Graphics:
7.9
Gameplay:
8.0
Sound:
6.5
Control:
8.0
Replay Value:
8.0
Online Gameplay:
8.3
Overall Rating:
8.0
Publisher:
Activision
Developer:
Bizarre Creations
Number Of Players:
1-4 (2-20 Online)
Genre:
Racing


Last year when I sampled Blur at an event Activision held for press members, I was underwhelmed. Really underwhelmed. I went in with low expectations and came out with even lower expectations. I had expected something much more from a studio as talented as Bizarre Creations – after all, they did bring us the Project Gotham franchise. I remarked that there is no way Blur would've been a competent game if it were to be released in 2009, and that it needed a lot more work. If you recall, Blur was originally set to launch last November, and as you can tell, it suffered a nearly seven month delay. Between then and now, Blur has changed quite a bit…but is it enough to warranty a purchase?

Well, I'll make this very simple: do you like Mario Kart and do you like Need for Speed? If you answered "yes" to both, I have one more question: would you like them both combined into one game? If the answer is "yes", then Blur is that game. If the answer is "no", then you're better off moving on. You see, Blur is the battle-racer for the gamers that are tired of the cutesy look and feel of the Mario Kart franchise, and in fact, that's the very angle Activision is using to promote Blur in the game's TV commercials. Blur pits licensed real-world vehicles in races of up to 20 on tracks complete with all sorts of varying terrain (dirt, asphalt, water, etc.), multiple paths and shortcuts, jumps, and of course, pick-ups. The pick-ups are either defensive or offensive, and include an assortment of items that are pretty much meaner and more 'adult' versions of what you've seen in Mario Kart. Replacing bananas are mines that you can toss forward and back. Replacing the homing koopa shell is the Shunt power-up, which is a homing missile. Replacing the triple koopa shell is the Bolt attack, which allows you to shoot up to three bolts. Then there are the usuals, such as shield and nitro. But there are also a few different pick-ups, such as Shock, which sends domes of electricity towards the front and if opponents drive through them, they will be left stunned.  There is also the Barge attack, which is a proximity nudge attack that'll hit anyone immediately near you – very useful for the more aggressive players who bump. Lastly, a Repair pick-up does just that, and restores your car's health back to full. But even if your health drops to zero, your car will simply respawn, and you'll lose a few positions at worse.

Progression is done pretty much just like any other arcade racer, you acquire a variety of different points by achieving various accomplishments. You'll see a list of requirements called Demands from each group of events. The Demands are that of the group's champion, who, as you'd expect, is the racer you have to face at the very end. There are 9 groups of events to compete in, with event types not being limited to just races, but also Destruction, Checkpoint, and One-on-One. There is a lot to achieve in Blur, but the question is whether or not you'll want to achieve it all. With over 30 tracks to race on, and 55 cars to choose from, repetition doesn't set in until you're about 3/4 of the way in. Blur manages to keep the action gripping and exciting, with an A.I. that's pretty challenging and aggressive on the standard difficulty. I should mention that physics vary per car, but they are not at all realistic, as the gameplay mechanics are very heavily based on arcade emphasis. Though I will say that you will be encouraged to use different types of vehicles, all depending on the track and its terrain.

If you ask me, Blur is a better multiplayer game than a single-player game. First, the game automatically finds any of your PSN friends with a copy of Blur and compares their stats to yours with every event you complete in the career. But more importantly, Blur is one of the few games that boasts local four-player gameplay, requiring just one PS3 and four controllers. So if you enjoy inviting friends over to play some multiplayer games, Blur would be a fun way to spend that time, it's essentially Mario Kart with real cars. Now, if you hop online, you can participate with 19 others, totaling a collection of 20 gamers on one track causing all sorts of chaos. In the online gameplay there are a number of challenges and race types to enjoy, which should definitely provide the gamer with quite a bit of replay value.

What irks me is that Blur limits you to just a career or multiplayer modes, no time trials, quick race, or practice modes of any sort. Additionally, the car mods are rather pitiful and boring, acting only as a means of improving the pick-ups and that's it. So if you're looking for a customization aspect, you won't find it here. I also have to address that the A.I., while good, does exhibit some hair-pulling rubberbanding, which can seriously drive you insane when you're just a few short feet away from the finish. Rubberband A.I. should be banished from racing games, as far as I'm concerned.

Moving on to the visuals, Blur is a rather mixed bag in my eyes. The car models are very angular with sharp lines and edges everywhere. Activision calls them "photo-realistic", and I can do nothing but laugh at such a description. Photo-realistic these cars are not as their detail lacks in many ways. As I just stated, as opposed to looking smooth, the lines and edges are very sharp, giving the cars a rough and dated look, which is in contrast to how the rest of the game looks. The environments are nicely done and look pretty polished. The action moves along very briskly and the sense of speed is quite good, thanks to the games superb and locked framerate. Special effects are also decent looking. What I find odd is that the cars in the in-game demonstration videos look quite a bit better than the cars I'm racing with. Not that I'm saying they look ugly…it's just not up to the standard of what the developer is capable of, nor is it up to par with many other racers out there.

The sound feels a bit hollow here. You won't be blown away by the sound effects from the destruction, and in fact, unless you pay attention, you may not even notice them. Additionally, the soundtrack is pretty dull, featuring a largely forgettable assembly of trance-like beats. The cars do a good job of roaring through the speakers, but unlike Need for Speed or even Project Gotham, they don't roar completely accurate. Yes, there is a decent amount of variety in how the cars sound, but they don't quite sound exactly like their real-life counterparts. All in all, Blur definitely leaves a lot to be desired with its audio.

So with a seven month delay, is Blur a game worth getting for fans of this particular genre? Yes, but only if you're a huge fan. Blur is definitely a good game, and it can be an extremely enjoyable experience. On the other hand, there are times where you can't help but shake this feeling that says 'hey, this should've been priced a little lower' or 'hey, this could've been a downloadable game'. The A.I. can be absolutely unfair, the sound is lackluster, and the car detail could've been much cleaner. But, the multiplayer is great fun, as is the gameplay, and there's a decent amount of variety as far as cars and tracks. But what I haven't mentioned is Split/Second, Disney's newest racer. Without going into a full blown comparison, I will say that if you can only pick one, your money is better spent on Disney's game.

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WolfCrimson
WolfCrimson
11 years ago

Wait, are Split/Second and Blur comparable? Blur is kinda like combat racing while Split/Secod is, from what I know, just racing (I could be wrong)

spiderboi
spiderboi
11 years ago

I tried the split/second demo. The power ups, rather than coming out as projectiles from your vehicle, are more on environment traps, i.e. activate one and a building falls over the opponent nearest the environment trap.

Edit: to answer the question, its cars and carnage, so it can be compared to an extent.


Last edited by spiderboi on 6/2/2010 8:16:37 AM

spiderboi
spiderboi
11 years ago

I somehow feel there is no need to combine the two. If I like a "mario kart"-esque game, I'll get MNR. If I wanted to play with real cars, I'll wait until GT5. No need to settle on somewhat unconvincing combination.

RadioHeader
RadioHeader
11 years ago

You guys are really grindin my gears with your blatant ignorisation of ModNation.

…it's kinda like this, but with 2 points added to the overall rating.

RadioHeader
RadioHeader
11 years ago

I don't care that much, but I can't promise not to go on a killing spree if they don't get the word out soon.

NeoHumpty
NeoHumpty
11 years ago

Arnold's supposed to be working on it. That's not meant to be an indicator of where your spree begins…..

kraygen
kraygen
11 years ago

All I had to read was craptivision and I knew modnation was the right choice.

Wage SLAVES
Wage SLAVES
11 years ago

My sentiments exactly…

NeoHumpty
NeoHumpty
11 years ago

I thought that the commercial was a hit against Modnation, myself. More so than Mario Kart just because of the timing.

NeoHumpty
NeoHumpty
11 years ago

PS-I thought it was hilarious.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

The broccoli head and the pink dinosaur didn't hint at Mario Kart for you? Rainbows?

Underdog15
Underdog15
11 years ago

Sounds like the really old classic, "Death Track". Anyone else remember that? It's like 15-20 years old. I loved that game when growing up. Sounds like a must try.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

Did you see the trailer for Death Track: Resurrection in the PS Store? Is this game the sequel or newer version of the game that you're talking about?

Underdog15
Underdog15
11 years ago

No, I haven't seen or heard of it! With a title like that, I'd assume it's the same idea! Now I'm intrigued!

Victor321
Victor321
11 years ago

Hope there's a Split/Second review coming Ben XD

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

Yeah. I'd be curious of how that review goes because I played that game for eight days straight. So much fun. I need to go back and get the final few trophies but man are they hard. I'm only missing five.

You do know that Arnold did this review, right?


Last edited by fluffer nutter on 6/2/2010 9:58:20 AM

Victor321
Victor321
11 years ago

I deeply apologize Arnold! I won't let it happen again!

And thanks for the notification, fluffer nutter.


Last edited by Victor321 on 6/2/2010 3:12:37 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

I've been more compelled by Split/Second as well. If I remember correctly, Best Buy has Split Second on sale this week for $39.99.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

Amazon has it for $39.99, as well, and people have found the game at Sam's Club for $32 and at Costco for $33.


Last edited by fluffer nutter on 6/2/2010 10:07:14 AM

SaintX
SaintX
11 years ago

Come on Modnation Racers! Hope Arnie or benie will be giving a good score for MNR


Last edited by SaintX on 6/2/2010 10:23:14 AM

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

I am sure it will do relatively well for a game of its type and category. I didn't like it to be honest, but that is just me. Not into the cutesy stuff and didn't particularly like the way it handled…

I am sure alot of gamers will enjoy it, with the create, share etc motto working out well for the title. There should be plenty of user generated content being worked on and released, all the better in harbouring a vibrant modnation community… I hope it does well anyway, it can only be good for Playstation…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

Which version did you play and didn't like the handling? I participated in the beta and now have the retail version and noticed a HUGE improvement in handling. I was blown away by how much it had improved. Especially the drifting.


Last edited by fluffer nutter on 6/2/2010 2:17:25 PM

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

Fluffer, I had problems with the demo… I just couldn't get that warm and feeling with it… the way I would expect to drive a vehicle around a track. I understand it is different to a simulation, but I definitely more the GT and Formula 1 type racer than these cutesy arcade race games…

I still think it will do well for the PS3, and I hope it does, for the developers and the gaming community at large! I will always give due credit when it should be given…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

Ben, I am not surprised by the review score… I thought it should have been a bit lower, but understand the multiplayer online fun factor and track graphics tipped it over slightly. I did watch video reviews on Blur, and from what I saw, I wasn't impressed.

I downloaded Split/Second, played it for about an hour. It was ok, the destructable pick ups were alright, but nothing to shout home about. I did think the graphics were slick though. I expect it will score better than Blur overall…

I know one thing, keeping my dollars for the AAA games coming out soon in the fall. Racing wise I would be interested in the F1 2o1o racing simulation game from Codemasters. Hope you review this title. I wonder if there a few PsX's waiting for this game to drop? I am a bit of a Formula 1 nut, so for me this title is crucial.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
11 years ago

lol Qubex I think you meant to address that to Arnold

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

Yes, sry Arnold, I meant "Arnold", but my fingers were working quicker than my brain was…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

Whoa, w-wait, what? Your fingers were on Ben? Yikes!

:p

nogoat23
nogoat23
11 years ago

Good review Arnold. Blur, Split/Second, and ModNation have been competing in my mind for a while now. At this point the edge is going to Split/Second, but I'll wait for the full reviews before making a final decision.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Well i have all 3 games and have to say that i am getting the most enjoyment out of Blur and Split/Second then ModNation Racers. if i were to rank them it would go like this

– Blur 8.5
– Split/Second 8.3
– Modnation Racers 7.5

'bigamer is'
currenly playing
ps3- Red Dead Redemption
360- Alan Wake

nogoat23
nogoat23
11 years ago

Wow, so many thumbs down. I, for one, appreciate your view point. I don't know many people that own all three games.

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

Nogat wins.

jlch777
jlch777
11 years ago

I am really enjoying this game a lot. Its a 9 for me!

CharlesD
CharlesD
11 years ago

Definitely a bit lower than I expected, the score that is.

tlpn99
tlpn99
11 years ago

Glad I waited now and chose Mod Nation instead 🙂

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
11 years ago

Modnation review is coming soon. I've been very tied up with other work lately, gang.

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
11 years ago

wow I read that as "I've been tied up with other work, lately a gang."

that would be scary but alas it is not true so I can lol at my temporary stupidity. Looking forward to the Modnation review!

Shams
Shams
11 years ago

Thanks for the update, Arnold. Definitely looking forward to it.

nogoat23
nogoat23
11 years ago

It makes me happy everytime you comment, Arnold. Your picture is so epic.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
11 years ago

On a related note…..

To promote the new video game BLUR, Activision has set up some pretty nice 3D billboards across London, Berlin and other European cities.

The pieces were each designed by renowned artists like Gavin Nolan.

http://www.brandflakesforbreakfast.com/2010/06/billboards-dont-have-to-be-flat.html

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
11 years ago

BTW, one of the sites called this one….
C.O.D.:Modern Carfare, LOL

___________
___________
11 years ago

im actually really enjoying this.
who said car combat had to be in karts?
its got a real retro feel and look to it which i really find refreshing after mod nation racers.
i still think this is by far the best of the 3, the weapons are really powerful and the racing is really addictive!!!

StangMan80
StangMan80
11 years ago

I like blue more then split/second but I haven't picked niether up. I been playing RDR lately and I still havent finnished Dirt 2 after I finnish them both I will be looking for a nother game I was thinking about Blur but I dont't know but for one thing I know, we all know that the best racing game of the year is going to be GT5.

snypa_69
snypa_69
10 years ago

I own BLUR and can safely say that it is immense fun. Frustrating at times but fun nonetheless! Its one of those that you can be in the lead for ages then all of a sudden you get nailed by a EMP then a shunt and then your mate Barges you on the way past which wrecks you and puts you mid table!! But on the other shoe it is IMMENSLY satisfying when you do that to someone else!!
Online multiplayer is the way to play this game. Handling isnt really realistic but then again cars cant really shoot electric bolts outta their bumpers!! 🙂 lolz.
If your looking for realism then GT5 is gonna be the way to go (im all over that game like a rash FYI).

Snypa out 🙂

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