As well as being a long-time friend of the site and general all-round legend, Hannes_Truce is quite the writer. Oh, and he’s a sucker for a free cider. Proper cider though, none of that Magners rubbish. Hannes blagged himself an invite to a Blur event and offered to write a little bit about his impressions, I snatched his hand off (not literally) and here’s the result. Thanks Hannes!
You may have heard of Blur, you may even have played the beta, but for those of you that don’t know it’s Activision’s new racer and I was invited to attend the launch event in Vodka Revolutions (or ‘Revs’ to the hip young crowd) to play the game and more importantly to enjoy a free bar.
The event started at 4pm but due to being a normal person and having to work I didn’t arrive until 5.30pm. Now you may be concerned that having arrived over an hour late I would miss out in some way. That was not the case, the bar was still fully stocked and after having double checked that to be the case I moved over to the buffet. Mini Burgers, fish and chips, potato wedges (with sweet chilli dip- oh yes) and chocolate brownie. I sampled it all and let me tell you: Hannes + a free bar = awesomesauce.
So anyway, after having visited the bar I took my bottle of Westons cider and headed to the demo room (but not before grabbing another one of those mini burgers) to have a look at the game in action.
My first impressions were good, it looked like a street racer in the NFS ilk and everyone playing seemed to be having a good time. The main purpose of the evening was to be to show off the 4-player split screen play and that was fine by me. A problem in recent gaming that I’m sure some of you may be aware of is the lack of games supporting offline multiplayer. Many a drunken evening has been spent going through my games collection trying to find something for my friends and me to play and I’d normally come up with nothing: there’s only so much Ragdoll Kung fu and MW2 that you can play.
After spectating for a short while the organisers of the event started a mini tournament meaning that I managed to get my hands on the game and show everyone how hopeless I was at racing games.
Hopeless, however I was not and I was pleasantly surprised how easy the game was to pick up and play. It was so easy to get into that after coming second in my first event I went on to beat the competition and win myself a lovely bottle of Cyprian wine.
How would I sum up Blur? Mario Kart meets NFS with balls. Big balls. With bells on. As well as being a street racer Blur features weapons pick ups to help you obliterate your competition. All the classics are there from machine guns and missiles to mines and force fields. The weapons seemed well balanced making every race a challenge and often meaning that the races weren’t won or lost until the final stretch.
The handling of the cars was also very intuitive. There were around 20 cars to play with but we were told that in the full release there would be upwards of 60 cars ranging from a VW Beatle (the old one) through to and Audi R8. I even managed to win one of my races in a Hummer.
The game looked gorgeous and played beautifully but it was a little bit of a shame that we weren’t allowed to sample the single player side of it and that made me wonder: are you hiding something Activision?
It’s definately a game that I’ll be watching closely up to its release on the 25th of May, if at the moment only for its awesome offline multiplayer. If only more developers would see the need for split screen.
So that was my evening. After another hour or so of playing the game and trouncing the competition I remembered the magic words ‘free bar’ and that’s where everything went a little hazy…