What is Blur? [Review]

What is Blur? Successful arcade racer? Failed Mario Kart clone? Find out here.

What is Blur?  Take PGR (Project Gotham Racing), mix it with Mario Kart, and then sprinkle some extra awesome on top.  That’s what Blur is.  Blur gives you powered up racing for adults.  I have to admit, when I first heard about Blur I wasn’t interested.  I thought, “Here goes someone else trying to copy Mario Kart”.  That’s before I found out that Bizarre was behind the game.  When I found this out I went out and checked out the game.  From the very moment I started the game I was drawn in by the music, the overall look and feel of the game (which at that point was just the menu).  The game has a slick interface.  Glass panels display information and you glide from panel to panel while flipping through the menu.

In this game you get to racing pretty quickly.  There is a short intro movie, then the first short tutorial.  You select your car, and then your racing.  The game looks great.  The only thing I could find wrong is that the foliage doesn’t really look that great, but to be honest you’re usually going too fast to notice.  The game really gives you a sense of speed and intensity.  This applies even to the beginning of the race since you start while the car is already in motion.   It’s hard to describe so I thought it might be best to just show you.

There used to be an embeded media player here, but it doesn't work anymore. We blame the Tumbeasts.

As you can see the game makes you feel like you’re going REALLY fast.  The sound effects help with this too as well as add to the intensity.  Most of the time you will not be blowing the other cars away; for the most part they keep up.  The AI in this game is very aggressive, so most of the time you will hear many engines around you roaring, while at the same time hearing the carnage from power ups being fired by other racers.  You’ll see many times where cars will flip over you or slide in front of you because of a power up used by another opponent.

There are eight power ups.  The Shunt will be your greatest ally.  Once you fire it in front of you, it will track the nearest racer and hit them, causing them to flip over.  If you rear fire it, it won’t track your opponents but it will go around some corners still.  The Bolt is a missile but is much weaker than the shunt.  Bolts come in groups of threes and if you hit your opponents with them it will cause them to swerve and slow down.  The Mine is like a stationary shunt.  Once you place it, it will stay until someone runs into it.  You can also fire it ahead of you, which is what I use it for most.

The Barge is a close range power up that will push other cars away from you in all directions when activated.  You can use Nitro in two ways.  You can use it as a boost, or you can deploy it in front of you to come to a quick stop to hit a tight turn.  Shields….well it will shield you from attacks.  Some attacks will damage the shield but leave it up, while other will deplete the entire shield.  Repair power up will bring your cars health back to full.  The Shock power up will set three lighting domes at the front of the pack and any car that hits it will slow down…including yours so it’s not a good idea to use it if you’re in first or second.

Cars can be wrecked if they are hit by too many power ups.  The amount of damage you can take will vary from car to car.  SUV’s and trucks can take more damage than standard cars.  If you get wrecked you’re not out of the race, but you will be reset going at a much slower speed than the rest of the cars.  Also, while your car is flipping over and you get the “Wrecked” message the race is still going on.  The only events that you will instantly lose if you wreck are 1 on 1’s against rivals during career mode, or in multiplayer if respawn is turned off.

Jarret Redding
Jarret Redding
Jarret Redding

Executive Director

Jarret is Executive Director as well as one of the founding members of Mash Those Buttons. He plays all types of games, but tends to lean more toward FPS, Stealth, and Combat games.

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