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Tuesday | October 23, 2018
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Pure (X360 & PS3)

Pure (X360 & PS3)

Pure is the new game from Black Rock Studio and focuses on over the top racing action and back breaking stunts. The big question … does it deliver something more enjoyable and worthwhile than their previous ATV offroad games?

Pure is a racing game but at the heart it has some elements of an extreme sports game. There are times you will be aiming for the finish line while taking the best corners you possibly can and at other times you will be performing acrobat stunts mid air to earn bonuses.

The control methodology is straightforward and works well, the right trigger is for acceleration, the left trigger is for the brake and the left analog stick steers the vehicle. You can also prime the suspension before a jump by flicking down then up on the left stick quickly to gain more air. The great thing about Pure is the fact that the vehicles feel right and as we all know this can make or break a racing game.

The trick system is one of the games biggest assets, when the quad is in the air you can invoke tricks by hitting one of the three face buttons and then a direction on the left stick. You start each race with only Level 1 tricks at your disposal. If you successfully complete a few of these then you are able to use the Level 2 tricks and finally Level 3. These are mapped to various buttons on the controllers such as A,B and Y on the 360.

Completing successful tricks during a race also means you gain nitrous boost which is depicted by a blue wedge beneath your trick meter and is controlled by the X button. During a race the strategic element is to balance these tricks to fill the boost meter, then using the boost to get ahead of your opponents. Using too much boost however means you lose access to the higher level tricks.

The game also rewards the player for varying tricks. If you use the same trick then it becomes "stale" which means you get little or no boost for using it. Varying the stunts means you get more boost bonus as well as "fresh" showing on screen. Furthermore you can tweak each stunts by using the left or right bumper at the end of the trick which gives you more flexibility. These controls work great on both the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 and it certainly adds a great edge to the gameplay.

The main game mode in Pure is the World Tour a single player career mode in which you can choose a racer, build a bike and set out to complete 10 stages. You start off with a tutorial then progress onwards with slowly increasing difficulty.  There are three single player event types: Race, Sprint and Freestyle. Sprint focuses on speed and handling and gives you shorter tracks with less jumps with which to gain boost. This will be the mode the die hard purists will enjoy the most. Race mode is the balanced mode which means you are rewarded for good driving and equally so for decent stunt placements.

The final mode Freestyle is the fun part, there is no finish line and you are merely fighting against the clock to rack up the biggest trick scores. These tracks obviously have a plethora of jumps to facilitate the stunts, however the added extra is that the game also gives the player power ups. These vary; you get stars (instant special trick), 2x (doubles score for a period of time) and nitrous boosts to name a few. This game rewards practise and its quite amazing once you get good at it to realise just how you can improve your scores over specific jumps in the game. It is extremely rewarding.

Other single player modes include Trial Mode, which lets you attempt to break your time records on tracks you have unlocked without other racers getting in the way. Single event is rather straighforward and lets you jump into a game if you are in a rush for a quick fix.  The game is not particularly long and most experienced racers will have single player mode beaten in the space of 5-7 hours.

Multiplayer mode is very well catered for however. Freeride lets people race against the clock to score points in various areas. You can play games which focus on lap times and speed rather than taking jumps. Equally so you can reverse this situation and focus on stunts to get the highest scores. Up to 16 players can play online with the AI helping out by filling missing spots if necessary and the hosts have a plethora of options as to how they set up the games. Both console systems work very well online and I experience no issues with lag or glitches.

Graphically the game delivers, then some. The environments are excellent with detailed landscapes galore, right across the 12 areas. Each of these are meticulously crafted with terrain, buildings and foliage helping to improve the immersive appeal. To make things even better there are various branching routes you can take to vary your races as well as various shortcuts and additional jump sections.

When you complete these events you are rewarded with new outfits for your characters and new additions for the ATV’s – you can also keep multiple slots for different machines which is great. While the vehicles aren’t licensed replicas, the parts you can get for them are and it certainly goes some way to improve the longevity of the title to spend quite a lot of time enhancing and making your own rides. The only downside of this system is that there is no auto upgrade feature so you spend quite some time in the garage, even if you aren’t interested in it at all. Either that or you start getting outclassed by the opponents later in the game.

All in all Pure delivers a fun and ultimately rewarding race game with extreme sports elements. It will certainly not appeal to the simulation style race fans out there, but for everyone else there is certainly enjoyment to get from playing the game. The graphics on both console versions really are very well coded and it can look extremely impressive, especially when you are performing stunts and watching the ground coming up slowly below you. Highly recommended.



A fun racer which rewards practice.


Looks absolutely brilliant, no frame rate issues either.


Good engine sounds and the sound effects enhance the atmosphere.

Strong multiplayer elements mean you will still be playing long after single player has ended.
(not an average)

A fun, exciting racer which should be on your shortlist.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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