PS3 Review – Blur

May 28, 2010Written by Cameron Teague

It looks like the “in” thing now is to take your standard racer, mix it with Mario Kart power ups and RPG elements like leveling up. We have seen it with ModNation Racers, a very different twist in Split/Second and now with Blur. This racing game from developer Bizarre Creations attempts to show everyone just what would happen when your favorite car gets thrown into the air by blast shards from an opposing driver. Does it land on its feet, er… wheels and keep on trucking or is it back to the shop with this one?

During your first race inside Blur you might think that this game is just a Kart Racer with a little big of age and maturity added to it. While this is true at its core, Blur provides a lot more than just collecting power ups and taking out your enemy, though admittedly, that is a huge part of it. You will be trying to impress and gain new friends while also trying to catch the eyes of your rivals in the game. All that aside, let’s get down to what’s important in a racing game, and that is of course the controls and how each car handles. Good news, Blur has superbly tight controls and the game is a flat-out blast to drive through.

There are a total of 9 rivals to battle in the game and each one has their own territory and demands you must meet to race them. To meet these demands and get a chance to race the rival you must go through various races and modes laid out in each rivals “episode”. There are not a lot of modes within Blur but the few it does have are quite frankly a lot of fun. You have your typical race which is really anything but that, considering power ups are included. Destruction races will have you trying to destroy dummy cars to extend your race time and finish the 3 laps. Checkpoint races are pretty similar except you are trying to race through checkpoints and finish the 3 laps with the most amount of time left. It would have been nice to see a few different modes added to this small list but that’s just a minor complaint considering the fun I had. Once the requirements are met you may face off with a rival for a chance to win beat them for their most prized possession… their car.

Your main goal in each of these races is placing high in the race and winning lights. This is necessary to progress further in the game. Besides just lights you will also be tasked with gaining more fans and completing “fan runs”. Gaining more fans will increase your fan rank and in turn, unlock new cars. Bringing in new fans is as easy as racing hard, ramming other cars, and using power ups against other racers. These runs are initiated during a race and require you to speed through 12 gates all within a certain amount of time. Between trying to impress the fans and just trying to complete the race, there is always something going on in Blur and will have your head spinning faster than your 20″ rims.

There are plenty of cars to unlock as you race through the career and online portions of the game. Cars come in many different forms from ultra drifting cars to off-roading beasts, so make sure to pick the correct car for each situation.

All this talk so far about the game and I have yet to dig into what possibly could be the two best parts of the game; power-ups and online racing. There are a total of 7 different weapons that you can use and each these will appear all over the race track for you to collect. A great addition to this game from past Kart racers is the ability to carry 3 power ups at any given time and switch freely between them. Each of power-up can be aimed either forward or backward forcing you to not only keep your eyes on the road ahead, but also behind you. In fact, I’ve never used the rear view mirror so much in a racer before. This could be annoying, but really ads to the intensity of the races.

Once you think you have had your fill of racing against AI controlled cars, its time to take this battle online and this is where Blur really shines. There’s plenty of destruction, verbal abuse and fun to be had once you connect to a game. There are a plethora of different race types to be found in the online portion of the game,  just a few being available at the start, the rest come as you level up. Gaining levels during online play unlocks new cars and game modes, giving players something to race for every time they get behind the wheel.

Presentation here in the game is a bit hit and miss, but thankfully more on the hit side. There is a great deal of variety in racing locations from city streets to races on the gorgeous beach front. However it would have been nice to see a bit more detail put into the environments and cars as most of it is pretty weak in comparison to the slew of racing games that have been released recently.

Blur is one robust package brimming with good times to be had. While the power ups are nothing new to racing fans, the way the cars react to being damaged by each adds a unique touch to the game. Plenty of side objectives, various locales and and one hell-of-a-online mode await you inside Blur. The game is not perfect, though, as there could have been more play modes within the career, the visuals for the most part feel very outdated compared to recent games like Split/Second and the offline split screen is poorly implemented. None of that should deter you from indulging in this game, because when it comes down to it, this racer is a lot of fun and the driving feels very fluid and authentic.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Power ups ensure no race is over until it’s over

Smash mouth fun both online and offline

Uninspiring visuals leave much to be desired

8 out of 10