Activision has officially announced Blur, a racing franchise that the company hopes will "revolutionize the racing genre." Created by developer Bizarre Creations (Project Gotham Racing), Blur will try to change the face of video game racing by combining the realism of games like Forza with the wacky fun of power-ups and attacks out of the Mario Kart series or WipEout. Add some elements from facebook and hold it all together with a dose of big-budget Hollywood glaze and you have the potential for a truly revolutionary game.
Up to 20 players can race against each other at once online, racing for glory on tracks in locations ranging from L.A. and San Francisco to the streets of Hackney, UK and the roads of Barcelona, Spain. The game will feature "fast curves, sneaky alternate routes, hair-raising jumps and fully realized damage models that provide for spectacular crashes."
We're not sure exactly what power-ups will be available in the game, but Activision mentions two: The ability to blast other cars out of the way with bursts of energy and speed boosts. We can only hope that bunches of spin-out bananas and red turtle shells are among the games weapons.
Obviously the main reason people will play Blur is the racing, but the game aims to go beyond the track with a bunch of social networking features and some sort of narrative. According to Activision, Blur features a community-based interface and a "unique story-driving social network" that evolves as players compete in different races, and make new friends, rivals and fans. I'm not sure how this will play out, but maybe a social-network driven "meta game" would work when combined with racing. It remains to be seen.
Blur is planned for release this fall for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.