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blur Review

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Mario Kart grows up

★★★★

Bizarre Creations' latest, a hybrid mix of real-world racing fused with the frenzied kinetics of Mario Kart’s power-up system, is tough; real tough. The single player campaign alone slings a tirade of some of the most ruthless AI your way that Empire has ever had the misfortune of encountering. Be prepared for punishment.

The power-ups in question feature eight in total: nitro, mine, shunt, bolt, shield, repair, shock and barge, with each one performing exactly as it should. Victory in blur operates as such: winning earns you ‘Lights’, with bonus ones doled out for completing special achievements en route to chequered flag glory, while ‘Fans’ are rallied by performing slick stuff on the track such as launching multiple power-ups in a row, drifting or successfully manoeuvring ‘Fan Challenges’ mid race.

With 20 car battles, the action is chaotic and even more so when braving online races in any one of blur’s superbly polished and furiously competitive multiplayer modes, the core longevity of Bizarre’s current foray into the fast and furious. As a studio, Bizarre consistently impresses, and with blur the trend continues, despite not reaching the dizzying heights of brilliance that Nintendo’s Mario Kart series has managed. Still, with incredibly dense multiplayer, rip-roaring races with a twist and plush presentation, it more than justifies the price tag.