Blur (video game)
|Genre(s)||Racing, vehicular combat|
|Media/distribution||Blu-ray Disc, DVD-DL|
Blur is an arcade racing video game for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Activision in North America and Europe. It features a racing style that incorporates real world cars and locales with arcade style handling and vehicular combat.
In Blur's career mode, the player will encounter numerous characters and many licensed cars ranging from Dodge Vipers to Lotus Exiges to Ford Transit vans fitted with F1 engines, all of which have full damage modeling and separate traits such as Acceleration, Speed, Drift, Grip and Stability. Some special car models have been designed by Bizarre Creations themselves. There are also some heavily altered versions of familiar urban environments, such as the Los Angeles river halfpipe and several parts of London. These areas were altered to make the races more enjoyable instead of the developers having to strictly abide by each twist and turn. Depending on the character(s) the player races against or tags along with in team races, they will have their own racing styles, power-up set ups, match types, locales, cars and will be a part of certain fictional servers. As the player races well, performs stunts and uses power-ups in certain ways during races, the player will gain 'fan points'. These points help the player progress through the career, purchase more cars and parts and earn more fans for the user base. During the career, challenges will take place midrace when the player drives through a fan icon. Completing these short challenges (e.g. find a secret nitro power-up) will reward the player with a fan points boost.
Players can send a racing challenge to a friend. If the second player beats the time, they can send the updated challenge back. These challenges go back and forth until one person concedes. Players can use the Share button, and post their achievements to Twitter or Facebook.
The game can be played with up to 4 players via splitscreen (even on the PC version, by the use of at least one Xbox controller and the keyboard) and the game can be taken online with a maximum of 20. However, users cannot play online splitscreen. These races can be played in teams and the matches can be altered to support certain power-ups, cars, tracks and other variables. A match type called "World Tour" is essentially a quick play option for players who want to jump into a match. Here, every player is given a random car and thrown into a random series of courses with a standard ruleset. Other multiplayer modes can be unlocked when multiple user's fan points culminate into a certain.
The beta for Blur began on March 8, 2010, and beta codes were given out from websites such as GameSpot and GameSpy. The beta allows the player to test six tracks, four game modes, 14 fully licensed vehicles, and over 30 challenges. Players can test out Blur's leveling up system, which unlocks various items. The beta also allows players to connect to Twitter to post updates via the game. Blur had a public beta starting on the April 6, 2010, via the Xbox Live Marketplace. The beta ended on May 10, 2010.
A general multiplayer demo was released after the full game's release on June 3, 2010. This demo remained playable and available to the public until June 22, 2010.
The game was generally well received by critics, with a Metacritic score of 83/100 on the Xbox 360 and a 82/100 on the PlayStation 3 and PC.
GameZone's Brian Rowe gave the game a 7.5/10. "On single-player, Blur is an average racing game with a powered-up twist. Repeating races and receiving beautiful cars that remain untouched due to the lack of customization gets old fast. The outdated rave-vibe, including the music and menus, don’t do the presentation any favors either. As a multiplayer title, Blur is absolutely exhilarating. I cheered in victory, yelled in anger, was called names I’ve never heard, and I loved every moment of it."
Despite disappointing sales, Nick Davies of Bizarre Creations had announced in July 2010 that the studio intended to create more games in the series, and wanted to make it the biggest racing franchise. He attributed the sales performance of Blur, to the fact that the game was released at "a very busy time for racing games", and that it "came out at the same time as ModNation Racers and Split/Second." However, he believed "that the strong multiplayer component would give the game staying power", and "it's going to be a slow-burner".
On November 16, 2010, Activision announced that it was closing Bizarre Creations, stating:
Over the past three years since our purchase of Bizarre Creations, the fundamentals of the racing genre have changed significantly. Although we made a substantial investment in creating a new IP, Blur, it did not find a commercial audience. Bizarre is a very talented team of developers, however, because of the broader economic factors impacting the market, we are exploring our options regarding the future of the studio, including a potential sale of the business.
- Blur versions from GameSpot
- Blur Multiplayer Beta available Only on Xbox Live from GameSpot
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- Bramwell, Tom (2010-05-25). "Blur Review • Page 4 • Reviews •". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "Another victory lap for developer Bizarre Creations - Blur - Xbox 360". www.GameInformer.com. 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- May 25, 2010 4:01PM PDT (2010-05-25). "Blur Review". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "Blur: Reviews, Trailers, and Interviews". Gametrailers.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- var authorId = "231026764" by Anthony Gallegos (2010-05-25). "Blur Review - Xbox 360 Review at IGN". Uk.xbox360.ign.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- [dead link]
- "Good Game stories - Blur". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2010-06-14.
- Wesley Yin-Poole. "Activision: Blur was not a failure". Eurogamer.
- "Bizarre planning Blur sequels". ComputerAndVideoGames.
- Xav de Matos. "Activision Reportedly Closes Bizarre and Budcat Studios (Update 2)". shacknews.