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Crystal Clear Direction- Blur Review

As a game-obsessed lab, a spontaneous fist-pump would often accompany the conquest of a boss or the completion of a particularly challenging level. Over the years, as maturity and decorum grudgingly took hold, the energized gesture appeared to have vanished for good. Inexplicably, after a last minute sprint past the finish line in Blur, the animated hand-motion miraculously resurfaced – revived by the intensity of an enthusiastic upset. 

In theory, the recent release from developer Bizarre Creations is a inspired concept, merging the munitions of a kart racer with the visual aesthetics and handling of a light simulation. Although recent attempts to merge racing genres have resulted in a product arguably best described by the game’s moniker, Blur is anything but unfocused. Like the developers past efforts with the Project Gotham Racing series (and its precursor Metropolis Street Racer), the title is absurdly polished, and worthy of a place in any arcade-racing enthusiast’s collection.


Ghost Rider must have traded his chopper in for a Camero.


Beyond a masterful amalgamation of techniques, Blur‘s vehicular load-outs are one of the key contributors to the title’s success. Each of the five offensive power-ups offers a satisfying wallop – from the long-range impact of needler-esque bolts to the upending intensity of a homing shunt attack. Better still, when other racers strike the player the results rarely feel unfair; the attacks typically slow gamers down instead of punitively removing  them from the competition. Additionally, a number of defensive tactics are available to players, ranging from the deployment of a shield to firing weaponry rearward to counteract an incoming strike. Since racers can carry three-power-ups (cleverly shown as translucent icons on your back bumper) many of Blur‘s competitions rarely contain an idle moment.

Yet weapon-fueled street skirmishes are only one element in Blur‘s arsenal. Checkpoint runs feature tracks littered with purposefully placed nitros and clock-pausing icons. Target contests limit the loadouts to bolts, offering valuable second for each  downed opponent. Style is each mode rewards players with fans which are used to unlock new vehicles , while a podium finish bestows Lights- the game’s currency to unlock new stages. Overall, there’s plenty of racing embedded in the game’s nine challenge tiers – regrettably, about three-quarters through the Blur‘s excursion, players will encounter a choke point forcing them to replay stages to glean every last Light.


“Straight 50 meters, followed by easy right”


As robust as Blur‘s campaign mode is, the game’s multiplayer components are even more substantial. Four-player split-screen matches can become surprisingly lively thanks to the game’s efforts to preserve a solid framerate. Online competitions were refreshingly lag-free, despite hosting up to twenty racers lighting the screen up with armaments as they jockey for position. Nearly every race rewards participants with some type of perk, mod, or level promotion, ensuring players interest remains unwavering.

While some titles attempt to shoehorn a stylish graphical motif into their game in an effort to foster a distinctive  personality, Blur‘s visuals rarely feel forced. Swirling streaks of neon permeate the game, seeping into every load screen and weapon discharge. Yet, the effect is remarkable restrained and rarely draws attention to itself.  The game’s sound effects skillfully elevate each sputtering strike and thundering collision, while the game’s electronic soundtrack discreetly articulate the tempo of each competition. 


Like that early Sega CD game, and the Turtles exploits, the sewer is a popular venue.


Although Blur doesn’t have the spectacular destruction of Split/Second, nor the course creation of ModNation Racers, (or even a new Geometry Wars appendage) the title presents players with masterfully refined single and multiplayer elements. Players whom appreciate a driving title which cultivates controller clutching intensity  owe it to themselves to give Blur a trial.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

36 comments

  1. I loved the demo, and I don’t usually like MP games.

  2. I’ve been playing this for a week. Love it. Haven’t gotten to the choke point yet though.

  3. Desert, you have a gift with words! Almost exactly how I feel about the game.

  4. I am the New Drug

    So this is better than Split/Second?

  5. No way- Split Second owns this game.

  6. Those graphics dont look subtle in the least.

  7. BLURry road textures. yech.

  8. Wow, I’m surprised by the score.

  9. RadioactiveMouse

    I didn’t know the PGR people made this.

  10. I rented Split/Second and this one, and I have to agree I liked Blur a bit better. I doesn’t quite have the better graphics though.

  11. Try the demo, it doesn’t look at bad in motion.

  12. Phrank Phredreckson

    good caption, as always Deagle.

  13. Good review! I might have to get this one.

  14. I really liked the feel of the demo, but it almost felt too easy- I was owning fools left and right and barely had to steer. Is that the way the way the full game is?

  15. I beg to differ. S/S may have some impressive effect, but the AI is too rubber band-y for me. Blur feels much better.

  16. Sounds fun, but I always feel a bit dirty buying a Acti-published title.

  17. Anyone know if there’s a deal on this? I’m willing to get it If I can score it for $50.

  18. Blur seems like an awful name for a racer. It’s like the called it “covered with vasoline”

  19. No new GW game is disappointing, but I guess this isn’t PGR…

  20. Quarterpounder

    IGN hsaid it was super hard, even on Normal. Did you think it wasn’t fun because of this?

    They have it a 7.10 BTW.

  21. Noob gamer, I’ve finished the game on normal. It wasn’t that tough.

  22. Agreed. I always think Blurry when I see/hear the title, not speed.

  23. Solid review. I might have to pick it up.

  24. Seems like the critic are being harsher than the gamers on this one.

  25. I’m seeing a 7.0 on my end. Seemed like the review was indifferent.

  26. I liked the way this felt like Mario Kart for grown-ups.

  27. Maybe this game is the successor to Burnout, then.

  28. Sounds like a game I’d like. Loved the demo. Almost no lag on my end, even with 20 cars.

  29. Great review. I’ll probably pick this up this month.

  30. Man, this game is great. Hope the hating and play this one. One of the best racing games on the market, meng.

  31. You think they’ll show the next NFS game at E3?

  32. From the pics, I never thought this was a Kart racer!

  33. Really great review. Totally nailed it. This is probably one of my favorite racers this year.

  34. Long live the fist pump!

  35. Addict of the Stick

    Throw in a backward elbow with bow!

  36. Great review, made me really want to play the game.