Fast driving, great tunes, pimping wheels, a few ramps here and there… oh and I forgot to mention, monstrous power-ups! Honestly with such a recipe it seems as if this could be a good one.
With the objective of becoming the city’s most infamous driver, you begin on the lowest class slowly working your way up through the individual bosses and classes. This is done all the while by gaining fans through destroying other drivers, racing like a champ and completing fan demands. The more fans you have the more cars you unlock and the more bosses you beat the more bosses you unlock. Very linear but who needs a deep storyline when gameplay is just so appealing.
You pick up the remote, play for five minutes, you then realise hold on I’m feeling a tad faint. It then dawns on you that you haven’t taken a breath in the past five minutes. You are then forced to click pause, as much as it hurts you to do so, in order to take another breath so you can continue enjoying the game before passing out.
Activision obviously realised that with such a game there would be limited variety in different driving formats. So they stuck with solid basics: racing, checkpoints, demolition, destruction and one on one. However, to make up for the lack of formats they gave drivers an exorbitant amount of cars to choose from, each catered for different driving styles. You can also customise the colour of your chosen vehicle, which is a rather redundant feature.
“I’m in front, yay yay yay! oh what’s that a large glowing rapidly approaching ball of energy?” and to much disappointment my next thought “oh it won’t do any harm it’s far too pretty.” A flashing red warning light appears at the bottom of the screen “ok so maybe I’m wrong, too late” I get sent flipping through the air watching body panels fling off as my car totals. Idiot. Don’t get caught with your pants down, anything and everything is out to get you. From the blind leading the blind: Drive accordingly.
Power-ups, power-ups and more power-ups. Some to blast a hole through a barrier of fellow drivers, some to punish those who can’t keep up and others to protect yourself against the previous two. Within a quarter you soon find that your dream coloured car looks, well nothing like it did and this is before you even get power ups. AI drivers are firm and hold their line well. They know you’re there and react accordingly, by trying to get you totalled. Not cool!
Shunts, barges, bolts, nitro, shields, repair, mines, and shocks, with most having the ability to fire both forwards and backwards, will have you swerving, dodging and racing to your utmost to stay in front or get in front. Power-ups come in the form of glowing drive through markers placed closely together. Being nudged off a barge power-up and then immediately being barged by that same driver will cause major frustration and it happens a whole lot, however realising you have a shunt power-up and then locking on to that driver and obviously firing it gives a warm relieving revengeful feeling.
As for graphics, the cars and damage look more than believable, as the damage is progressive. Power-up effects are stellar and so pleasing you often find yourself slamming into the wall because you missed the turn whilst being consumed by the car ahead of you being flipped by a well shot shunt. Surroundings are well done but as they play a small role they really didn’t need to be anything incredible.
The only criticism I can give it is the lengthy load time. But once loaded and racing you forget all about it and find yourself absolutely enthralled. 4 screen multiplayer is a blast and coupled with the AI will leave you and your friends rolling on the floor laughing. Online team racing is a brilliant aspect and once you get the right teammates together it becomes all too gratifying. Blur really has covered almost everything and if they did miss a trick I was already so impressed that I did not notice its flaws – and I was looking for them!
All in all, blur is a must have. It’s awesome and the best aspect of the game is it just doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is why it is such a jam. It is fast, exciting, skilful and occasionally frustrating. Finally, it doubles as a wicked awesome drinking game… what else does a game need to do?
Josh “Swift” Sack
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