Developer: Bizarre Creations
by: Katrina Pawlowski
You've heard it a million times: Blur is like Mario Kart for big kids. It's true that it seems to have picked up a lot of elements from the popular kart-racing game, including vicious attacks that come from power ups, but it's also not the same game. Blur was made by a lot of the team responsible for the Burnout series. With that being said, the multiplayer is definitely where it's at. "Where what's at," you ask? The bulk of the gameplay revolves around playing with and ultimately against other drivers to blast your way to the finish line, without wrecking first.
The single player story is short, but rewarding in some ways. You'll unlock cars and become familiar with a variety of tracks before facing off against the world of the internet, as well as learning the best strategies for getting ahead against a challenging A.I. You progress through the story by unlocking "lights" for completing tracks, certain lights for placing 3rd place or above, and additional lights for wrecking other cars, completing "fan circuits" (which are 12 arches on a certain path to drive through), and earning fans. Single player did have more race types, including 20 car races, one on one bosses, target practice cars, etc. The online mode only had two, battle arena and general races.
The fan system is the games way of telling you whether you're doing a good job or not. Earn fans by ramming, shooting, shocking, and speeding ahead of your competition. A low fan score means you didn't do nearly enough damage, or you were just not in the groove. Earning fans will unlock additional cars, and you will be presented with a higher Fan Level. The fan level really helps with matchmaking online, hopefully ensuring you're not a level 1 racing against level 20 or higher. Along with the levels there are race classes that can either raise or lower the pace of the game, A class races were much faster pace than C class races. The speed of the game made the power-ups all the more important, often meaning the difference between first and fifth place or more.
I suppose the best way to approach Blur as opposed to the plethora of other racing games recently on the market, would be to blend the mixture of goals from Burnout Paradise with the quirky attack qualities of Mario Kart. General races will host up to 20 other cars on the track, so it's incredibly beneficial to make use of every power-up you can drive through. You'll get an explosive charge that pushes cars out of the way, bolts to shoot at other cars, red orbs that track down other cars, a shield to protect your car, lightening to subdue the cars up front, and a repair kit in case your car gets a little too beat up. It's also ideal to keep your car in working condition, otherwise you'll truly wreck and be pushed back in the rankings forced to catch-up.
Blur may not be particularly in depth, but it's got fun where it counts. If you've been looking for a solid racing game with plenty of destruction, look no further.