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Blur XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.9
Sound 9.0
Value 8.5
Distributor: Activision
Review Date:
June 2010
James Wright



Car games are a dime a dozen but every now and then, a developer will challenge the current genre and this is where the game Blur comes racing into the race. Although the game is a competent and graphically impressive racer, where this game does stand above the crowd is with the inclusion of an almost Mad Max, Carmageddon and Mario Kart type experience. Match that with state of the art next gen console graphics and you have one thoroughly addictive racer as you nitro, drift and blow you opponents to kingdom come using realistic cars.

Speed plays a vital role in this game as you race a variety of vehicles at high speeds in a plethora of fun overtop and interesting "real world" settings. At its core, Blur is a racing game but it’s a very competent racing game that features a great control system on the 360 controller. However, the destruction aspect of the game wasn’t just added as an afterthought and works well in conjunction with the racing as you attempt to swerve from landmines, gently perform a precision immobilisation technique (PIT) on your opponent or fire missiles at someone giving you grief to drift on by the finishing line. As you race around the track, apart from the variety of weapons that can you can pick up, there are also shields, nitro and repair power-ups to be found on the track.

The learning curve of the game is relatively low but to master the game, it takes on a whole new racing experience and the best way to describe it is like Mario Kart for adults. With a variety of different game modes, Blur allows the player to race either as a solo experience or against other opponents in multiplayer but for me, the single-player campaign is where it stood tall.

With over 60 different events to compete in that include traditional racers, checkpoints or my favourite, a destruction mode, the game continually keeps giving something to the player. This is great in terms of keeping you entrenched in the game because you always want to play one more event to see what you’re up against. Without spoiling the single-player campaign too much, the game even boasts some boss matches along the way in this entertaining racer.

Racing on the other hand, allows you to race against 19 other drivers, whereas Checkpoint is a speed trial with no competitors and finally you have Destruction which is basically a no holes barred experience. For those petrol heads, the game even allows some fun customisation of your vehicles. Although it's basic, it does give you some control in your vehicles.

As mentioned, weapons play a key competent in this game and the game contains quite a few different missiles, landmines are laser beams which adds to the racing strategy... just watch out for electricity. Thankfully the game is quite balanced when it comes to its weaponry and nothing is too powerful and if you’re observant, many of them can be outwitted. You just need to ensure that you pay attention to your rear vision mirror to see what’s coming and whether you need to take a defensive or offensive strategy. The control system is well mapped on the 360 controller and is probably an arcade experience compared to other racers.

Apart from weapons, the game contains mini-games along the tracks or objectives that can also be completed while your racing for additional bonuses such as drifting or eliminating one of your fellow drivers in a particular way. These bonuses might be new mods or cars for you to select. It’s these little challenges that are littered throughout the game that make it such an enjoyable experience because you’re always trying to outdo yourself. By successfully mastering these challenges, you are awarded points that builds towards your fan base. There are also rivals ones that can also be completed and are as equally fun. Fans and rivals is a cool little twist to move the genre from just stock standard racing.

Apart from the single-player game, Blur allows you to race with another three people via 4-player split screen on one console or up to 20 people online. The multiplayer online is very entertaining and allows you to increase your rank and even offers the player new challenges and fans that makes levelling up a very thoroughly enjoyable experience. We had no problems with lag at all and the multiplayer aspect is almost as fun as the single player. In terms of local multiplayer, it's a little cramped and is probably the only aspect of the game that I didn't enjoy.

The gaming environments and level designs are fairly impressive as you race in a variety of “real-world” locations from LA to UK and even Spain. Racing through the streets of Hackney in the UK was my favourite part of the game and there are lots of jumps and shortcuts along the way to find. Graphically, this game is eye candy from the highly detailed car models to realistic lighting effects but for me, it's the high speed crashes! Nika Futterman is the commentator behind the game and sounds almost electrical at times who helps with this over the top experience of the entire game.

In conclusion, don't let Blur whizz past you because it truly challenges the current market and proves that kart games can also be made for adults. With elements of Mario Kart, Project Gotham Racing and even Carmageddon, Blur is the racing game that keeps on giving, whether single-player or multiplayer. With a variety of cars, powerups, weapons and locales, there's very little to complain about this title!


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