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Blur comes from the creators of the Project Gotham series and has been marketed as the big boys version of Mario Kart, to entice all of you “big boys” to go and pick it up, lest you be called a pansy.

When a franchise as successful as Mario Kart is still being played by so many old-school gamers despite its cartoony nature, why not take that formula and enhance it, make it “cool” and throw it at the “hip” crowd.

We hits the streets to bring you the review.

Blur is a fast paced action driving title filled with ridiculous amounts of chaos and suspense. This is what is was advertised to be, and could you believe it, they hit the mark.

Up to 20 licensed cars race around circuits at breakneck speeds over tarmac or offroad tracks while collecting power-ups and using them to absolutely annihilate anyone in their way. The racing is intense, the atmosphere is thick with a hardcore vibe and in that way, the game just reeks of “cool” at all times.

The career modes will have you facing the AI drivers in multiple races and challenges which are split up into different rivals that almost act like levels. The driving style has been comfortably placed right in the middle of arcade and sim-ish controls, which basically means that you are still going to be driving like a maniac, but a good line through a corner will still do you a world of good.

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There are a handful of power-ups that you will encounter in the races, some offensive and some defensive. Power-ups like Shunt (a homing missile), Barge (a radial blast) and Bolt (three bolts to shoot like bullets) can be used to nail opponents, run them off the road and even wreck them if their car health is not looking to good. At the same time, you have the equally important defensive power-ups such as shields, repair and the oh so dastardly mine.

Keeping a balance and determining which to use based on your current situation is vitally important in Blur, as offensive powers will only go so far when you are in first place and have 19 drivers behind you, wishing your demise.

The races vary from the crazy powered-up races, to modes that will have you taking out other cars with the bolt power-up to keep the clock ticking, or to make speed runs around a circuit, collecting extra time icons and using nitro boosts to aid your quest for speed and more.

Throughout the races, your goal is to obtain “lights” and fans. You collect lights by placing well in the races or performing specific tasks, such a fan checkpoint run within the race, that if completed, will earn you a bonus light.

Collect the necessary lights required for the rival, and you will get to take them on. The more you progress, the more cars you will unlock.

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The single player is fun and can actually be as tough as nails at times when trying to earn all of the lights, but for a game like Blur the multiplayer is really where it’s at.

Multiplayer can be played locally or online. The online modes are built up with a system not unlike the systems used in games like Modern Warfare 2. You start at a low level, leveling up by earning fans. As you level up, you unlock more cars as well as open up modification options that can be edited and customised to suit your driving style. You have slots available to you almost like the MW2 “perks” and can be used for all sorts of power-ups like boosting shields, health, offensive capabilities, fans earned etc.

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The game also has options for local and split-screen races. Get a few friends together for some 4 player split-screen action and a couple of beers and you will have an absolute blast.

Multiplayer games are viciously hardcore and it may be a huge understatement to say that it’s a ton of fun. Blur is the first game that I have played in years that has literally made my heart beat in my chest as if I had just run a 100m sprint. The races are furiously intense, and can sometimes be very random as you get obliterated from 1st place and find yourself at the back of the pack in mere moments fighting to get back in front.

Overall, Blur is a good looking game and really uses its visual style to immerse you in the dark, hardcore world of frentic action that you are now apart of. Where Blur really shines though is the sound.

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Really, of all of the things packaged up in Blur, I could almost say that the sound is possible the most impressive. Playing this game loud on a surround sound system will blow your mind. Engine sounds are unique, with each licensed vehicle having its own distinct sound and offering varied grunt and growls from the roars of V8s to the whistles of turbocharged engines wastegates. The real magic however, comes from the power-ups and their audio muscle.

Shooting off a Shunt will cause brief moment of muffled silence that seeks only to usher in a massive blast of bass from your speakers as the homing missile “whirrs” and whines into the distance, hunting down its prey. Shields will cause the sounds around you to be muted and distant, with another rush of base and sounds as it absorbs an opponents attack. The game has a licensed soundtrack as well, but is turned off by default. While it’s a strange move, it makes sense when you realise that the sounds of the races themselves is enough to keep your ears tingling at all times. This game is absolute heaven for audiophiles and sits in the same league as the Star Wars films.

Conclusion:

Blur is ridiculously fun and will put a massive smile on your dial as you cream through the packs, destroying your opponents and doing everything in your power to keep attacks at bay. With lots to do and some great multiplayer modes and a lot of single player fun to be had, it’s a good buy for anyone looking for some real fun in their gaming lives.

For fans of: Mario Kart, Need for Speed, Project Gotham Racing, Wipeout


Scoring (not an average)

Gameplay: 8.8

Solid racing mechanics with great use of power-ups make the racing action a blast.

Presentation: 8.5

A good looking game with great looking effects and atmospheric tracks.

Sound: 9.5

Possibly the best sound to ever grace an action/racing title, magnificent.

Value: 8.5

A decent career mode and a lot of multiplayer modes to keep you entertained.


Overall: 8.9

Recommended not only for racing fans, but anyone looking for a straightforward action/racing title that anyone can enjoy.

[Reviewed on Xbox 360]

Last Updated: June 7, 2010

Blur
Summary
8.9

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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