|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Black Rock Studio||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Disney Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 16, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-16||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Pete Richards
February 28, 2008 - At first, you may not recognize development studio Black Rock. That's because the British company changed their name from Climax Studios after being bought by publisher Disney Interactive Studios in 2006. Climax was, of course, the racing professional that brought us titles such as MotoGP, Crash N' Burn, The Italian Job, and the past couple ATV Offroad Fury installments. Black Rock is now the official racing studio of Disney.
When Black Rock first announced they were working on yet another ATV racing game, there was little to get excited about. Once you've played one, you've played them all, right? Not necessarily. Black Rock recognizes the redundancy of some ATV games and is promising a whole new experience with Pure - a game intended for people in need of a more arcade, less simulative ATV game with over-the-top stunts yet incredible realism in graphics.
After working hard on Pure for the past year and a bit, Black Rock is finally ready to show what they've got in store. Screenshots show hilly, dirty areas with beautiful snow-peaked mountains in the backdrop and very realistic cloudy skyline. The recently-released trailer shows incredible looking racers, and as the ATV's skid by and kick up dirt, the game looks to have great particle effects. There is one point during the trailer when one of the racers catches ridiculously huge air where you can see just how large the racetrack is and the detail in the vegetation and landscaping around it. Black Rock is incorporating plenty of massive jumps on their racetracks, enabling you launch yourself hundreds of feet upwards for a sense of the freedom and the huge scale of the environment you're racing in.
Part of the way Pure will give you a feeling of how large your surroundings are will be through the use of two different camera angles. While grounded, you will view your racer from the default back to get a sense of the speed. Blur lines and shaky camera effects come into play when you hit your turbo boost. When you hit a jump, the camera angle switches from the standard back view to pull to the side and give a nice look at the trick you're pulling off as well as a huge, wide-angle view of the environment surrounding you. This unique approach not only accentuates the stunningly beautiful backdrop, but also adds to the excitement of leaping through midair.
It is evident that Black Rock is trying to bring realism in the graphics and environments while having racers perform unreal stunts and tricks that would be impossible to land in real life. As the trailer shows a racer doing some insane combination move in mid-air, this game gives me the impression it's somewhat of a combination between Offroad Fury and the type of over-the-top gameplay Tony Hawk introduced to the extreme sports gaming world. As you leap over cliffs and bodies of water and perform combos hundreds of feet in the air, Pure is more focused on building up trick points and taking ridiculous chances while racing.
The trick system will be broken into three categories, each more difficult to pull off than the next. Depending on the console, each trick category will begin with its own face button to represent basic tricks, mid-level tricks, and professional tricks. Each of these trick button types is represented by three meters located in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. In order to pull off mid-level tricks, your basic trick meter must be full. In order to pull off the most difficult tricks, both the basic and mid-level meters must be full. Once all three are full, you will be able to use your signature tricks to rack up crazy points. And while the focus is to gain trick points, you must also win each race between you and 15 other drivers. While you will have a turbo boost to gain speed, using it will drain your trick meters so the game will become a balance between speed and pulling off crazy tricks.
Still, with the over-the-top stunts you can pull in Pure, Black Rock says the game will feature realistic ATV controls while the bikes are grounded. The ATVs will still be responsive to the controls you would find in a simulation, while the tricks you pull in mid-air will be completely insane.
While the game is still being developed, things thus far look pretty awesome based on screenshots and an impressive trailer. Black Rock says they are still working on perfecting the audio as well as particle effects. There is also still no word on customizable features, online features, and additional game modes, but be sure to check back to CheatCC for the latest.
CCC Freelance Writer