Thursday, 8 April 2010

[327] Blur Preview, Bizarre Creations Interview

Blur is shaping up to be quite an arcade racing hit, if the anticipation stoked by the beta (now a public multiplayer demo) is anything to go by. Here's a short preview article I wrote for Den of Geek, followed by an interview with two members of the development team.

Blur's concept seems so obvious in retrospect: why not twin the photo-realistic graphics and licensed cars of Forza with the arcade-style mayhem of Mario Kart? It's a simple setup that yields a lot of excitement, as many gamers have already found out through the game's Xbox 360 pre-release beta, which kicked off at the beginning of March.

Based around real-world locales, like Tokyo and Barcelona,
Blur pulses with electric energy, as players pick up items such as lightning bolts, mines and speed boosts to wreck their opponents, or get the edge on the rest of the crowd.

With much of the game's core aspects still being kept under wraps - a single player career mode that comes complete with social media parodies, for instance - plenty of attention has been given to the multiplayer, which is engrossing and fast-paced. It's shaping up to be a racing equivalent to
Modern Warfare 2, with an XP-style 'fan points' system, which are granted for racing and completing specific challenges, and unlock new cars and gaming modes as the player levels up.

At a recent hands-on event in central London, various journos were shoe-horned into leather sofas and given a test drive of the game's 4-player split screen. Trash talk was spewed, victory dances were broken out, and a few tears might have been shed.

More importantly, we were given the opportunity to chat with two representatives from Bizarre Creations, the Liverpool-based development team. I grabbed a quick chat with Ged Talbot, lead designer, and Chris Downey, lead environment artist, asking them about their intentions for the game, how to craft a compelling multiplayer experience, and looking for originality in a bloated marketplace.

We also touch on the game's beta - now closed for registration, but expected to be released as a free, open Xbox Live download on April 6th - and the anticipation it has created, as well as their reactions to the government's recent plans to provide tax breaks for the British game industry.

Read the full article here.

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