Blur Official Review
by Kerwan_Ratchet

Basic Information:
Developer: Bizarre Creations
Publisher: Activision
North American Release Date: May 25, 2010
European Release Date: May 28, 2010
Trophies: 1 :plat:, 2 , 9 , 37

Blur is a fast paced racer from Bizarre Creations, at first appearing to be a standard racer but the reveals itself as a grown up Mario Kart with a thrilling and engaging online community.

Let’s start with the weapons. You have a variety of weapons and defenses, such as Boost, Shield, Mine, Medic, and more. You can use these to barge your enemies out of the way, or send them flying with a missile, giving you a satisfactory smile of trigger-happiness and evil that you know is buried inside you. Using these weapons to dispatch your foes is hugely rewarding and rich, especially when the battles start to get tough. You can carry up to three weapons at once, which leads to thinking about which weapons you wish to carry for any given situation. The powers-ups become even more rewarding online, which will soon be explained.

The same could not be said about the driving mechanics in the slightest. Your cars feel bulky, incomplete and clumsy, in particular when you decide to make those hairpin turns you know will be there for you to overcome. Drifting doesn’t occur automatically either, so you’ll forget about it in the end, and then you’ll wonder why you happen to be last in the race when you did everything you should have. Blur is a game that has a lot more tactics in it than you’d imagine it to have, so don’t be shocked when you lose a race because you were a split second too late nailing that drift, or blocking the incoming missile. Games these days should have a towering degree of difficulty for requiring a high skill level rather than being unlucky. It was a cheap move for Blur to have this aspect.

The difficultly isn’t all that has been misplaced. The core racing style itself is mediocre at best. As I previous said, the physics are stiff and crushingly frustrating, and you’ll sorely notice this in drifting. It does improve when you upgrade to higher class cars, but the feeling of dragging a pile of bricks through cement never seems to shrug off at any given time, making Blur an odd case, especially for a fast paced racers.

Without the power ups Blur would be a mediocre racer at best. The weapons and battles elevate the gameplay dramatically, but the drifting and steering do their uttermost best to pull Blur down.

The single player in Blur consists of three types of events: Races, Destruction and Checkpoint. Races are exactly what you’d imagine them to be; a mad dash to the finish line with some weapons along the way. Destruction has you pelt near defenseless cars in front of you to rack up points, and checkpoint has you reach multiple sections on the track before time runs out. It’s a little bit of spice through in, which is a positive thing, considering the singe player in Blur is lacking overall. You earn lights for completing events, performing a mini goal in the midst of the event and for racking up enough fans. You earn fans for performing almost every possible action, as such moving to first place or blocking an incoming missile. It’s a nice addition, and the extra leveling up to unlock new cars breathes new life into the game. When you earn enough lights and complete the required objective you then are invited ordered to complete in a boss battle. By winning you are given their car and their special boosters, as such carrying more ammo.
The disappointing aspect is that the single player campaign is extremely short and comes to a sudden grinding halt. It’s also a shame that you’ll reach the level cap of 25 much sooner than when you win the final boss battle. The single player becomes dull and repetitive over time anyway, even though you have plenty of objectives to complete, most of them are poorly imagined and actions that are a chore to perform. It causes to you wonder why you would complete these inane goals when they could have been more fleshed out and less of a grind to put into action.

Of course, the flip side is that there’s always an abundance of things to do, despite the campaign being short, you’ll want to come back and finished off these objectives for the additional trophies and lights. However, if you aren’t interested in completing these optional quests then you won’t ever touch the single player again, even if you haven’t finished the single player campaign overall.

There isn’t really a reason to play Blur with single player campaign. If things were more fleshed out, varied and extended, then there might be more attraction for gamers to come by. The multiplayer makes it up though with flying colours.

The online lives up to the game's name and it's extremely thrilling to take part in.

Blur’s multiplayer allows for some of the most thrilling races and battles you’ll ever come across any in racing game to date. There are multiple modes to choose from, like 2-10 player races and 4-20 players. You’ll also get access to Motor Mash, a mode where you put the smackdown on some guy in Sweden and a kid in Canada with your power ups and ramming your car like a drunk against their, trying to rack up points. You’ll also get the chance to play these modes with teams, a hardcore mode for the finicky who prefer to race without powers ups, and more. You also get a fan ranking system here too, in addition to a challenges system that gives you hundreds of mini-goals to complete. Unlike the ones appearing in the single player, many of these tricky objectives are thoroughly enjoyable and well worth coming back for more to, expanding the value of the game, and dramatically so, and it’s a win-win situation for everyone except the Swedish guy.

Blur also has a few similarities with an unlikely competitor, Modern Warfare 2. When you gain levels you get access to extra mods like being able to gain an extra power up when you complete a lap or being able to add extra strength to your barge. These mods are incredibly helpful, and allowing you to mix and match multiple mod types and giving an extra edge of strategy during the event. Balancing these mods and executing them perfectly is a blast, especially in the Motor Mash matches, which require you to have a well planned loadout to succeed and rise above the rest. The thrilling matches are even more competitive in team lobbies, where your place in the event tallies up and adds onto the grand total final score. Given that a last second fall-back or overtake can alter the result of the entire match, you feel like being part of the team a lot more than you would in most other games.

There are a few issues that void Blur of being near flawless online. For instance, when attempting to join a public session whilst in a party it’s common to see half your party not present in the lobby, even though there is still room for multiple more slots for players in the match. You also have no way of being able to invite random people to your party, which is a shame, considering the lack of players online. If you do happen to meet other lifeless soul such as yourself online, you’ll have to add them to your friends list to play with them again in any other circumstance other than meeting them online again, which is as we know, near impossible. Granted, these are small complaints, but they would have been an excellent addition to an already incredible way to smash your mates online.

With Blur's brilliant split-screen, we can return to the times where developers cared about our joy with friends offline.

Another subtle, but fantastic option, is being able to play split-screen with up to three addition friends. We all remember the days of Crash Team Racing, multitabs, and where we shared our TVs like bowls of twisties? Yep. The good ol’ days, here developers actually decided to put in split-screen to their games instead of sixty way online matches, so you could actually enjoy games with your friends when they come over instead of strangers online, screaming into a microphone. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with online multiplayer, and I regularly play online myself, but excluding split-screen and off-line multiplayer from games these days is the norm, as developers obviously realize that two people playing against each other with two copies of the game means twice as much money for them. It’s fantastic to see that Blur gives the finger to these greedy scams and treats us with our old-fashioned split-screen, just as we’d like. You can’t go online to battle other players, but at least you don’t need an internet connection to enjoy some fun with your mates.

Blur’s multiplayer is innovate, addicting, incredibly fast paced, and has split-screen. You can’t really ask for much else, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best multiplayer ever seen in a racer.

It’s a shame that the technical side of blur doesn’t quite match up to the title of a “fast paced racer”. The visuals look half-baked, blocky and the solid-colour-like art style does little to impress, especially when we glance at the un-convincing car models that appear to be Lego slapped together in comparison to the ones seen in GT5. The atmosphere doesn’t fair well either, with plenty of bland colour patterns that don’t really fold into any recognizable form of architecture as you whiz by what are supposed to be landmarks, buildings and cliffs. Texture pop-in and moments of slow down don’t help either, especially when you’ve managed to nearly win the race. You’ll be annoyed by these issues especially then, as like all good racing games, crossing the finishing line should be a glorious moment. Not always in this game.

Expect to have flashbacks of playing with lego and plastic cars when you see the models in this game. Not good.

The game’s default soundtrack is mediocre at best, but you have the option to hit the XMB and play your own tunes, which is a sweet touch to any game. The explosions, thuds and skids are also well done, giving you plenty of reason to turn your 7.1 Surround Sound system up a touch more than your unfortunate neighbour can stand.

Granted the lighting effects and power ups going into action do look pretty appealing as they're rich with vibrant colours, and seeing these slick effects on a dull track is a nice way to liven up an eyesore.

The technical side of Blur does have a lot to be desired, though the weapon effects and blasts of power ups are the high point of the visuals. The audio is fantastic, and using your custom music in a heart-in-your-mouth race is something everybody will take advantage of. The slow, but slick interface also do well to help you get around the game easily, allowing navigate your way into an online match in mere seconds. It’s good stuff, and well rounded as it should be.


The trophies in Blur are time-consuming and difficult to get. The campaign is challenging enough on the easiest difficultly in the lower races. You need to complete every single race in the campaign on the hardest difficultly, which will require a fair amount of skill. You then need to complete a long list of tough online and offline requirements, like medals or ribbons in an online shooter. Some of these are incredibly hard and even more annoying, as some of them require boosting, especially as the online is near dead.

You shouldn’t have too much to worry about though, as the online is fantastic, and putting in the time to reach max level is enjoyable, and you’ll barely notice the amount of time you spend online. Despite that though, it’s a tough platinum, with ridiculously and inane requirements that you really have to focus on in order to achieve them.

Closing Thoughts

Blur wasn't really what the developers set it out to be. It was meant to be a fast paced racer with power ups, but turned out somehow to be a crawling racer to power ups, as the physics and visuals hurt the game a great deal. Saying that though, if you're looking for a great racer for the online and split-screen, you won't be disappointed in the slightest.

Gameplay: 7/10

The physics are terrible, yes, but you won't notice them when you upgrade to higher class cars and get lost in the thrill of the race.

Singleplayer: 5/10

Short, and doesn't leave anything to come back to in the slightest.

Multiplayer: 9/10

Incredible. There might never be another online racer like it.

Technical: 7/10

A lot of improvement to be made here where visuals are concerned.. Using your custom music is the cherry on the cake though.
Overall: 7/10