|09-22-2009, 06:02 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Latest preview from PSM3!
Take a look at this if your into Racing/Driving:
Blur is the result of Bizarre's mission to "bring the fun back" to the racing genre. It's a faster, less reality-obsessed racer than PGR; 20 licensed cars tear around the track at once, with their headlights painting neon trails through the air and Wipeout-style power-ups shaking the foundations of the Los Angeles storm drain.
Read our interview with lead designer Ged Talbot for much, much more.
After looking closely at the dwindling interest in other realistic racing sims (GRiD is given as one example of an excellent sim "doing nothing" at market), the PGR house decided to swap the technical side of the genre for just the "excitement and emotion" of getting behind the wheel.
Bizarre describes Blur as a game no longer held back by reality. The locations, though set in real-world cities, aren't handcuffed by authenticity.
One track for example, based on London's Hackney (we're not joking) contains pubs, bridges and estates (one journalist even found his girlfriend's flat) but crucially roads have been flipped and roundabouts moved for a more gameplay-friendly course.
It's a small change on paper but the results are instantly obvious; tearing through Hackney in a Mitsubishi Evo is a swift, 100mph experience compared to the constant 'stop-start' or PGR's tight corners and racing lines.
The new speed and mayhem is emphasised even more in the wide, dusty valleys of a California desert track, which shows off new types of terrain (dirt, mud, water) best suited for bigger vehicles like SUVs and vans.
The neon pack kicks dust in the air like a rabid sandstorm as cars dart through barnyards and watermills, smashing wood and scenery in their wake.
It's almost like a scene from FlatOut, but fans of PGR needn't be too worried as vehicle handling definitely lies very much in Bizarre's traditional arcade territory, and carving perfect racing lines, though not as crucial as in PGR, is an effective method of beating the pack.
The hardcore is also likely to be wooed by the 70 licensed cars on offer, including Evos, Mustangs, SUVs and Bizarre-made concept cars approved especially for the game by manufactures - a first, the studio claims.
With the motors on the track bumped up to 20, Blur is a frantic, collision-filled scramble for the finish. Another crucial change is the removal of PGR's trademark roadside barriers.
Drive off the track and instead of a race-ruining crash you're hampered by the odd collision with a bench or bollard. Bizarre compares this to the "grey areas" in F-Zero, but truth be told it also adds a ton of personality to the courses themselves.
It could've done Westminster, it could've done Big Ben, but instead the Blur team decided to go with less obvious choices like Brighton and Hackney for its real-world locations, as well as more obvious choices in Barcelona and San Francisco.
"In PGR we used to hate the gamer," Bizarre boss Martyn Chudley told us during out visit to the studio. "'You've completed this on silver... that's a bit shit isn't it? You should be doing it on gold' We never gave gamers enough reward. Less than 1% of players finished any PGR on platinum. So we thought, why are we focusing on those 1%? Why don't we focus the game on the other 99%?"
And that's where the Mario Kart bit comes in - the power-ups. "The hardcore are going to go 'weapons in a racing game? No'," says designer Gareth Wilson. "It took us three or four months to break out of that 'this is what racing games do' mindset. You're not allowed to have fun in racing games, it's not allowed!"
Blur's "perks" currently consist of Shock, Shunt, Barge, Nitro, Mines and Repair and take the form of simple, distinctive neon icons floating on the track. Players begin with just a single slot to store their power-ups but eventually the number will grow to five, allowing you to switch them around - and potentially create combos.
Most of the perks you'll be able to work out from their names; Mines drops a glowing yellow payload onto the road, Nitro gives you a boost and Barge shoots other racers up the rear like a crackling, electric green shell.
Our favourite though is Shunt; a burst of electrical energy that shoots from both sides of your vehicle and sends opponents skidding into the roadside. Sparking visual flair combined with a new, damage system means it looks powerful and feels satisfying.
After playing it Blur's perks definitely require skill and timing to use effectively. Fire an engine-disabling Shock on a straight for example and targeted cars will simply carry on rolling forward anyway.
Shunt and Barge are also totally dynamic, which means if you skillfully target a rival on the rear in the middle of a turn he'll spin-out wildly into the scenery - which is also where drift-heavy muscle cars come in handy.
One aspect of Mario Kart thankfully not making it over to Blur though is the feeling of being cheated by the power-ups.
Every time a competitor locks a rocket or energy-fuelled shove onto your motor, you're given the chance to counter. A quick warning sign flashes onto your HUD when you're in danger, and if you press the X button quick enough you'll activate a shield that deflects the projectile.
This is a crucial addition and even if you're totally annihilated, your car quickly respawns on the track.
But the most interesting piece of Blur's makeup is the social network, at this stage cleverly called 'Blurb' (other suggestions included 'MyRace' and 'Racebook - but the lawyers turned up for those), which powers the entire offline and online functionality of the game.
When you turn on Blur you're asked to create a profile. From there you can make friends, post photos and messages, customize your motors and even create Facebook-style "groups" to shape the style of racer you want to play.
When creating an online group in Blur players will be able to define a wide set of rule sets, from the way points are scored (coming first, taking out another racer - even the number of yards you're ahead of the car behind), a group 'badge', environments and cars used... or you can just turn off the power-ups and play straight PGR-style.
The potential for creativity, at concept stage at least, is big. With this mock social network Bizarre hopes to bring a human element to the racing genre, and yes - put some of the fun back in as well.
At this point in development Blur is still a good few weeks of balancing away from being quite near what we'll see on the shelves at the end of the year.
But the solid handling is encouraging and with more than five excellent racing games under its belt, you'd be silly not to expect Bizarre Creations to come at least close to bringing the party back to the genre.
Signature by GlennThomas
New PSN ID: LILNAG--
Working on: -
|11-28-2009, 05:32 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: United States
I hope this game is similiar to Midnight Club LA. I like that game, having something new to play like it would be nice.
|01-17-2010, 08:40 PM||#3 (permalink)|
I like blur but if it's like nfs shift I won't buy it. If it's has the feel and open road and driving and racing feel like midnight club I will get it first day. I need a new racing game since I plat midnight club.
I need to grow up! And manage my time better.
|02-05-2010, 08:43 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Birmingham, ENG
Yeah i'll be getting this.
I like these obscure racing games
I'm BACK! Only in a lurker capacity though.
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