6263650The only thing missing is John Connor and the California governor.None
The tracks are just as varied as the objective types, making each race feel unique. Although they are based on real locations, they are not necessarily realistic. One ridiculous track takes place directly behind the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, where one lousy turn could see you tumbling off a cliff. Another track takes place on the hilly streets of San Francisco, and as long as you don't mind slamming your undercarriage repeatedly against the ground, it's tons of fun swerving through this iconic city. There's also a one-lap course that takes place on a mountain. You have to navigate narrow, winding roads at top speeds, desperately trying to make it to the finish line in one piece. Because of the diversity in the track types, you need to plan a strategy ahead of time. Certain courses have so many tight corners that you need a car that's good at drifting, while others have dirt shortcuts that beg for an off-road vehicle. The assortment of tracks makes it interesting to play these courses again and again as you attempt to unlock all the rewards.
Once you finish the single-player experience, there is a multiplayer mode with its own rewards to strive for. Like in the campaign, you earn fans for pulling off fancy maneuvers during races, and these points go toward your overall level. Instead of being limited to the single-player level cap of 25, the independent level cap goes up to 50 in online play, giving you much more reason to keep getting out on the track to prove your worth. You unlock cars and modifications as you get deeper into the game, and it's a blast mixing and matching to form the perfect strategy for coming out in first place. When you first go online, you're limited to just a few different race types, but after leveling up for a few hours, the rest opens up to you. These include races with or without power-ups and even battle arenas on circular tracks. Adding to the online experience are challenges you can send to people on your friends list, giving them specific goals to try to beat. If you get an impressive time and high score during a race, you can see if your buddies are good enough to top your best. It's a lot of fun to send out and complete challenges, and the diversity in objectives ensures there's always something to strive for.
There's a split-screen mode as well, but this is far less entertaining than single-player and online multiplayer. First of all, there are no persistent rewards. Even though point markers appear whenever you strike your friend with a weapon or pull off a smooth turn, they don't accumulate, and there aren't any prizes to earn. This removes much of the appeal of the other modes in which striving for new toys to play with is almost as much fun as the racing. Furthermore, the rearview mirror has been taken out, which makes it difficult to play defensively during races. It's almost impossible to dodge attacks when you can't see them coming, so you find yourself immobilized far more often. Finally, you can't go online with a friend in tow. Split-screen is fun if you just want to play a quick race with a buddy, but it lacks any sort of long-term appeal and doesn't stack up to the other elements in the game.
Driving underneath airborne cars is a common occurrence.
The visuals also have a few rough patches. When your health gets too low, the screen throbs read, which is fine except that it makes it difficult to see the road in front of you while you're desperately trying to stay alive. Crashes also leave a lot to be desired. When you tumble off a cliff or fly into the water, you passively watch your car fly off in the distance without a satisfying explosion. Everything else is technically proficient but lacks any sort of flair to keep your eyes entertained. The cars are nicely detailed and move at a breakneck speed, but everything has a generic look that makes it difficult for this game to stand out from the crowd. The one bit of personality Blur's visual exhibit is in the outlandish power-ups. The neon purple missiles and shocking blue lightning bolts add a dose of energy to the sterile view. The bland visuals don't take away the thrill of the high-speed action, but it lacks the artistic brilliance that could have made this a treat for your eyes.
Thankfully, the lame split-screen mode and unremarkable visuals won't keep you from enjoying this exciting racing game. The odd combination of Mario Kart and PGR is surprisingly fun, and the added rewards system makes it extremely difficult to put this racer down. Blur is so fast and fun to control that you can lose hours slamming into enemies and racking up fans, always coming back for one more race before you turn the system off and walk away. This unlikely marriage has created an offspring that does a fine job of honoring its well-respected parents.