Blur Multiplayer Beta Impressions

The racing game genre has split into two distinct directions. You have your sim racers like Forza, Project Gotham Racing, and Gran Turismo. Then you have your intense, arcade racers like Burnout and Need for Speed. Blur sits firmly in the latter group but takes it to the next level. Imagine Burnout’s arcade feel, add Mario Kart style power-ups, and then throw in a Modern Warfare type experience progression system. That is Blur in a nutshell. Additionally, if you need modded accounts for Blur they are available at along with accounts for several other popular games. 

Blur is being developed by Bizarre Creations, the group behind the Project Gotham series, and their racing pedigree really shines. All the cars handle quite well. The Jeep is an off-road and demolition derby beast and the Lotus Elise is a squirrelly powerhouse; nearly unstoppable in the right hands. Yes, all of the cars in the game are licensed vehicles, and they are fully destructible. While the destruction isn’t as detailed as it is in Burnout, there’s a certain appeal to seeing your Ford Focus limp across the finish line after each race.

In the Multiplayer Beta, there are 4 modes of play that are accessible. Skirmish Racing, Powered Up Racing, Motor Mash, and Supercar Racing. Skirmish and Powered Up Racing are essentially the same thing except skirmish racing allows for a maximum of 10 players per race, where Powered Up Racing allows for up to 20 racers at a time. Supercar racing is the only racing mode that allows you to access the A-Rank of cars, the cream of the crop in every respect. Motor Mash is a demolition derby game-type where you are given points based on how much damage you do to opponents. Also, you are given bonus points for hitting your randomly assigned rival.

Your tools of destruction in Blur are power-ups that litter the track in a Mario Kart configuration. However, instead of only being able to only hold one power-up at a time, you can hold up to three. You have the usual suspects: the homing missile (shunt), the group of three dumb missiles (bolt), nitro, and mines. On top of those, there are Repair, Shield, Barge, and Shock pickups. The Barge is a shock wave that blasts other racers away from your vehicle. The shock is an item that creates three EMP blasts on the track in front of the leader, causing them to have to swerve in order to not get hit and lose momentum. One unique thing about the powerups is that most of their alternate fires are just as, if not more, useful than the primary fire. For example, the nitro’s primary fire is exactly what you would expect. However, The alternate fire actually stops you for a second, allowing you enhanced steering for that period of time before engaging the boost. This allows you to not have to brake before encountering a hairpin turn.

For a demo/beta, the feature set is fairly robust. There are 4 tracks (6 if you include the 2 Motor Mash arenas), 14 cars, and you can reach level 10 of a proposed 50 that will be in the retail version. The leveling system is similar to that which can be found in Modern Warfare’s multiplayer, where players gain fans (experience) for various actions on the track. These fans count towards new levels that unlock new modes, cars, and perks that you can put on your car. These perks have effects that range from giving your Barge a larger blast radius to giving you extra fans for every time you hit an opponent with a powerup.

There are a few hiccups though. Initially, I had lots of trouble getting into games. This problem seems to be fairly widespread. However, after messing around with the matchmaking settings, I find I can get into most games on the first try. Another issue is the power-up displacement on the track. On one track, in particular, there aren’t nearly enough shocks spread about the track to reel in the leader as they should. The end result is the leader finishing about 45 seconds ahead of the second-place racer and 75% of the field gets timed out.

Besides my petty gripes, the full multiplayer game is truly something to experience. Chaos from start to finish, pieces of cars flying everywhere, darting and weaving in between mines and the carcasses of your opponents. There truly is no other racing experience like it.


Paola Garcia lives in Jakarta Indonesia. She is an associate professor in University of Indonesia and also managing Scoopinion at the same time. She is also fond of watching theatrical plays.

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