Pure is an off road arcadey racing title that is part racing, part stunts, part mechanic and part rpg. As soon as you put the disc in for the first time you are greeted with a short demo to introduce you to the basics of the game. Once you have completed the brief tutorial you are then presented with the main menu where you can choose World Tour (career), Single event or racing online over Xbox Live against other gamers. Once you build your own ATV you are then off to the races and can compete in either a “Race”, “Sprint” or in “Freestyle” mode. Participating in a race is pretty self explanatory. You are racing around a track for three laps against the A.I. “Sprint” mode puts you on a shorter track and more laps to allow for a quicker race. “Freestyle” mode is where you try to pull off as many moves as you can before your vehicle runs out of gas. It is basically a “last man standing” mode where the way you win is outlast your opponents. The way you lose in this mode is your vehicle runs out of gas so you have to keep fuel in your vehicle by successfully pulling off tricks and picking up fuel icons spread across the track. Crossing the finish line to start a new lap will also give your fuel a little boost.
As you progress through the career mode you will start to unlock upgrades for your vehicle. Depending on what position you finish the race in you will earn upgraded parts and earn points that you will need to unlock the next stage. There are also performance upgrades that you will earn as you progress. This is where the rpg aspect comes in as you will be presented with a few different performance upgrades to choose from. As you look at each different upgrade the stats of each upgrade will be shown. Some upgrades will help you in one area but hamper you in another area. You have to plan the type of vehicle you want so you know what you want to sacrifice during these decisions. The online multiplayer seems to work really well too. In my time spent online with this title I was able to connect to games quickly and there was absolutely no lag in any of the races. You have the same basic options in your online races that you encountered offline as well.
The controls for this game are pretty simple. You can control the car with ease and it is definitely one of those games where you can immediately pick up and play, however, it will take you a while to master. As I mentioned before, as you are racing, you are going to encounter some large jumps where you will have to pull off some aerial maneuvers. You have a meter at the bottom of the screen and the more tricks that you successfully land, the more tricks you will be able to perform. You start out with the ability to only perform simple tricks. You accomplish by pushing the “A” button and then hitting the left joystick either left, right, up or down. Once you complete enough of those tricks you will move on to more advance maneuvers which can do by hitting the “B” button this time. Eventually you will fill your meter and be able to pull off “special moves” in mid air that will allow you to rack up points and leave your opponents in the dust. However, in an effort to keep things fresh, you won’t get as much credit if you repeatedly pull off the same move. The computer will basically call you lame and only give you partial credit for the trick so it is good to mix up the kind of tricks that you perform on your vehicle.
Even though Pure is a ton of fun to play it does have a couple of shortcomings. As I explained above there are three main modes for things that you can do. Those three modes are a lot of fun to play but it would have been nice to have more to choose from. Also some gamers are going to be disappointed to hear that there is no offline multiplayer. This could be a real problem for those gamers who either can’t or just don’t like playing on Xbox Live. Although maybe that is something that we will see in future downloadable content. If they treated this game like Burnout Paradise and just kept adding on to it that could make this great game even better.
Overall, Pure is a lot of fun to play and that is what is important. The graphics are spectacular and it can be a wild ride trying to pull off some of these stunts while trying to land correctly at the same time so you don’t crash. You seem to be able to earn the Achievements at a nice pace which should keep players engaged as they try to pull off that ultimate combo to unlock that next achievement. The only thing I would change if this game has a sequel is to have more modes available. Other than that this is a great off road racing game and definitely a game that everyone should experience.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network