Blur Beta Impressions

By Nick Young on March 16, 2010, 11:34AM EDT

Blur is the latest game being developed by Bizarre Creations, the team behind the Project Gotham Racing games, but unlike Project Gotham, Blur has Mario-Kart style power-ups to keep races interesting and very different from traditional racing games.

The game features eight power-ups to help or hinder players depending on how they are used. A few of these include Mines, Nitro Boosts and Shock, which will fire three E.M.P thunderbolts to throw rivals off their game. Power-ups also feature a secondary fire which could mean firing a shunt homing missile behind or throwing a mine forward. It's these power-ups that make each race different and exciting, certainly a nice change of pace from just driving around a track focusing on the right time to brake.

Each car has a display above them stating who is driving and how much health they have. Wrecking other people is not compulsory but it does score more fans. Fans are how the game progresses, as when a certain number of fans are gained, players will rank up allowing more race options, cars and the mod-shop. Each car is sorted into a class ranging from A to D, with A Class cars being the best performing. Cars can also be 'modified' in the mod-shop and small upgrades can be applied to the car for small advantages like the ability to start with a power-up or more damage dealt in collisions with other cars. Unlike other games, facing off against higher ranking opponents is not that bad, besides having a faster car, they won't really have any other advantage. This keeps races fair and all in all leads to a better experience.

There are numerous tracks to play through and different race modes for people after a specific experience. Skirmish Races allow up to ten players to compete in races online whereas other modes such as Motor Mash are all about smashing up the opposition. The game also features Challenges to aid in gaining more fans for those hard to earn unlockables and they usually consist of hitting rivals with power-ups so many times or evading theirs. Challenges will more than likely be earned over time anyway as power-ups are used consistently throughout the game, they have a purpose but it's nothing important.

The actual racing is exciting from the off, the controls are simple and potentially anyone can play; but more importantly anyone can win. Bad drivers can simply spam power-ups to negate their disadvantage and still have a chance to win, the same goes for good drivers who may still be taken out by any of their opponents and left in the dirt. The only way to secure a win is to learn how to use power-ups efficiently, like always keeping a shield in stock for the inevitable shunt. But it doesn't always work that way and the unpredictable nature of each race means that this game keeps things exciting time and time again.

Blur is set to be the next big thing for the racing genre. Although it takes parts from games we've seen before it's the first of it's kind and hopefully not the last. The best feature of this game is the fun that can be had with every race. Win or lose, the races themselves are unpredictable, exciting and definetly rewarding. This is definetly an experience that fans of racing games should check out when it's released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC at the end of May 2010.

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