As players race through the game, which is set to feature up to 20 vehicles per race (on and offline), they can collect power-ups -- represented by floating color-coded icons on the track -- each sporting a different ability. Nitro (green) shoots players ahead of the opposition, Shock (blue) disables vehicles ahead and Barge (purple) throws enemy cars (in the vicinity of its use) off the road, to name a few.
At an E3 where racing was everywhere... Blur did a good job of standing out as something different.
Players can grab up to three power-ups and cycle through them for, what was explained to us as, a "strategic racing experience." Players also have the ability to activate a short-burst shield, protecting their ride of choice from dropped land mines or oncoming enemy attacks.
At an E3 where racing was everywhere -- from arcade style of Split/Second
to realistic approach of Need for Speed: Shift
did a good job of standing out as something different.
While we must caveat that the game is still a ways from release, it is important to note that Blur
doesn't look as sharp as Project Gotham Racing 4
(or as the screenshots released late last month). This, according to a representative attentively cheering us on as we raced, is because Bizarre no longer holds the rights to use the engine that powered the PGR
series. That engine belongs to Microsoft. In response, Bizarre is working with a new engine. And while Blur
features a very stylized look, it failed to achieve the intense sense of speed we'd expect from such an arcade-style racer (ala Burnout
) -- unless we used the aforementioned Nitro boost power-up.
click to enlarge
[The demo] failed to achieve the intense sense of speed we'd expect from such an arcade-style racer.
We had a lot of fun racing through Blur
's real-world environments (we only spotted a single track in the demo), battling for position against the mix of players and computer controlled adversaries.
The tracks feature multiple converging paths, sprinkled with the easily identifiable power-ups, which made spotting the alternate routes a cinch from a distance. After a few races it was easy to remember the ins-and-outs of the track -- which can be a blessing if the final track listing is high, but a curse if it's too low. Bizarre could not confirm final track or vehicle numbers with us at the time. Blur
is still early, but from what we've played and heard around the demo, Bizarre is keen on creating something new and different. While it would be easy to dismiss it for not wowing us immediately, we're eager to see how the game evolves. After all, this is Bizarre Creations and racing is what they do best. Given the proper amount of time and care, Blur
could transform into something special.