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About seven years ago, back in 2002 a game called ATV Offroad Fury 2 was released on the PlayStation 2. It was one of the first games my brother and I played when we eventually got a hold of a PS2, and it ended up being one of our favorite games to play together. It was a solid racing title that endeared many scratches and thumb prints due to the play time we put it through. Those experiences I had with ATV 2 ended up fueling my interest for Pure, a game that was released last year. I never got around to playing it, and saw it on sale for twenty dollars on Amazon. I couldn’t pass it up, and I’ve been playing for the past week and half.
In its purest form, (Oh hello there pun!) the game boils down to you controlling a selectable character and making your way through courses that emphasize either endurance tracks, short tracks or freestyle trick tracks. These three divisions aid to a bit of variety in the game, although you almost always will need to pull off tricks to fill up your boost capabilities. You also get to build your own bikes, which is a fun and neat addition that I wish would have been further expanded on. The ATV’s are split between three different classes: Race (Endurance), Sprint and Freestyle to suit the different types of tracks in the game. If someone ever makes an ATV game on par with a car simulator such as Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo, I am THERE.
First off, the visuals in this game are great. I wasn’t expecting too much but there is some quality work here. The tracks are gorgeous, and feature an expected amount of difference in regards to there locations and layouts. The sense of speed, a huge deal in racing games, is spot on here. When you inject some of your Nitrous, you feel it. The surrounding area around you becomes blurred, and as you catapult yourself over a slope into a body numbing trick combo you feel involved with the race. You find yourself wondering if you’ll be able to survive the jump without losing both of your legs, which leads me to the problems of the game.
For a game so focused on pulling tricks and going as fast as possible so that you can stay in the air longer, Pure has a frustrating amount of collision issues present that really beat the fun out of it sometimes. I’m not sure who decided to litter the tracks with tires and barrels, because all it seems to do is provide clutter when you’re already doing your best to avoid the AI drivers. Who, you can get by hopefully at the beginning of the race, otherwise have fun getting stomped on by them occasionally when landing from a jump. I really loved the detail in the tracks in this game, but unfortunately it also ended up being something I loathed. Placement of objects comes off as half baked and is a recurring issue in many of the maps. If you’re telling me I have to boost over hills in order to gain placement in a race, then why are you placing an overhanging cliff in my way while I’m still midway through my jump sequence? It gets to be especially aggravating when you find yourself restarting multiple times because of a flaw in the level creation that you as a player have no control over.
Pure was an enjoyable experience that has issues, but they can be overlooked if you’re willing to put up with some momentary aggravation every few races. Give it a shot if you can find it for a good price. The developer currently has a new title in the works called Split/Second, which is also a racing game. Hopefully they take the knowledge gained from working on Pure and apply it to their upcoming project.
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