Blur

Posted: July 18, 2010 in Beaten Down Path, Reviews

Publisher: Activision Blizzard
Developer: Bizzare Creations
Genre: Racing
Average rating worldwide: 8.6/10

What I say: Just think as you see in the movies what would happen to a Nissan 350z going at 150 mph and gets hit by a rocket. Now experience that by playing Blur. This game has brought us the long sought game called after Twisted Metal Series. Although Crash Day from Atari came out with some new thrills it didn’t last long as it was unresponsive and limited. This is your answer to all those calls which were for destruction by speed.

The graphics is jaw-dropping. Seriously- I’ve not seen this good graphics since GRID. The world details, vehicle detail, special effects, reflection, shader modelling all the things are neat to the perfection. Sometimes, you are bound lesser to the race and more to the track. Add sound to to that experience something that soothes you out. Although the countdown thuds at the beginning of a race really wore me out.

Here also, all you got to do is race. This not a street race. This is simulation. Pure GT track. There are 63 events to participate in, 9 bosses to grind your nose with. Three types of events- racing, destruction and checkpoint. In racing you race along with 19 of your not-so-friendly clan while picking up the power ups from the track and using it for your own good. In destruction, before your timer runs out you get to hit your opponents, but with only Bolts. In Checkpoint, it’s like the checkpoint race in NFS Most Wanted or any Time Lap, but only 2 additions- Collect Nitro, so that you won’t slow down and collect Stopwatches so that your timer will slowdown.

You did a mistake, BAM! You end up losing one of your health point. You remain busy too much watching the roads ahead, You get hit by a bludgeoning Shunt. You watch your rear view mirror for a bolt, you get blasted by a mine bursting prematurely. There are 8 types of power ups- Shunt, Barge, Mine, Shock, Nitro, Bolt, Shield, Repair. Mostly inspired from the most popular game ever- Mario. Power-ups are the most important element to master for any Blur driver. Whether it’s firing a deadly Shunt at your opponent to flip him out, or sneakily laying Mines around the track, effective use of power-ups is absolutely vital to achieving victory in Blur. And yes, you can defend yourself from attacks, with the combination of these.

The early portions of the single-player campaign make it easy to learn how to drive on the fly, but the challenges become stiffer once you get deeper into the game. Each race you have to earn lights. Have certain no of lights in your bag, you get your passport to the next boss event qualifiers. Each race you have 3 objectives. Securing a top 3 position, passing though certain heavenly 12 gates and keeping your fans happy. Passing through the gates, is hard cos from a gate to another there are sharp turning and unless you had forgotten to hit your break pedal, you are descended back to an unharmonious drowning of crowd cheers. Keeping your fans happy is a Herculean task. Good luck with your fanfare.

There are variety of cars to unlock as you move ahead, and increase your fans database. Some have fine grips (Morgan Freeman), some likes to skid along the marks(Vin Diesel) and the some others like to play it wild (John Travolta). And there are Balanced of all (Al Pacino). Oh boy. We got a whole Hollywood here. They all handle differently. Unless you zooming on an A Class or dragging on an entry level with a D Class, you forget about being the next Keiichi Tsuchiya. Cornering is not easy. You use your brake just before entering, you are side faced with the boundaries. Use hand brakes, and you get spinned on the chips. Maneuvering is realistic, so hard. You can’t show off like Tokyo Drift! Everything is about pace.

The tracks are just as varied as the objective types, making each race feel unique. One ridiculous track takes place directly behind the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, where one lousy turn could see you tumbling off a cliff. Another track takes place on the hilly streets of San Francisco, and as long as you don’t mind slamming your undercarriage repeatedly against the ground, it’s tons of fun swerving through this iconic city. There’s also a one-lap course that takes place on a mountain. You have to navigate narrow, winding roads at top speeds, desperately trying to make it to the finish line in one piece. Because of the diversity in the track types, you need to plan a strategy ahead of time. Certain courses have so many tight corners that you need a car that’s good at drifting, while others have dirt shortcuts that beg for an off-road vehicle. The assortment of tracks makes it interesting to play these courses again and again as you attempt to unlock all the rewards.

Whatever the other critics say about this one, I ain’t satisfied with it. That may be due to my not-so-fondness towards the GT racers (except NFS Underground). The races are hard to win even on an easy difficulty. You’ll be in nose whirl of water for finishing it. Yet it is addictive. I don;t know why I kept coming back to this- Clearly I didn’t enjoy the racing. It was to see what more cars can be in your sleeve. The rewards system makes it difficult to put this racer down. Not for me saying, but for you Blur could be fun to control and you can lose hours slamming into enemies and racking up fans, always coming back for one more race before you turn the system off and walk away. Immense yourself into the destructive (Twisted Metal)ish game-play with sore-to-to-the-eyes graphics while occasionally flipping the stones. No need to take a shot of adrenaline cos, this one is enough to pump your veins for days. Not for me, but just for you.

Verdict? 2 for game-play, 3 for graphics, 2 for features- 7/10

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