Blur Hands-On

We race around LA and Barcelona in Bizarre Creations' upcoming vehicular combat game.

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Bizarre Creations is best known for the Project Gotham racing series and, before that, for the innovative Metropolis Street Racer. Now, in a somewhat surprising move, the developer has turned its attentions to vehicular combat with Blur--a racer that places more importance on weapons than it does on driving. We had an opportunity to get in on some 16- and 20-player races at Activision's E3 booth today, and we came away entertained though not necessarily excited.

Blur is still in a pre-alpha state right now, and there's no doubt that there's fun to be had in rolling-start races that incorporate power-ups like mines (drop them behind you), electric shocks (target the car in front), shunts (hit car immediately in front), barges (hit cars on both sides), and nitro boosts. The arcade-style handling of the vehicles is forgiving, the weapons keep things interesting even when you're at the back of the field, and the courses are cleverly designed to incorporate alternate routes and shortcuts. What's a little disappointing, though, is that--at least based on our time with the game today--Blur doesn't appear to do anything that numerous other games haven't done before it.

Even at this early stage of development, dozens of different vehicles appeared to be used, and each exhibited passable damage modeling. Panels were deforming, doors were swinging open, bumpers were hanging off, and black smoke was pouring out from under the hoods--at least until those of us playing realized that there were repair stations dotted around each circuit that, more often than not, could only be driven through if we chose to ignore power-ups or shorter routes to aim for them.

Power-ups were in plentiful supply in the E3 Xbox 360 demo and respawned so quickly that even if the opponent we were tailgating picked one up, there was a great chance that we'd get it too. You'll be able to store up to three power-ups at any one time, and in the finished game, we're told that there will almost certainly be an option to purchase an upgrade that lets you carry even more. Switching between power-ups is as easy as tapping a shoulder button, and though we didn't experiment with it today, we're told that it's possible to "stack" some power-ups by using two or three of them in quick succession. For example, hitting three nitros in quick succession will purportedly boost you to a much greater speed than if you use them each individually.

Currently scheduled for release later this year, Blur will support a maximum of 20 players online and via system link. It will also offer split-screen support for up to four racers. The four events that we had an opportunity to check out were taken from more than 100 events that will appear in the finished game, which will be set in 14 different locations that include London, San Francisco, Barcelona, and Los Angeles. Blur was fun for the 15 minutes or so that we spent with it today, but it remains to be seen if there are enough interesting features here to keep the game compelling across more than 100 different events. We look forward to bringing you more information on this one as soon as it becomes available.

Discussion

14 comments
SonicTH
SonicTH

Looks interesting...pity Split/Second is coming out next year...

Yossi1007
Yossi1007

LOOKS ONE O THE BEST RACERS SO FARR FINALLY THEY GOT THE IDEA GAMES R SUPPOSE TO BE FUN NOT FRUSTRATING AND THE NUTRITION IF IT ISNT BROKE DONT FIX IT LOT O OLD GAME LIKE THIS WERE GRATE (mario kart jak x and more...) BUT WITH THIS GRAPHICS and speed IT WILL BLAST MARIO KART WII AWAY just PLEAAAASE just DONT cut the splitscreen from pc this time oh and if u do decide to have splitscreen for pc just dont ruin the graphics like in consoles or give us the choise to raise it up pc can handle it!!!

thunderhorse55
thunderhorse55

this looks like the new-gen/xbox version of mario kart, which we all know and love. this looks interesting, ill have to keep my eyes on it

bennae66
bennae66

virtual erkan: there certainly is.

bennae66
bennae66

wipeout for car lovers or mariokart for adults? i will stick to wipeout hd (the first racing game i purchased since gran tourismo 3 on ps2) and maybe borrow this one off a mate to bash around after hes done with it.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

@HellsKing @Virtual_Erkan Well said HellsKing, can never get enough racing games though!! This looks like it might be interesting. MarioKart with "real" cars.

HellsKing
HellsKing

@Virtual Erkan No, there are just too many WW2/Zombie games :P

pakhair
pakhair

Blur looks Promising..............

the_danny
the_danny

excedra forza en gran are drive simulators this is more like mariokart

Excedra
Excedra

I doubt it will be as good as forza 3 or gran turismo 5, but its still an awesome game.

OGKNav
OGKNav

Is Blur picking up where Midnight Club 2 left off? It reminds me so much of MCII. I loved that tar out of that game.