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Game On, Bitches: BLUR Multiplayer Hands-On

03.23.2010
100%


BLUR BETA MULTIPLAYER HANDS-ON

BUY THIS GAME AT AMAZON.COM NOW!!!

Developer:Bizarre Creations
Publisher:Activision
Systems: XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3

Recently, I was fortunate enough to play the upcoming battle racer, BLUR. This title is made by Bizarre Creations, the developers of the PROJECT GOTHAM series, as well as the cult classic game, THE CLUB. Considering that pedigree, BLUR provides and interesting combination of the two games. Players drive real life cars, like the Shelby GT Mustang, in a surreal world full of weapons, crashes, and unbelievable speed. Sure, it's not a completely new concept. Fortunately, it's an old concept done well.



Open to those of us lucky enough to score a copy, the advance beta for BLUR is more than just an opportunity to try out the game's multiplayer. Central to the game is an elaborate leveling system that tracks your game experience and provides a barrage of unlockables and customizations. It's not a system new to the gaming world; however, it is new to the racing genre. Not only that, but it appears to be incredibly deep and should allow for a lot of variety.

Breaking the game down into it's core components, graphics and gameplay, BLUR doesn't create anything new but hones some of the best features. It takes the fluid speed of their PROJECT GOTHAM games and makes it work effectively in the combat sub-genre. BLUR elaborates and tweaks on the red shells and green shells of MARIO KART and brings them into the modern generation of gaming. The core focus of BLUR is to take what players know and to blend it together in a way that is challenging without too much of a learning curve.



Digging deeper into the gameplay, Bizarre Creations adapts its gameplay mechanics from PROJECT GOTHAM and allows it to place nicely in a violent world. If you've ever played a PROJECT GOTHAM game, than BLUR should feel very familiar. Driving cars is challenging but aren't so sensitive that you can't bounce off of wall or take a turn at incredible speeds. If you've never played a game in the PROJECT GOTHAM series, the feeling is comparable to a slightly slower and less manic version of BURNOUT. And when I say slightly slower, I don't mean that you can read a comic book while driving.



Pickups in the game is reminiscent of the simplest of combat racers like MARIO KART but with a graphical style similar to games in the WIPEOUT series. Pickups include Shock, Mine, Barge, Bolt, Shunt, Nitro, Shield, and Repair. The majority of these are weapons that can be used to blast the crap out of opposing drivers to reach the finish line. Unfortunately, most of these pickups are standard issue in battle racers. Fortunately, the ability to hold three of these pickups and juggle in what order they are used does provide a fresh new challenge.

There are two interesting game design decisions that help BLUR make play competitive and fun without making races too lopsided. First, when cars collide in catastrophic crashes, the player isn't stuck trying to play catch up for the rest of the race. Once a crash or a stoppage occurs, the crashed car is warped to an appropriate place in the race moving while speeding along. It is a very fluid warp and neutralizes the effect of one false move ending a race. Second, the roads are incredibly wide and allow the cars plenty of space to move around. While this may be to accommodate races that include 20 cars on the track, this also permits cars extra real estate to maneuver and bounce around.



Overall, my experience with BLUR was a good one. The game is tight and fun, competitive and high octane. It's a great example of an arcade racer and will be released to a world that is without a new combat racer dominating the playing field. So, if bumping and blowing up cars online is your thing, BLUR is worth your time.

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+1
11:58AM on 03/23/2010
Played race after race and had a lot of fun with this. Only came in first twice.
Played race after race and had a lot of fun with this. Only came in first twice.
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