Blur Second Opinion Review

Developer: Bizarre Creations

Publisher: Activision

Console: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mobile

Release Date: May 25, 2010

Genre: Racing

Players: Single, Local ( 4 player versus), Online (20 players)

Rating: E 10+

-Calvin Tomlinson

Now, I generally don’t enjoy racing games aside from Mario Kart and I haven’t really enjoyed a racing game with real cars since Need for Speed Underground. I picked up Blur whilst it was on a Steam sale, and it really is just the racing game I’ve been looking for. It combines realistic racing and fantastic looking cars with the thrill and excitement of blasting your opponents with weapons.

The single player campaign is thoroughly enjoyable, the player competes in various events in order to earn “lights”, and lights are earned by placing in the events. When the player has earned enough lights then will be able to face their rival. The different events are race, destruction, checkpoint and one on one. The race is a standard race, you need to be the first to finish, but this is made infinitely more difficult by the mass of power-ups flying your way from the brutal AI. Destruction is an event where you must gain time and points by destroying your opponent’s vehicles, getting lights in this is based on how many points you can amass. Checkpoint is like a time trial, you need to get round the track and finish with as much time left over as possible, there are clocks and nitro boosts scattered around the track to assist you. Once you’ve completed these events and fulfilled all the requests of your rival, you can face them in a one on one, just you and them in a race to the finish. These one-on-ones can be insanely hard, because rivals have upgraded versions of other cars, but the upside is that once you beat them, the car is yours. As I said, the AI can be brutal, but that makes it all the more satisfying when you win, and much like playing Mario Kart, it’s hard to get to get frustrated when you don’t.

As well as earning lights, the player earns fans, these are earnt by driving well and hitting opponents. When the player earns fans they’ll rank up and unlock new cars to use in their events. This adds a whole new level to the game, because sometimes winning will earn you next to no fans, and extra lights can be earned by reaching a fan target, and hitting the “Fan Run”. Fan runs area great way to get a boost of fans during your race, hitting the start marker will show a set of gates which the player must pass through as fast as possible, the faster you drive, the more fans you get. 

Multiplayer is what really makes this game exciting for me though, 10 player races, and up to 20 player team races make for some real fun, because no matter how good the AI can be, nothing compares to playing against other players. The fan system remains the same, except the player has a separate single player and multiplayer rank. Ranking up in multiplayer still unlocks new vehicles, but it also unlocks new mods. Mods are like perks, and can make the player stronger with a certain power-up, more resistant to a certain power-up, or get a boost of fans for completing certain challenges.

Another great part of the game is Friend Challenges, if you complete an event in single player, and think that you’ve done really well, you can send a friend challenge. This challenge will then show up the next time your friend plays, and they get the opportunity to run the event with the same set-up you did, and try to beat your fan score/time/power-ups hit, or whatever other custom challenge you may have set.

Overall I’ve found this game thoroughly enjoyable, sure it can be frustrating running out in first place and then a few power-ups knocking you down to 5th, but you can also be on the other end of that. There are loads of races I’ve come from behind on the last few corners to win. I don’t think the real, hard-core racing fans will enjoy Blur, but as a casual racer like myself, it makes for a great game with friends.

Verdict:75%

Blur - Official Vision Trailer  [HD]

Calvin and Marcus both had a similar score on this game. What are your thoughts?