but does not work in a practical sense. Luckily, you only need two buttons for firing and switching weapons, so all of your concentration is saved for the craziness on the road.

By no means is Blur a terrible game, it just needs a lot more work if there were to ever be a sequel. If you are a fan of arcade-style, fast-paced racers with little regard for the laws of physics, then this game could be right up your alley. If you want a more realistic experience that won’t make you want to throw your controller through the TV, then go with something like Forza or even Project Gotham Racing. This is definitely a rental and a buy when the price goes down a little, but a definite buy if you want a crazy-fun online car bashing experience.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 7.8 out of 10
Written by Evan Wilson Write a User Review

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