I’m not a fan of realistic racing games, I much prefer the Burnout school of racing where the action is fast and furious and the car physics doesn’t mean you have to slow down too much for a bend. Either your car grips to the road like a go-kart or you drift round the corners as if driving on ice. Thankfully Blur is in this fantasy racing category where the speed never lets up and you have the added joy of power-ups. Think of it like Mario Kart with muscle cars or WipeOut on wheels.
The idea of the game is to earn lights and fans by racing well. You earn more lights and fans by coming first, using power ups, racing through gates called fan runs and completing other tasks. Earn enough lights, fans and do other tasks demanded of by your rival at the top of each section of races and you can race them and win their car and a handy mod which will make your power-ups even better.
There is some element of skill when collecting power-ups as each one is colour coded with an icon so you know what you’re getting when you drive over it. Mines, nitro, repair and shield are self-explanatory but there’s also shunt which is the equivalent of Mario Kart’s red shell, shock which paves the front of the pack with lightning bolts, barge which emits a shockwave hitting everything around your car and bolt which fires electrical darts at your fellow racers. There is some skill in deciding what to collect when as, just like in Mario Kart, being at the front you get pelted with all sorts of weapons which can leave you distraught just before the finish line as everyone races past.
The good news is it’s a lot of fun to play. The frame-rate never seems to slow down despite all the mayhem going on on-screen and there’s always an excuse to replay races, checkpoint races and destruction races to get more lights and unlock new rivals to race against. And of course when you’re done with single player you can race online and split-screen with up to three other players.
If you’re into your cars and are fed up of realistic driving games but find games such as Mario Kart a little too kiddie for your liking then Blur is probably for you. This is actually my favourite racing game since Burnout Revenge so it gets 9 out of 10.
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