With a Developer like Bizarre Creations, when they announce that they are doing another racing game it's pretty much a safe bet that it will be good. With titles such as Metropolis Street Racer, Project Gotham Racing and The Club under their belt, its hard to see where they could go wrong with something that has been their bread and butter of game making for the last three years. So lets delve into their latest offering, Blur and see what it's like.
The game itself is what would happen if you took Project Gotham Racing added a sprinkle more arcade and then a good spoonful of Wipeout and there you have it, Blur. The game itself is a great pick up and play Arcade racer that will keep you entertained for a while; however while the graphics are shiny and the cars with their full damage modelling look fantastic, I have one problem with this game and that is the AI. Now I am not being big headed here but I do find myself to be a good gamer. I have completed many games in my time but none with such rock hard AI that makes even me weep and move the difficulty down to easy. Yes I know my sin was made and yes, I am sure a few people will have a good old laugh that I couldn't seem to complete this game on normal, however it is the fact that the AI seem to think you are a modern day version of Hitler in a car, countless times through out the game I've had to restart for the simple fact that I was going to die no matter what I did.
The AI seem to have a really good sense of taking you down with two or three of them ganging up on you to take you down and they really seem to love the fact that when you have a mini challenge to do for example drifting to gain fan points you will simply get pummled into the barriers before you even knew what hit you. There also seems to be a issue of players catching up with the lead and having a chance of winning even though you have lead the race from start to finish.
Within this game you will be gaining "Fan Points" much like the Kudos system of the existing Project Gotham Racing series. These fan points will be gathered during races by doing well or performing stunts but for the most time you will probably gain them from damaging your opposition with the variety of power ups that are within the game. You can also get these 'Fan Points' via completing challenges within the game, for example finding secret power ups through out a level, these points allow the player to progress through out the game by purchasing more cars and mods. You can also add Mods before each of the races to alter the power-ups of your vehicle. For example, one of the mod increases the damage you do when ramming an opponent, while another makes Shunts easier to dodge. Of course mods don't sound like much and in single-player they simply make you more powerful and easier to win races, but when playing online with a pack of 19 other racers, they help to offer some variety among your opponents beyond their vehicle and skill level.
The Different types of powers up are
Shock - lightning causes three EMP domes to appear in front of the race leader.
Barge - a short range purple wave of energy all around your car to knock opponents away or into the side of the track
Shunt - a Homing ball of energy shot from the front of your car to flip the target car, can be fired backwards but loses the homing effect.
Shield - Creates a shield used to protect your car from attack for a short period of time
Bolt - 3 energy rounds that cause the target to veer off course, can be fired forward or backward.
Nitro - a speed boost, can be used as an air brake when fired backwards.
Mines - self explanatory, can be dropped ahead or behind. Spins vehicle when hit. Can be fired forwards.
Repair - restores 5 bars of a car's health.
The Single Player mode itself takes on a Career as the story plays out you will get e-mails through fictional social networking sites (Facebook) like 'Inner Tube' a parody of YouTube. Within these sites you will meet a fair few characters and have a massive range of cars from Dodge Vipers to Ford Transit Vans with F1 engines fitted in the front of it. All the cars have their different strengths and weaknesses and you will really have to find the one that works well for you. Once you have completed the single player, I am sure you will want to take on the multiplayer and this is where the game really comes into its own.
The multiplayer is fun and frantic and everything seems to go well if you have about 10 players within a server however, any more and everything seems to go a little wrong. While having 20 people all racing at the same time is fun you will really struggle to make any head way unless you catch some luck or have a quick car. Mayhem could be the best word to describe it as everyone rushes to the first section of power ups and then madness will ensue. However, don't be disheartened as you will be able to customise the system allowing you to pick and choose what tracks you want to play as well as what power-ups are available to be used. If you really cant be bothered to pick all of these options there is a quick play mode that will allow to pick a random car and random tracks to race on with all the normal rules switched on. Again, like the single player, more modes can be unlocked when your fan points have reached a certain number so there is plenty for you to keep coming back to the game.
As well as online play there is also a four player split screen mode which will allow you and three friends to tear it up around the tracks. This is a good system but the lack of allowing players to play online with 2 or four players on a console is lacking and the game doesn't feel the same when just playing with one quarter of the screen.
On the whole, the game is a great pick up and play racer and while you will probably reach the top fan level of 25 mid-point through the single player; the best thing is that if you play now and again, this way the game will keep you coming back for more. However with the latest offering of racers that are available for the market at the moment the game suffers more not having a lot of extra features while the unique game play is a certain plus point the ability not to have any customisable options really cramp-ens the fact that everyone's car looks the same.
Good but not great i would wait until the price has dropped before purchasing unless you really enjoyed the beta.
Blur (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is good, with a few negatives.