I downloaded the Split/Second demo first. It’s unfortunately a single player only demo, that features only one track. The problems with Split/Second quickly became very apparent. The major issue with the game is that due to the power-ups needing to be earned, a lot of the race is spent just cruising around the track. The other thing I don’t like is that the power-ups can only be activated near the traps on the circuit, so you can’t just use them when you want to.
The biggest problem however, is that once you have played the demo race 2 – 3 times it becomes very apparent that all of the supposedly awesome crazy actions tend to happen in the same way, every time. This basically means that the game loses the novelty of the very thing that it is marketing as its biggest feature, and that’s a problem.
I was sitting in a little emo corner of disappointment at this point, because the game I had pinned my hopes on was getting boring very quickly and the next game I was about to play had already left me wanting in the past.
I downloaded the not-so-small Blur Beta demo to give the racing a try and see what it was like when I was playing it in my own living room on my TV and not on some console booths in a loud room.
I’m just going to cut to the chase here. I was absolutely blown away, in so many ways.
I’m not sure if anything was changed since the version that I had played before, or if it was just that I finally had a proper gaming session with it, but I absolutely love this game already, and the full one isn’t even out yet. No one is more surprised than me, you can trust me on that one.
What I thought was going to be a boring, random arcade affair turned out to literally be quite possibly the best fun I have had playing a racing game in years. The online multiplayer was fantastic from the word go. The matchmaking works fast and easily and even though I was connecting to players on different continents, there was little to no lag at all.
This game is just insane in every possible way. The power-ups that you collect and how you use them brings a level of chaos and excitement to a track full of racers that I caught myself literally sitting on the edge of my seat, with a massive grin on my face as I pummeled some poor random overseas sucker into somebody else’s mine.
Just last night, I got a few local buddies together to all have a go at the beta and it was simply the most fun I have had playing a game online in the last year. The races are always different and the rivalries, crazy power-ups and varied tracks has all of us laughing, joking and trash talking for the 2 and a half hours or so that we were playing.
So I guess the answer to this question is pretty obvious, even though just a few days ago I would have thought it to be very different.
Blur is my definite pick out of these two titles, and even though we will actually have to wait for the full review copies to arrive before making our final decision, my mind seems pretty made up. The winner, at least for now, is Blur. So if you are looking for a fun racing game for your console and couldn’t be bothered with the sim racers like GT5 and Forza 3, then you had better keep your eye out for this one.
The Winner: Blur
Note: Since the Split/Second demo is now out and the Blur Beta has been out for quite some time now, I assume that many of our readers have played them. If you have, leave a comment below and let us know what you think about each of them and which one you are thinking about picking up.
Last Updated: April 29, 2010