Blur also offers an assortment of multiplayer options. The game offers full, 4-player split screen support, but the bulk of the material can be found online. The online offering of Blur is as robust as any game available in the market today. Bizarre is offering players numerous playlists, full online leveling and ranking, meta-achievements for both general racing and for specific vehicles. There is a TON to do. You will have to build up a completely separate fan count for your online career versus your offline career. Online, fans will give you access to the same treats that you get offline as in new cars and bonuses. The fan count also relates to your general online rank as well, which will allow you to climb the worldwide leaderboards.
Just like the single player mode, online races support up to 20 racers, which can create an extremely chaotic and exciting racing environment. Even though the track does feel congested at times, it ensures that you have an exciting race from start to finish. The developers have said all along that their goal with the game was to eliminate that sinking feeling that most games give you when you are in last place… goal accomplished. Usually the last place racer feels completely lost in other games but in Blur you are never really out of the race. You will find yourself moving from the top, to the bottom, and back to the top numerous times throughout each race. The game creates a roller coaster ride that I grew to appreciate a ton over the course of my time with the game.
Bizarre Creations has also made an attempt to incorporate a bit of social networking into the Blur experience. The game will allow you to link both your Twitter and Facebook accounts to the game and you can send updates to each at the touch of a button. The networking is done tastefully though and Blur won’t be spamming your account(s) like various farming or mafia games. Updates are not sent automatically; you will choose when and if you are going to provide an update to either service. The option to do so appears at various points in the game, such as following the completion of a race and when you are viewing newly unlocked cars within your garage. If you happen to have accomplished something that you want to share, you simply need to press the left bumper and choose which service you want to update.
Blur also incorporates a photo mode that can be accessed in the single player mode of the game. All that you have to do is pause the game at any time and select the option from the sub menu that appears. Within the photo mode you can spin the camera around your vehicle and take a picture from any angle that you choose. There are some simple image alterations that you can do on the fly such as adjusting the saturation and brightness levels as well as aperture. Pictures can then be saved to your hard drive and ultimately uploaded to your Facebook account from within the photo viewer mode in the main menu. This is one feature that I thoroughly enjoy and wish that more games would incorporate. I could do this all day long and will likely be compiling extensive photo collections on my personal Facebook account for as long as I play the game.
All of these features and modes add up to an incredibly fun and enjoyable game; Blur has kept me coming back for more time and time again and I am extremely excited to see the online servers fill up once the game hits the public this week. This isn’t to say that I don’t have some concerns with the game. My number one concern is the sudden ramping of difficulty after the second group of courses in the single player mode. The game runs you into a brick wall with the third class of courses in terms of the difficulty. It gets really hard, really fast. Many players will be turned off by this as I know I came very close to quitting out of frustration after a while. Fortunately, the game allows the player to make some progress even in their failure through the game’s fan system. When you loose a race you will still be able to add your collected fans to your fan status count and allow you to level up fan-wise. Leveling up your fans will give you access to new cars which could ultimately make the difference in those races that could be giving you a little (or a lot) of trouble. This is the one thing that kept me going; I got hope in my losses which kept me interested in the game.
The other issues I had were a few random glitches that I ran across on numerous occasions. Some of the glitches I have issue with are already being addressed by Bizarre Creations but still rear their ugly head on a rare occasion. The main one is an issue with the drifting system in the game. When you spin out in Blur, or get your car turned around in a particularly nasty crash, the game will “reset” your car in the middle of the track. This is helpful for the most part, but the game will occasionally register a severe drift as a spin out and reset your car, costing you a few places in the race. This is usually pretty easy to overcome in the remainder of the race but can be REALLY frustrating as drifting is a necessity on most tracks. There was already an update released for the game and the issue seems to have been addressed; hopefully you will not have the same issues.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Blur is an interesting concept and an absolute blast to play. The game gives you a ton to do, both online and off. Bizarre Creations has managed to combine two polar opposite takes on the racing genre, sim versus kart, into a winning combination that leaves me wondering why no one else had done it before. The game has its hiccups at points but there isn’t anything that ultimately ruins the experience. The freshman outing of this new racing genre has made me anxious to see what Bizarre Creations and other companies do with it in the future.
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