By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
As video games go, driving games are fairly easy for me to keep up with at this stage in life. Even the ones with open maps and lots of objectives, I can still just pick up and play a little and put it down. Blur keeps it really simple, the basics of things I remember from the NES days with a few next gen flashes.
Console Review: Blur PS3
The races are pretty basic. Accelerate, stay ahead and get some power ups to gain and keep your position. This really goes back to the Pole Position days. Every driving game has that thing where you always start out behind and have to overtake opponents one by one. Then no matter how safe you think you are, they come from behind. Blur does that like the best of them.
The driving controls feel smooth. At least the car goes where I want it to and that’s saying a lot. A lot of weaker driving games, I end up clunking around, scraping up against walls and failing to take a turn. Blur is smooth and intuitive that way. It’s really fast and furious so you feel like you’re in control, and invested when those split second maneuvers change things.
The power ups are the basics: things you fire, things you drop from behind, things that shield you, boosts, bumps and things that repair you. Whatever fancy thing they’re called in this version, it’s the same principal. There certainly are enough distinctions so you can strategize with them. My strategy is get all the boosts I can and just go faster than everyone else. Don’t listen to me though, I keep getting blasted from behind. Some of them look similar so be quick to notice the differences.
There are objectives, but they’re inherent in the race. The fan challenge may be driving through a series of gates (easier said than done when people are firing on you) but it’s nothing that takes you out of the main objective: finishing first. Destruction is a fun little diversion to just focus on firing shots.
The different tracks sure are beautiful graphically and you feel the different textures and the different levels of hills and shortcuts. The different cars feel distinctly different so you can either find one to suit your skill level or learn the toughest one you can find. My favorite so far is that little Beetle.
Load times feel a tad long, but I’ve been using them as a snack break in between races. Honestly, my index finger would go numb if this game let me race back to back.