A fun and surprisingly engaging multiplayer experience.
I'm a big fan of the kart racing genre. However, with Mario Kart being the only real option out there for the last few years I've grown tired of the plumbers race for 1st. For lack of a better way of articulating, I have craved a more adult approach to the seemingly dead sub-genre. I'm pleased that not only Blur delivers but it injects hope for this genre to find its footing beyond Nintendo.
On paper, Blur is a weird idea. Take real-world cars and give them a Mario-Kart like arsenal with a serious street-racer coat of paint. Blur is a kart racer in every sense of the phrase. Well, maybe not the kart part, but you get the point. The game weirdly doesn't encourage reckless driving like Burnout. Instead, you'll have to master how these cars not only handle, but be able to execute near-perfect drifts to accomplish much of anything. While Blur isn't a difficult game, it does take awhile to get your bearings in it.
I should point out that I didn't complete the single-player. I got about half-way through and the game was repeating tracks and challenges but merely made the AI more relentless. Yes, the AI is brutal. The campaign is set up in a linear progression of various challenges. Aside from races, the game has a Demolition mode which you race around the track and just wreck as many opponents as you can. The career mode is completely throw-away and non-essential to the experience.
Multiplayer is Blur's bread and butter. The majority of the skill doesn't involve racing, but rather utilizing your power-ups tactically. It's all about waiting for the perfect shot and being able to dodge and return fire on incoming attacks. These online matches support up to 20 players, and it can get pretty crazy. The beauty of Blur is it's uncanny way of having controlled chaos. There's a lot going on. Constant laser-sounds, explosions, cars driving past you, incoming fire warnings and colorful graphical effects up the wazoo. However, I was always able to tell what was going on. The screen was never a mess like it sounds like, but instead was entertaining.
The great part about the multiplayer is that you don't have to even place to get experience points that award you new perks, cars, and modes. The game rewards you for effectively implementing power-ups and frankly, playing the game. I was satisfied enough just not being in last place. It's probably important to mention I've never had fun with a racing game and honestly didn't care too much on placing first. That's how fun the chaotic, yet tactical beating the hell out of other players is.
Bizarre Creations has truly created a formula with a good amount of style a fun. Blur is an awesome game that any fans of the Mario-Kart style of games should try out.