Giant Bomb Review


Pure Review

  • X360
  • PS3

Pure looks great and plays well, providing enough tricks to keep things moving and enough tracks to keep things varied.

Tricks = boost = more tricks = more boost.
Pure isn't a very evocative name for an ATV racing game. When it comes to the ATV games, we usually get a lot of manly sounding terms like "off-road" or "fury" or "frenzy." Pure sounds pristine and white like snow. It sounds like the name of a snowboarding game. Maybe, in some weird subliminal way, that was the plan all along, because Disney's ATV racing game has more in common with the SSX series than with the multitudes of other ATV games that have been released over the years.

There's a refined simplicity to Pure's mechanics that boils down to the basic "more tricks equals more boost" style of play. As you go off of big jumps, you do tricks. Tricks fill your "thrill bar," which is another fancy way of saying "boost meter." You can hit your boost at any time, but filling it up gives you access to more tricks, which gives you more potential for earning boost. Filling up the bar gives you a special trick that can be used at any time, regardless of how full your meter is, but you'll need a big jump to have enough time to land the trick properly. Landing a special trick refills your boost meter, creating a situation where you can boost almost constantly as long as you occasionally land a special trick.

The trick system isn't too sophisticated, but it's not as shallow as it initially seems, either. Most tricks are done with by pushing one of the three trick buttons and a direction on the analog stick. But you can also hit another button to tweak that trick into another one, effectively doubling the amount of tricks you can pull. The game is very big on trick variety, and won't reward you with much boost if you do a trick you've already done. This actually becomes kind of a hassle, as it can be hard to remember which tricks you have and haven't done as the event wears on. The trick and boost features are joined by a standard suspension pre-loading mechanic, which helps you get more air off of jumps. The whole thing is easy to pick-up and understand.

Yes, you can do a Seat Grab Superman.
That gameplay is dropped into a few not-so-different race types and set into a single-player progression that feeds the races to you in a set of different classes and events. As you win events, you'll unlock more events, along with additional ATV parts. The game has a lot of different parts that you'll cram together to build your bike. If you don't feel like taking the time to customize every little bit, you can hold down a build button to quickly slap something together. The parts you start the game with can only construct D-class rides--pretty slow, not that exciting. Getting the A-class stuff makes the game fun, though getting there takes some time.

Pure also has online multiplayer, which lets up to 16 players race at the same time. This, you would think, would be where the real fun lies, but that's only the case if you pour a heaping helping of time into the single-player, as you'll still need to unlock all of those hot bike parts before you can use them online. And without those parts, it's tough to remain competitive.

The last piece to Pure is an important one--it's the graphics. Pure looks great and runs fast. You'll get a good sense of speed on the ground and you'll get to see enough of the surrounding environment to make those huge jumps look positively majestic. The rider animations are perhaps a bit stiff, and the crashes are cut so short that they start to look a little weird, but overall, it looks terrific.

It might not sport licensed riders, but with plenty of licensed parts and solid gameplay, it's easy to imagine that most fans of ATV action will enjoy Pure. But there's also that SSX connection, as the game's fast speed and reliance on tricks will probably give it plenty of appeal to fans of EA's criminally dormant snowboarding line, too.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
45 Comments Refresh
Posted by TheGTAvaccine

Great review. This game looks really good.

Posted by N3onThr33

Awesome. I'll have to pick it up sometime.

Posted by Kinarion

So when did people decide that motocross was two wheels too few and give birth to this sport?

Posted by mubress

Tried the demo and it plays well, just not different enough to other games that have boost bars.
For example I'd much rather play Motorstorm, even though you don't have to do tricks you just drive off really high jumps really fast.

Posted by StarFoxA

I might check this game out.

Posted by GalvanizedNails

I plan on buying it as soon as it gets a price drop or I see it on sale. I'm not dying to have it, but I can see myself sinking a good amount of time into it if the bike customization is any good. Also, just a side note guys, but maybe consider adding an "achievement/trophy detail" to your reviews. Just say like "While playing this game, I was able to unlock X achievements/trophies without having to go much out of my way" and anything else you want to say about it.

Posted by mudkip9000

This game is awesome.. The SSX comparison is right, it's just so much fun. I actually was laughing out loud playing it.

Posted by PsYuSoFly

This game is awesome I had it since release and the online is lag free, fast and fun. Plus people actually play with headsets on ^_^ So it's just a good game to load up and have fun on

Posted by slowpantz

looks like a great game

Posted by FalcomAdol

Like SSX or like Amped?

What I want is an offroad ATV racing game with Amped 3 style insanity.

Amped 3 was criminally underappreciated.

Posted by ZombieHunterOG

Nice review as always jeff >:P 

Posted by Claude

I want this game, so bad, my butt itches.

Posted by HatKing

The demo was interesting enough, so I'll probably give this a rent.

Posted by Torb

Awesome review. Looks like a pretty sweet game. Can't wait to give it a good playing :D

Posted by Gorillawhat

*Leaves to go buy Pure*

Posted by zoozilla

Loved the demo - might pick it up later.

Posted by S8N

Gonna try it out.
Kinda Wipeouty, SSXy type of fun makes my day :)

Posted by JackSukeru

"has more in common with the SSX series than with the multitudes of other ATV games that have been released over the years." There, done, you've sold me. No need to read the rest of the review.

Posted by gamerpigeon

bit confused with this review as it contradicts what jeff said on the bombcast but whatever

Posted by Yoda

Great Review.. i'll definitly pick this game up, especially if i can find it used

Posted by Infneon

The soundtrack of the game has some pretty decent music in there too.

Posted by thefjk

Dunno why I ignored this game earlier... when I got the demo, I couldn't put it down. Getting the game soon though,

And as for the review, thanks for sealing the deal, definitely getting this then! Hope they release some DLC's!
Posted by coonce

i definitely picked up on the ssx similarities... but i really dig the graphics and sense of speed/out of controlness that the game provides.... we need a guide for this bad boy!

Posted by L

Got to check out that demo!

Posted by TwoOneFive

the demo seemed like i got all there is out of it

Posted by Kohe321

I'm getting this. Loved the demo.

Posted by s0ck

so what i want to know is what changed jeffs mind so much? as on the podcast he said he had tried 3 races and felt he had already seen everything the game had to offer?i guess we will have to wait untill tuesday night to find out more!.i was really interested in this game but  his prereview comments did put me off slightly,but now the review makes the game sound great again.much confussion!

Posted by MrMiyagi

It's pretty fun. I enjoyed what I've played.

Posted by Grape

I downloaded the demo, played it, was pretty fun I suppose. I won't be buying it though. No split screen multiplayer? No thanks.
Maybe a rent if I can be bothered sorting out rentals.

Posted by Dryker

I agree with several posters here. I was interested in Pure, heard Jeff's remarks on last weeks podcast, gave up on it, and now I am confused. I do recall that he said he needed to check more of it out. I think maybe he was on the fence about a three or four star, but so many people regard three star as bad, he felt a four was more appropriate.

Posted by Erdie

After playing the demo, I've got to pick this one up.

Posted by betterthantelevision

PURE is ... yeah, I'm doing it ... it's pure fun.

Posted by SlimDogg

This is a great game. Great combo of SSX and the old Off Road Fury.  The review was on the spot. No pun intended.

Posted by bornagain888

Still waiting for a Excitebike 64 equal.

Posted by datarez

I was playing the demo on 360 earlier today and it wasn't too bad, I felt like I could totally understand where Jeff was coming from on his comment about the game on the podcast.  See it once and you've seen it all.  I'm surprised he ended up liking it that much.

So how easy are the achievements?

Posted by JosephBarron

What's up with review length lately? They all seem to be pretty short. Though, the Giant Bombcast definitely makes up for it most of the time.

Posted by Godzilla_Sushi

Criminally dormant snowboarding line indeed.....

Posted by Player1

I played the demo, and found that after one race, it was cool, but not for me. I might get it from gamefly though. Well see. Thanks for the reivew.

Posted by guttershark

i downloaded the demo for 360 but wasn't really impressed

Posted by Kazz1896

Amazing game!  One of the best racing games in years:)

Posted by TeflonBilly

Just tried the demo and thought it was real awesome.
Fun as hell arcadey racing, the likes which I haven't played for awhile.
The only daunting thing is the whole bike customization part. Seems to go against how fast paced and fun the gameplay was in this demo.

This review zinched it though. I'm totally picking this up. It's been awhile since I've liked a racer.

Posted by F1

The jumps look insane. I love that.

Posted by ManlyBeast

I'll have to pick this one up later maybe. Too many other games to play right now...

Posted by msinger444

here's the pure "inspiration" trailer.  looks way cool...

Posted by andsoitgoes

I picked this up for $15 brand new on sale and got a copy for  a friend.  The demo was fantastic and I can't wait to play it.  Good times.