(R) Blur (PS3)

June 24th, 2010 -

Blur is the latest entry from the team that brought us Project Gotham Racing. In short, Blur is PGR meets Mario Kart. High speed arcade style racing with power ups and weapons thrown in for good measure. The handling and atmosphere almost reminds me more of Midnight Club then PGR, but you can still tell this is a Bizarre Creations game.

This game is beautiful. Graphically speaking (from a technology perspective) its sub par compared to most of its counter parts; however, the stylistic design of “blurring” colors all over the place makes for a very visually stunning experience. Bizarre has always been good about picking a few less popular, but still interesting cars for their games, and they haven’t stopped here. Beetle (rat) has quickly become one of my favorite cars in the game (who wouldn’t wanna lay the smack down in a slammed split window bug?). Other rides like a slammed ’53 F100 pickup really feels out of place in a game like this, but at the same time feels so right. The variety of cars in this game is definitely a benchmark for the industry, but then again I expect nothing less from Bizarre.

The game engine feels very slow at first – almost like it has a terrible sense of speed. But as you unlock the upper tier cars, the game starts to get its pace. Just like any good racing game, having tiered vehicles makes replaying the same tracks again feel less repetitive. Initially I was having a hard time getting used to the handling as well as the concept of Blur’s weapon system, but once I got my stride and figured out a rhythm for the game, I really started to enjoy it. Unfortunately this was short lived.

Weapons and Racing. There’s only one outcome of this mixture, and I’ve experienced it in Modnation, Split Second, and for years with Mario Kart and Wipeout … and that’s frustration. Blur isn’t short on this either. Just like any other weapons based racing game – when you think you’ve got this race in the bag, SHAZAM!!! A nuclear air strike from 5 different cars behind you. Some racing games have given you a way around this with the ability to use your boost gauge as a shield in order to balance the playing field and add an extra dimension of strategy. In too many instances I was confronted with the warning siren telling me I’m about to get blasted, leaving me with nothing I could do about it. Some weapons can be fired in reverse to counter an attack, but it just doesn’t seem as effective.

I was told you’re not having fun with Blur until you get it online, and so I did. Even after popping in and out of different race types I found myself having a hard time distinguishing the difference between online and offline races as most human drivers react the same way the AI does. Race, pick up weapon, fire it at closest target, last lap, hold weapons, unload at finish. If Mario Kart is what you’re after I honestly have to recommend Modnation over this, as Modnation has taken everything that was right about Mario Kart and added more to it. I also have a hard time keeping my driving or shooting strategy with this game because of the visuals. With highly detailed licensed cars on urban race tracks, I can’t help but think PGR, Need For Speed, Grid, and so on, when I need to be thinking Mario Kart.

Also, what’s with the Facebook and twitter integration? I understand that we are more connected now with these sites, but do I really need to share with people which car I am currently looking at before I race? That’s just downright stupid. I’m going to level with you, I didn’t finish or “beat” this game because I’ve spent more time frustrated with it than enjoying it. Its’ really disappointing because I had high hopes for this. I really want to love this game; everything about the trailers looks awesome. Unfortunately though, this car feels better in the showroom than on the street.

Final Verdict:

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