Sadly, too much of a good thing can lead to a difficult choice, but worry not, we're here to help. Marking the first of our Playstation face-offs, we take a look at the pros and cons of Bizarre Creations' Blur and Disney Interactive's Split/Second.
Split/Second's concept is effortlessly more ambitious than Blur's. While Blur is an original game in its own sense - it's rare to see a semi-sim racer go down the Mario Kart power-ups route - Split/Second's mix of Michael Bay spectacle and aggressive racing is far and beyond one of the most ambitious pitches for a racing game we've seen in a good while.
While Split/Second's concept is infinitely more ambitious than Blur's, it feels like it would benefit from refinement. The game's replayability is relatively low because of the specific number of events that can happen on any particular track. Blur feels a lot more focused, and its weapon upgrades are balanced perfectly. It still manages to provide the chaotic excitement of Split/Second, while feeling overall less frustrating, and a lot more replayable.
While there are many strong comparisons between Blur and Split/Second in terms of their premise, both games have vastly opposing visual styles. Split/Second goes for super-clean, super-saturated, busy environments placed firmly in the realm of fantasy. Blur opts for realistic environments with a neon-lit, pseudo sci-fi aesthetic. Blur's sci-fi sound effects are a cut above the audio design coming out of other studios at the moment, but Split/Second marginally betters Blur's presentation thanks to the sheer detail of its tracks.
Neither Blur nor Split/Second manage to provide a particularly engrossing single-player campaign. Both campaigns feel flat and lack variety. Blur does a better job of providing a variety of game-types that are as enjoyable as the game's main races, and it also includes a better progression system to Split/Second. Ultimately though, it's Split/Second's rubber-band AI that kills the single-player and makes it frustrating beyond belief. Blur is not perfect in this regard, but the game rarely feels unfair like Split/Second.
The area in which there's clear day-light between Blur and Split/Second - Blur takes all of its multiplayer ideas from the massively successful Call Of Duty franchise, and is all the better for it. With twenty-player races (as opposed to Split/Second's eight), rotating player lobbies and a variety of playlists including an excellent demolition mode, Blur is the hands-down winner in this category.
Despite having an excellent premise, Split/Second could use a sequel to really hone its ideas. Blur relies on the ideas of other games, but it implements them all in a way so tightly that it becomes more than the sum of its parts. Multiplayer is where the most fun is at, and Blur handles that side of things excellently.
If neither Blur nor Split/Second take your fancy, Modnation Racers provides a different but excellent racing experience of its own. Despite being a kart racer, Modnation has some particularly solid racing design, including a great drift mechanic. Ultimately, Modnation Racers' greatest strength is its creation options, which means the game never gets boring.
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