Arcade racers are a special kind of genre that has always enjoyed a lot of popularity – with that in mind, it's very strange that the genre has been so dormant lately, with no real notable titles coming out. Even the Need for Speed series, which were the icon of that genre for most people, started moving away towards a more realistic style. When Blur came out, it was met with lots of enthusiasm by gamers hungry for some road action that doesn't involve ultra-realistic handling.
The game is played in a style traditional for arcade racers, where realism is pushed to the back in order to make way for a more adrenaline-fueled driving experience. The game takes on the arcade style a lot more than any NFS game ever did, by adding things like powerups and even combat – no, you didn't read that wrong in any way. You may be having a hard time passing that muscle car in front of you, but that doesn't mean much in Blur where you can just blast them out of the way. The damage system is actually remarkably realistic, not what you'd expect from a game aimed at the arcade crowd.
A pleasant surprise is the addition of all kinds of licensed car names, such as the Ford Transit. The tracks take place in various locations, all of which in an urban setting. If you're playing the career mode, you can progressively attain a better and more powerful (not just in terms of horsepower, but also firepower) car, getting that ever-needed edge over your competition. It's been balanced very well, unlike some other racing games where you can get enough cash early on to get yourself a solid advantage.
Graphics and System Requirements
Blur looks very catchy, with some shiny graphics and visual effects all throughout the gameplay. The light trails left by the cars in the dark look spectacular, and all of the effects associated with the weapons have been done remarkably well, too. The cars get damaged realistically, with lots of different parts of their models being susceptible to visual modification.
The game is quite a heavy one though, needing a dual core processor running at 3.4 GHz, a 256 MB GeForce 6600GT, and at least 2 GB of RAM for smooth play. It also takes up quite a lot of space on the hard drive, so prepare it accordingly.
There's also a multiplayer option, supporting a very large number of players online – up to 20 in a single race, as well as 4 players on the same computer in splitscreen mode. The two can't be combined though, for those of you hoping to play with 3 of their buddies against 16 other people online – that's sadly impossible.
Blur revives the arcade racer genre and breathes some fresh new life into it, reminding most of us what we love about those games so much in the first place.