For: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action, Combat, Racing
ESRB Rating: Everyone (10+)
Blur is a racing game that tries to combine a realistic car racing simulation - real-life cars that take realistic damage on realistic renders of real streets from around the world - with arcade style car-combat sensibilities - power-ups, turbo boosting, weapons, shields, yadda yadda yadda.
Problem is, in trying to combine both schools of gameplay, simulator and goofball smash 'n' crash both, Blur succeeds at neither.
Out of the gate, Blur is tough to get a grasp on; you have to play for a while to get used to how the cars handle and then to optimize your line on each track. Once you get that down and manage to lead any given pack, you then contend with a whole lot of guys behind you with a whole lot of weapons at their disposal, so even though you're adroit enough to run the ultimate lap speed-wise, you still end races near the back as you're blown to bits (and reset) at each inopportune moment, usually when the finish line is in sight.
Really, it's a racing game that encourages you not to race sexy cars down delicious roads, but to hang back and play dirty. In career mode, you're even rewarded for causing carnage as much as taking the checkered flag, complete with working up to big "boss" battles at the end of each round, action-game style. Fair enough, but geez, Blur, make up your mind. Sexy or dirty. Not both. Well, not with cars, anyway...
Taking Blur online is not much better. Though there you can setup races that exclude weapon pick-ups and such for more of a purist's racing competition - or, conversely, set up destruction-based races or flat out destruction derby arena events - Blur never excels in any given area, let alone all of them.
It's up to snuff visually in that HD way of modern consoles, yet it doesn't really stack up well against the other racing simulation racing like Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport. Though the game is even titled "Blur" and the game tends to go blurry in order to convey a sense of speed; the vehicles are wonderfully shiny and slick, but the environmental graphics ultimately come off as less-than-sharp, fudging the details. Hell, they could have called it "Fudge."
Certainly a fun game to rent for a week or a weekend gaming marathon of car carnage with some friends - a good laugh, for sure - but despite a variety of modes and a big bunch of unlockable stuff pretending at a long-playing experience, Blur just doesn't manage to mix race sim with car-combat well enough. It's just fudge.