Ah, racing games. I can't get enough of them. I typically prefer the kind with the licensed cars, so as much fun as I may have with a game like Burnout, I still wish to be doing all of that mayhem using a real car. Unfortunately Burnout's crashes are far too vivid for car manufacturers, so Criterion has been limited to modeling their own cars. Well, it looks like Bizarre may be able to fill a void for many of us by offering an intense racer that equips real cars with powerful attacks.
Before I continue, let's get one thing clarified: this is by no means a Burnout competitor, so don't expect massive car wrecks, utterly mangled sheet metal, and etc. Yes, there will be a damage model based on physics, but it won't be as brutal as that of Burnout's. That said, Blur's new racer will boast some impressive features such as the ability to take a total of 20 racers online, or keep it local with four.
Your standard races will also be made up of 20 opponents, and each one of those opponents, much like you, will be able to pick up the various powerups scattered throughout the stage and use them against you (if it's an offensive pickup), or use them for protection (if defensive). Powerups won't include banana peels, spikey shells, or shrinking your enemies; but rather attacks that are more along the scale of massive energy bursts that engulf the entire screen. Of course, the common shield and speed boost will also be found.
While the action is purely arcade based, the car physics engine is actually aimed at realism. We're not sure how Bizarre will pull this combo off, or if even gamers will enjoy it, but it sure does sound like something we'd like to try. As far as locales go, you'll race down the streets of Los Angeles (USA), San Francisco (USA), Hackney (UK), Barcelona (Spain), and many others, so the scenery should be quite pleasant.
As we've already mentioned, the game features actual cars. We're not sure what the entire list of cars is, but from we've seen so far I can identify: BMW 135tii, BMW E92 M3, Dodge Viper GTS, and a 1st Gen Camaro (looks like a '69 through all of that motion blur in the screens). Thankfully, the realism shouldn't be going to waste, as we've heard reports that the game will allow you to turn off all of the arcade elements (the powerups) and enjoy the game as a standard racer. So if you or you're friends want to legitimately compete and see who's the better racer, they can, online or off.
So far, the screenshots shown give the game a relatively early look. Activision states photo-realistic vehicles, but I don't see it. In fact, the cars look really rough around the edges, and it has always been my opinion that Bizarre are not very good at car modeling and getting the proper lighting for their racing games. Still, Blur isn't due out until the end of 2009, so it's too early to make any final calls.