Running rings around the other drivers
I've got an embarrassing secret to tell you. I know less about cars than my girlfriend, who (in my defence at least) is a fully paid up petrol-head. But I appreciate car models are important in driving games, having witnessed many a heated argument between friends over their Gran Tourismo or Forza garages.
If it's licensed cars you're after then Blur is the title for you. Playing through career mode earns you a vast assortment of big trucks, SUVs, hot hatches and muscle cars among. others. But you'll rarely drive them competitively. There's much less nuance between Blur's cars than, say Gran Tourismo. And there are just two types of handling: drifty and grippy.
Blur's drifting really lets the game down. Drift cars handle poorly, and never provide a true sense of friction. Conversely, Split Second's cars, although fictitious (and often brutally ugly) are a drifter's dream. The developers haven't gone drift mad, however, as there's always a trade-off between drifting to fill your Power Play meter and maintaining top speed in keeping the racing line.
Getting wrecked can cause headaches
Split Second: Velocity 15%
Next page: Tracks
Couldn't disagree more
... with the criticism about Blur. I haven't played Split/Second to compare, but Blur is a tremendous game and easily the most fun I've had with a racer online ever - certianly more than Mario Kart Wii.
The weapons are actually very well balanced. Every single one can be countered (or avoided with a bit of skill) and the combat is as much about tactics (e.g. do you fire that shunt - homing missile - forwards as soon as you pick it up, or keep it in reserve to fire backwards and take out the shunt that someone behind may fire at you) as it is about the joy of mindless chaos. There's nothing unfair or game breaking in there like Mario Kart's Blue Shell or Lightning and the pick ups are not randomised - you can see the selection on the track and it's all about driving through the pick up you want or need as the race dictates. If you're constantly getting shot to pieces, you should consider picking up a shield, right?
As for ramming into course dividers, surely the point is you need to practise the game and learn the tracks. That is what real racing drivers have to do too, you know. It really isn't a problem if you play a track more than a couple of times or - get this - just look where you are going! Drifting similarly, comes with practice.
Final gripe about the review - you completely fail to mention the Modern Warfare 2-esque levelling and unlock system which makes even coming last in a race worthwhile because you're still gaining fans (xp) and working towards the next set of new cars or mods or unlocking challenges to win more xp. I'm no expert racer and in my time with Blur online I've seldom finished first, but the game is as much fun when you're battling it out for 4th place as it is when you're out in the lead. This aspect also gives Blur a lot more longevity than (I'm led to believe) Split/Second has.
I'd fully recommend Blur to anyone, even if you're not a big racing fan. Actually, especially if you're not a big racing fan.
Blur deserves much more than this
Blur is one of the most enjoyable games I've played for a long time. I disagree when you say it is a poor imitation of Mario Kart. Yes it borrows heavily with regards to the weapons, but I think it's a major improvement, Mario Kart has had it's day, Blur is a fresh look at the genre.
You say the drift mechanics let the game down.. I'm not a fan of drift racing but nailing a hairpin sideways and using the nitro on the exit is one of the most satisfying 'moves' I've experienced in a racer. Maybe some more practice will change your mind here? ;)
You moan about 'numerous route-dividing chicanes' that are missed because you're concentrating on weapon collection and the attack from other racers - surely this adds an extra layer of skill to master? As for the comment "time and time again you'll ram into course dividers", may I refer you to my previous comment about practice? Of the numerous hours I've spent on this game so far this has happened a hand full of times and just reminds me to concentrate more in future.
Online play is 'practically unplayable'? I disagree. I have had a lot of fun online, finishing in all positions from first to last, even when I have come last this only makes me want to play again and try new tactics.
I'll be honest, I've only played the Split/Second demo, which was very disappointing; one track, one car, nothing else. I thought the car felt heavy and the sense of speed was very lacking for a game with a title like that. I will play the full game at some point and my opinion may well change, but for now I'm a Blur fan and I feel your review was very harsh.
I'll shut up now.
I have played both games already. You call Blur bland, cheap, etc. No, it is more fun. The AI in S/S is extremely cheap, the helicopter races are just downright stupid and most races you'll be playing over and over again hoping for a lucky break. Now Blur: Career mode is excellent and challenging without being cheap, when you win a race is because you are good and not because you caught a lucky break after 20 or so tries and the only, not only is well populated but the ranking system is just right and experience is absolutely brilliant.
Here, that is my two cents.
crap game, crap review.
pick up sonic racing - probably dirt cheap.
loads of fun - great tracks etc.
trying to get AAA on all challenges also takes some work :)