The latest selection of festive Steam deals is fairly disparate, but there's something here for everyone. Blur and Brink are both down to £3.74 and both worth taking advantage of at this price level. The Mass Effect and Operation Flashpoint games are also cheap as chips, while the indie loving is brought to you courtesy of Limbo, SkyDrift and Torchlight. Space Marine, however, is not much of a deal - since Zavvi will happily sell you a physical copy for five pence less. I suppose that Steam will be your best option if you really need it before Christmas, though.
Sad about Bizarre's demise and looking for a tribute? Been waiting for Blur to drop below the magical £10 mark? Well, either way, you're in luck. Gamestation's dropped their price to £9.99, a quid cheaper than GAME. If you're a slightly OCD pedant about these things (and I'm one of them) then the sub-ten price should make your eyes light up. Blur, as with all of Bizarre's racers, is actually a great little game, just a shame it got stifled by Split/Second and a genre slump. A cyber-five for Magshull22 at HUKD
Bizarre Creations, the veteran outfit behind Blur, Project Gotham and Geometry Wars, shut up shop last Friday- leaving many of us with a sour taste in our mouths. Senior designer Gareth Wilson (who recently secured a position as Sumo Digital's Lead Game Designer) has now spoken out on the reasoning behind the studio's closure- as well as how Activision treated them throughout the process. You might have expected him to have been fairly bitter about the whole thing, but he's actually rather zen about it.Click here to get Wilson's take on the Bizarre closure...
February the 18th, 2011 shall from now on be remembered as the day when Bizarre Creations, developers of the acclaimed Project Gotham Racing series, closed their doors, less than three years since their acquisition by publishing giant Activision. It's a sad, sad day. If you owned an Xbox or Xbox 360, it's likely you sampled at least one of the Project Gotham games. And who didn't love Geometry Wars, the visually orgasmic top-down shooter that spawned a dozen or so imitators on LIVE and PSN?
So, in honor of the Liverpudlian developers, let's cast our gaze back at Bizarre's long and illustrious history and what we've enjoyed along the way...
Bizarre's original name was in fact Raising Hell Productions, although a partnership with Sega, who disliked the name, resulted in the change. Racing was in their blood from the very beginning, with their first game, Formula 1 on the Playstation, topping the charts in Europe. They went on to have a lucrative career supplying the likes of Sony and Sega with great titles, from Formula 1 sequels to cult-classic Metropolis Street Racer. In a slight change of pace, they also developed Fur Fighters, a cartoon-violence title with anthropomorphic critters running amok with guns.
Whoa, what? Are pigs flying merrily through the air? Has hell frozen over? Because it seems that a Games For Windows Live deal is actually offering a decent price!
Blur was arguably one of the most underrated games to have released last year. Bizarre Creations delivered an excellent arcade racer that feels like a slick and executive version of Mario Kart- which naturally makes it tense and worthwhile when played solo or raucous fun online. You'll need the GFWL client, though.
Well now that our Game of the Year season has passed, let's take a look at some of the unsung heroes of 2010. We've drawn up a list of some of the most underrated and overlooked games of the last twelve months. We were going to include indie games in this list too...but quite frankly there'd be too many quiet gems to mention all in one go! Keep in touch with Jon's Wednesday XBLIG roundups and Dave's PC freeware collections every Monday though.
In amongst a sea of same-old Ninty titles, Metroid: Other M was a brave combination that refused to simply knock off a straight homage to a popular franchise. Encompassing elements of the original 2D side-scroller, the FPS action of the Retro Studios Prime trilogy and making the most of the Wii's control system that coupled a standalone Wiimote with gunslinging action, Team Ninja's effort was seriously worthy of note. It was far from perfect, and the name it bears gave it some attention at least (which is why it didn't place higher), but it tried something a little bit different. And, four years into the Wii's lifespan, that's quite damn impressive indeed.
We didn't really get on with Final Fantasy XIII here in the Dealspwn office, and I suppose it could have been something of a contender for this list, but we rather felt most had got that one spot on: it made a lot of noise, it looked very shiny, it took 20-30 hours to get going. But if you wanted a proper JRPG fix you were completely spoiled for choice, the difference being that most of them didn't get as much attention. Between Dragon Quest IX, Valkyria Chronicles II, Resonance of Fate and, of course, my personal favourite Infinite Space, there were whole days to be lost to these games. They all had flaws, often pertaining to over-complexity , but they were all of them incredibly rich affairs if you liked that sort of thing.Click here to see the rest of Matt's list....
ShopTo have unfortunately sold out of Blur at these insanely low levels overnight... but luckily Play.com still has plenty of copies. Blur was arguably one of the most underrated games to have released this year. Bizarre Creations delivered an excellent arcade racer that feels like a slick and executive version of Mario Kart- which naturally makes it tense and worthwhile when played solo or raucous fun with your mates! Note that it's one of the few titles to offer 4-player splitscreen.
I was saddened by the recent news of Bizarre Creations being considered for sale by Activision, thanks in no small part to the lackluster success of this particular game, Blur. I loved the PGR series, and hope the rumours of a Microsoft-backed buyout of the company end up coming true. However, in the meantime you can pick up Blur from The Hut for just £11.93 on the PS3, which is a cracking price for a game that deserved far more success than it ultimately earned. Blur is a little like the twisted lovechild of PGR and Mario Kart, blending the former's aesthetic and love of real-life automobiles with the latter's wacky competition and power-ups. With a price like this, I expect a sub-tenner price is on the Christmas sale horizon, but if you simply can't wait...
If you're not in the mood for Mario Kart's cartoon graphics, but you still want to tear around a track in cars outfitted with an arsenal of formidable weapons, then you might want to check out Blur. The crisp graphics and selection of real life cars adds a sense of realism to the game, although a Ford Transit van outfitted with an F1 engine isn't exactly something you see on a day to day basis. The races go at a tire screeching pace as the environments whizz past you and the action injects even more adrenaline into the experience as you reduce your opponents vehicles to misshapen lumps of metal. Thanks to mighty mugger @ HUKD.
I was a big fan of Project Gotham Racing, and while I've yet to play Blur, I hear it's a lot like what a love-child between PGR and Mario Kart might be. It's currently £13.99 at both Tesco and Amazon, although personally I find Amazon to be the more reliable dispatcher. Blur might resemble your standard racing game at first glance, but look a little harder, specifically at the multicoloured powers-ups scattered across the track, which grant unique abilities like 'Shunt', which allows you to barge other racers, or 'Shock', which unleashes an electromagnetic pulse that targets your nearest rival. Blur employs a fictional social network which tracks your stats and achievements against those of your friends, hoping to generate a churning community intent on topping the leaderboards and making a name for themselves.
Looking for some driving carnage? Then Blur has got your number. It’s Burnout meets Mario Kart in a well presented yet far-too-familiar package as you race around various locations around the globe, picking up power-ups and weapons as you go, and lay waste to your opponents as you battle for first place. It’s simple throwaway fun for the price, although it won’t convert the non-believers who consider racing games a waste of time. Xbox 360 owners can get the game for the same price here. Thanks to mickey2002 @ Hot UK Deals!
Looking for some driving carnage? Then Blur has got your number. It’s Burnout meets Mario Kart in a well presented yet far-too-familiar package as you race around various locations around the globe, picking up power-ups and weapons as you go, and lay waste to your opponents as you battle for first place. It’s simple throwaway fun for the price, although it won’t convert the non-believers who consider racing games a waste of time. Xbox 360 owners can get the game from Play for the same price here. Thanks to goonertillidie @ Hot UK Deals!
Fancy an arcade racer with kart-racing style competitive multiplayer and weaponry, but without the cutesy characters and kid's TV cartoon colours? Well Blur is for you with its selection of real cars and real world locations. The single player is a little by-the-numbers, but the multiplayer is where the game comes alive with splitscreen play and online matches proving to be a big success. The online racing is helped with a decent unlock system, helped by a set of perks to adapt your experience points winnings. Thanks to WRXiceman @ HotUkDeals for the find.
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.’
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.
You're taking a corner at high speed, desperately trying to catch up with the car in front of you, but somehow they seem to be hitting the perfect racing line and increasing the distance between you, then you remember you've got a selection of weapons on board at which point the tables turn.
ShopTo are parting with copies of the game on the Xbox 360 and PS3 for £19.85, which'll make you a saving of over £2 on the next best offer on both platforms.
The single player experience is a little bit more of a challenge than your typical combat racer, as the AI's sole mission seems to be to ignore each other and set their sights firmly on you because for some reason you've angered them and they'll launch everything they've got at you to show how much they dislike your presence in their environment. The tracks take place in well known cities, however they're slightly warped versions of themselves, as are the cars considering you'll be hard pushed to find a vehicle with numerous weapons strapped to its chassis outside of a ridiculous action movie.
Online and local multiplayer are anything but relaxed and the carnage'll begin pretty much immediately, plus the destruction of your cars'll speed up once you hit the first set of weapons.
Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of Blur because I disliked the driving mechanics in comparison to games like Split/Second, but now that its price has dropped down to under £20 I'd be tempted to take a punt on it.
Developer: Bizarre Creations
Hurrah. Just what we need. Another racing game...
If you’re not a fan of the burn-em-up’s shoot-em-up subgenre, then walk away. Put down your gamepad or driving wheel and walk away. There’s nothing for you here. While Blur is undoubtedly well made, and slick as a lubricated seal in a waterslide, it’s not what you’d call original, nor will it be the game to convert the unbelievers.
If, however, you like your action fast, motorised and with a variety of chunky weapons, you’re going to have a whale of a time.
If you’re the sort of person who needs an obvious hook, think Project Gotham – another Bizarre Creations, er, creation of course – spliced with Burnout levels of damage and a splash of Mario Kart. Whether the game is greater than the sum of its parts is debatable – Unlike Mario Kart, in any of its incarnations, I’m not sure you’ll be playing this post-pub for years to come – but as a temporary diversion, it’s really rather good.
The “world of Blur” (as the packaging has it) is, predictably enough, a round-the-world series of races. This means you get to race your photo-realistic real motors around properly realised, actual locations – Barcelona, New York, Tokyo (natch), London, LA, Brighton. No Milton Keynes though: come on developers, if Green Day Rock Band can do it, you all can. Let’s get Milton Keynes in EVERY title!
NB. ShopTo have just lowered the price on the PS3 version to £24.85, which'll save you a few pennies, but this is still the best deal for Xbox 360 owners. Click here to head over to ShopTo and buy Blur for £24.85 on the PS3.
Hot on the heels of my last Blur deal post, another one screeches into the lead for cheapest on the market!
You can now collect a copy of the game from play for £24.99, which'll make you a saving of over £7 on the next best deal for both platforms of £32.27 from Tesco Entertainment.
There are a number of reasons that I want this game. The first is the fact that the cars are fitted with enough weapons to make James Bond proud, which turns a simple race to the finish line into a brutal battle for survival. You can also choose from a selection of real life vehicles and race them around slightly warped versions of famous cities, such as London and Los Angeles.
The single player is a real challenge to play through, thanks largely to the AI, which is all too happy to launch its entire arsenal at you at every given opportunity. Whilst you'll have a heart pounding adventure trying to cross the finish line first in addition to keeping your vehicle intact, the sections of the game that are purely racing based or destruction based feel a little bit more relaxed and focused on a specific goal.
Both online multiplayer and split screen enjoyed with a couple of friends on a lazy afternoon, turn into oil soaked bouts of carnage in mere moments, so you'll need to keep your wits about you from the moment the starting flag comes down.
Whether you're looking for an alternative to Mario Kart, or want to turn the latest super cars into twisted metal shells of their former selves, you're almost certain to have a good time with Blur.
Thanks to WRXiceman and MadAngie @ HUKD
I love the conversation that must have occurred early on in the Blur development team's office, "Hey, so how can we increase the danger levels associated with high speed driving on busy roads in built-up areas? Hmmmmmmm, aha I've got it! Lets outfit the cars with weapons as well!"
You can drive away with a copy of the game on either the Xbox or PS3 for £29.99 from Game Gears, which is a remarkable price considering the game only came out a few days ago, and should save you just over £2 on the next best offer of £32.27 coming in from Tesco Entertainment.
Now, I haven't bought this game yet, but I want it! Bizarre Creations, who were behind Project Gotham Racing, allow gamers to enter into a much more challenging racing combat title than light hearted romps such as Mario Kart. The levels, which are slightly warped versions of their real life alter egos, and the cars, also add a little bit of realism to the experience; granted a Ford transit van with an F1 engine that has shields and weapons isn't exactly the norm in everyday life, but its a little more so than a monkey who's throwing shells at a talking mushroom whilst driving a go-kart.
In single player the AI takes no prisoners! Whilst you're trying to get to grips with the controls in the early levels, which most racing game fans will know isn't the easiest of things to do when starting a new game, the computer characters will launch a barrage of infuriating attacks at you. As a result the sections of the single player that combine racing and combat, often descend into chaos fairly quickly, especially when the track is teaming with racers.
Multiplayer is a great deal of fun and you'll more than likely find yourself switching it on for a bit of four player split screen, on a lazy Saturday afternoon when a couple of friends pop round. Online can be a bit of a crazy caper, as the sheer number of players will often find you scrabbling your way around the track not only for a finishing position, but merely to keep your vehicle intact for as long as possible.
If you want to burn rubber with top of the range super cars whilst reducing your opponents vehicles to steaming piles of scrap, then you should definitely check out Blur.
Thanks to pjc83 @ HUKD
As some lovely weather sets in we find ourselves speeding towards the end of May and there are a few more titles coming out to entice you back into the cool shade and flickering light of your monitors and televisions. This week we see the launch of Activision's speed fest Blur, Travis Touchdown is back for more beam katana action in No More Heroes 2, SEGA's spy thriller Alpha Protocol makes an appearance and THQ's MMA sequel UFC Undisputed 2010 hurtles its way into stores, although if you take a moment to say hello by following this link this week you might just be able to nab a copy of UFC for free!
How to use: Click on the title of the video game if you would like to see the cross platform possibilities. Click on the game cover of the platform of your choice to see the price comparison for that particular game, showing you the cheapest prices from UK online retailers.
NB. Good games take time so be aware some of these dates may well change.
22nd - 31st May 2010:
28th May 2010
28th May 2010
|Clash of the Titans
28th May 2010
|Darkness Within 2: The Dark Lineage
28th May 2010
|No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
28th May 2010
28th May 2010
|UFC Undisputed 2010
28th May 2010
The Halo Reach Beta was a rip-roaring success, with over 2.7 million gamers logging 16 million hours worth of playtime and over 1.1. billion frags. Well done, everyone!
Bungie have now confirmed Reach's western release date for September 14th. Remember that there are three unique editions to choose from (from the standard game to the ridiculously lavish legendary edition replete with statuette)- so start saving up now if you're a diehard fan.
Why not check out our recent musings on the highs and lows of the last fortnight... and let us know what you thought of the Beta in the comments!
In an interview with Cubed3, eccentric developer Suda51 has announced that No More Heroes 3 is probably not going to happen. NMH2 has been receiving fairly lukewarm reviews and it seems that Suda51's setting his sights on bigger and better things. According to our favourite madman, Travis' story has been well and truly wrapped up- and a sequel would just be going through the motions. DS owners may yet take Travis out for a spin, however, as he's apparently mulling over the possibility of a handheld NMH title.
Don't start wailing and rending your garments just yet though, Suda fans... because a full sequel/reboot of the schizophrenic and sublime Killer7 may well be in the works.
“Killer7 is a very very important game for me. The creative challenge of both the team at Grasshopper and me is packed into the game. Killer7 is the part of my soul. A remake? No, but if I get the opportunity, I am certainly interested in making a new killer7.”
We ardently hope that this will be Suda51's next project. Killer7 was an insane, beautiful and stylish experience; and it's about time that it receives a next-gen outing. [via GoNintendo]
I always knew that designing cutesy colourful platformers all day would lead to a great deal of repressed anger and frustration- and it appears to be boiling over.Nintendo employee Jin Nakanose has been arrested by the Kyoto Prefectural Police for assault.
Apparently, Nakanose was cut off in a car park- and proceeded to leave the vehicle and falcon punch the offending driver in the face and "other bodily regions" repeatedly (causing "2 weeks worth of injuries"). Yikes. Nintendo have yet to comment on the incident- but hopefully they'll get round to installing a punching bag in the corporate offices...or start developing a violent game to let their devs work out their frustrations virtually.
I wonder how this will factor into the "videogames cause violence" debate? [1UP]
Blur, the upcoming racer from Bizarre creations, will be out on PC tomorrow- and as you'd expect, there are plenty of promo videos to show off the gameplay mechanics. Us Brits have enjoyed developer walkthroughs and hands-on action... but the French promotions seem to contain action of an entirely different sort. You might even be able to see some gameplay footage between gratuitous and unnecessary shots of scantily clad catfights.
Wait, what's this game about again? Sexism and target audience exploration apparently. [VG247]