Blur is an arcade-action racing game created by Bizarre Creations and published by Activision®. Despite being racing game, it is not as usual as the others like Need for Speed for example. The game has sci-fi elements and looks like Revolt. The player races against his opponents, collecting power-ups and using them to shoot enemy cars, protect himself from incoming missiles or using Nitro boost to instantly gain burst of speed for a short period of time.
The world is set into destinations from the real world. There are 30 racing tracks from 14 different places around the world like L.A, San Francisco, Barcelona, the UK and etc. The sites are very well made, the graphics and environment are realistic and beautiful, and to fully enjoy them you should set the graphic detail to maximum. The cars are licensed and many compared to Split second which makes the atmoshpere to be felt better. They are beautifully and realistically designed and their engine sound is decent. The soundtracks are mainly rap and electronic but I think that they should have put more diversity, because the music is simply repetitive.
As you might have noticed, Blur is 25% race and 75% arcade action. You don't play it to feel the high speed adrenaline, you play it to "destroy" your enemies. The racing is like chaos, there are cars all around and everyone struggles to get the first position, it's pretty tough action. They fire explosives, electric traps, missiles, it is pretty fun and you never know what would happen next because the most dangerous place is the first position. When someone is rammed or crashes, his car loses life and when it loses all it's health, he goes behind losing several positions(e.g. from 8th to 14th). In most of the races there are 19 AI players and you. You always start from either 19th or 20th position. It's pretty challenging to reach the first place and what is good about this game is that you don't need to finish first in order to complete the race; you need to finish at least 3rd. To decent gamers I'd recommend to set game difficulty to medium as the game is not much easy. Medium difficulty will make the atmosphere tense and you will win races and won't remain unchallenged though you won't spend 2 hours stuck at one race.
Power-ups: These are bonuses dispersed around the track and appearing few seconds after being picked up. You can collect up to 3 but you can fire them in the row you have taken them. Each power-up except Bolt can be used once, then it disappears and frees a power-up slot; there is a special button for firing these stuff. There are 8 power-ups like Firing bolts, placing mines, burst of speed(nitro), shield protecting you from enemy power-ups and etc. They are well designed, just fantastic. Another good thing about this game is that there is a mirror allowing you to view behind. This can be useful to avoid incoming harmful power-ups or preventing racers from outrunning you.
Fan system: The good old reputation system is seen in Blur. You unlock cars and tracks by making fans. You don't simply see your Lil admirers but just consider them as achievement points. To win fans you have to do fancy things (it's like style points from NFS:Underground), whether crashing enemy cars or using power-ups, drifting, reaching higher positions. The fan system is classified by levels and the max level is 25. It is well made because the higher level you get, the more fans and time you need to reach the next one.
Bizarre Creations made "Bizzare races". Well there are no Sprint races. All the tracks are long circuits with 2-3 laps. Usually I hate circuits and admire sprint races only, but this game changes that. Whilst playing the game, I calmly know whether the race will end soon and how long the laps are just to have time to outrun enemies and reach at least the 3rd place. A new kind of race is the destroying one. You have to chase other cars, collect Bolt power-ups and fire them at the enemy vehicles. They don't aim anything, just move neither fast, nor slow, and mostly "die" from one shot but note that the bolts don't follow their victims, just fly in 1 direction so you have to be precise. By destroying cars, you win time and gain points. Again there is an amount of points to reach, just to succeed in the race. By starting the race, a timer starts counting down from about 30 seconds and to restore time you have to destroy vehicles. There is also Checkpoint type of race which is the same as it is in Need for Speed(pass checkpoints before time runs out). It is a great fun there since there is time bonus power-up and nitrous, and to be perfect you mustn't miss any of them on your path.
Multiplayer: To play multi-player, you will need a registration code. Online play is much more fun to test your skills among other players compared to single player. Racing real gamers might get more challenging and tense than racing AI.
Yet, there are disadvantages: When I ran into was the fact that you don't pick your own nickname, I was disappointed - it detects your computer name and counts itself as a game ID. Blur also suffers from customization. When you unlock cars, you don't need to buy them, which is very good - you simply drive them, but you can't upgrade or tune your car, put any body kit, spoiler, or even decorate and paint your vehicle.
In addition, the controls are not good at all. You just can change from layout 1 to layout 2, whose key bindings are already pre made and cannot be changed. The first layout is the familiar WASD, and the second is the one with arrows, but the Up arrow is not set to driving forth, so the key binding to it is "Q" which is completely uncomfortable. It might get very painful for some to accustom to the game key controls, especially if they are impatient.
Closing comments: This game is a modern version of Revolt. It's very entertaining, graphics and sound are presented well, and it's an extreme challenge to win, racing against another 19 AI players struggling to reach the first place, picking up and using power-ups upon your car. Yet there are very big issues with customization and controls but if you negate them, you might enjoy the spectacularly designed effects, environment and tense action. Blur is a good time and place to have a break and give your negative energy away upon your enemies.
Oh and don't forget to wear your seatbelts because you will hardly survive in the world of the arcade tense action :) .
Gameplay - Tense action, fulfilling needs of action/arcade lovers. The power-up and fan system were very well done. Lack of customization, and it might be hard to get accustomed to the controls.
Graphics - Amazing special effects. Game is set into real world tracks, and the landscape is decently designed.
Sound - Brilliant sound effects, some nice music. Playing for long might get you fed up of them as they are repetitive.
Lasting appeal - Blur is a really good game and is worth every dollar. It will keep your interest into the game itself and you will hardly get bored. It is a little addictive but not that much so you won't be stuck on your chair playing all day and all night.
Awesome Arcade Themed Game!!!!
Overall the game has an excellent gameplay, great sound effects, a large variety of cool cars, the graphics are really good, and the races are somewhat of a challenge. The game has both an original soundtrack, and a licensed soundtrack, which gives some variety in music choice. The in game camera movement and HUD shake make the game more exciting. The game's integration of split screen 4 player racing is a first in a long time to appear on a console, and the online gameplay is fun. Some downsides are repetitive loading screen music and not much variety in menu music. The point system is strange, though very original. This game is a must have for anybody that has enjoyed the exciting racing games of the 90's and early millenium, as well as any arcade games that think outside the box.