As Scott mentioned in his article, some of the writers here at Platform Nation were given the opportunity to check out the Blur multiplayer beta a few days early. I was lucky enough to be one of those writers and after spending a few hours over the weekend checking it out I wanted to share my initial impressions with you all.
Blur for me has taken elements from four of my favourite racers from days gone by and mashed them altogether to create an all round fun experience. Mario Kart, Destruction Derby, Rollcage and Wipeout are the games that immediately sprung to mind after I started playing the multiplayer beta. Most people reading this article will have heard of Mario Kart and Wipeout but I am probably in the minority for having played either of the other two games. So to help the rest of you get inside my head allow me to recap, just for a minute.
Destruction Derby was published in 1995 (yes they made video games back then!) and was the first racer that I remember having visable damage to the cars and also the damage had an effect on how the car handled. You were awarded points for damaging your opponents car and this method of earning points is basically the scoring basis for Blur, except as well as bashing into your opponents you can pickup weapons in Blur. This is where the similarities from the other three games from my past start to creep in. The weapons you have at your disposal add an element of unpredicability to the racing and just like in Wipeout and Rollcage, your car has a health meter and the racing is fast and furious with some pretty flashy graphics to boot. In all the preview material I read up until now, the last game i expected to be comparing Blur to was Mario Kart but its the one that Blur reminded me of the most. Blur managed to reproduce that fun party feel that each version of multiplayer Mario Kart has always given me and the fact that you can fire your weapons in front of you, drop the weapon or fire it behind you is a nod of respect in the direction of Mario Kart.
The muliplayer setup seems very slick with an efficient lobby system which allows the players to vote on the next track in a similar way to Modern Warfare. Once the race begins, its fast and furious as you compete to pickup the weapons and deal out the damage to your fellow racers. Depending on how many points you collect during the race you will rank up between races and there are also performance awards at the end of each race which also add to your rank.
Since this isnt a full blown review I’ll bring this article to a close but I hope that by drawing on similarities to other racers with a difference that you’ll be able to guage whether Blur is a game you want to keep an eye on.
My final word on the impression that Blur multiplayer beta has made on me is that it will be a fun game to play with friends. Whether the single player is as solid, we’ll just have to wait and see.