Blur never really reached its sales potential upon release as it had to compete with the likes of Split/Second (cracking deal right here) and ModNation Racers despite it being a fun ride. Unlucky for Activision (now, now stop laughing they’re people too) but great for us as it’s seen the price drop nicely for this ‘real car kart-racer.’
- Click here to buy Blur for £17.99 on the PS3 from Play.com
- Click here to buy Blur for £17.99 on the Xbox 360 from Play.com
Blur is the perfect tonic for the kart-racer fan that’s tired of the bright colours, chirpy characters and tiny motors. This game features tracks from real world cities and dirty environments like building sites. The cities are neon-soaked and shiny, but in a more realistic fashion a million miles away from the Mario Kart games.
The cars are also real, ranging from the smaller hatchbacks to much more exotic sports cars from world-famous manufacturers. Handling for the early cars is a little ‘boxey’ and may remind gamers of the Need for Speed: Underground games on the PS2. Simple, but a bit lacking in the realism department. Unlike most kart-racers ‘drifting’ around corners with handbrake turns really kills your speed, so you’ll need to stop relying on it as much as you used too. At least there’s a decent sense of speed for most parts of the track, it makes you realise just how damn slow most kart-racers are.
The cars might be real, but Blur has borrowed the use of weapon powerups from the kart-racer genre. Actually a more fair comparison would be with the WipEout games as the weapons feel a lot better balanced and you don’t get screwed by the AI or your mates as much. You can pick up three quick fire lasers that will put an enemy off balance, but to a fair degree. Further weapons involve mines or dumping huge spots of EMP pools that’ll screw a car’s electrics. There’s also a huge bomb weapon that you’ll struggle to avoid, but it is possible by shunting someone else into it or by pulling off a last-ditch dodge. Your car has a health metre, which takes a lot of damage before you explode and have to briefly stop. This keeps you in the action a lot more than other racers. You can carry three weapons at once too which adds a little strategy to proceedings.
Crucially, 4-player split-screen is in, as are some great online options with really smooth races. You can download a demo to try out the online side if you want a bit of ‘try before you buy’. Online races have you levelling up to earn new rides and eventually a sort of perk system that will reward you experience for your actions during a race.
The single player AI can be quite tough, but multiplayer is where you’ll really enjoy the game. At this price you won’t regret picking this up before the likes of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit or Gran Turismo 5 roll up. Have a look at Neil’s review of Blur for a more complete rundown.