I’ve been meaning to play Pure since the demo was released last September. I finally got around to playing the full game these last couple weeks and I’m really glad I did. I’m not very good at simulation style racing games, but Pure is clearly not a simulation racer. It has arcade style controls and extremely unrealistic tricks and jumps. However, it is because of these that it is so much fun to play. As you race you do tricks over the jumps on the track to build up your boost meter. It adds a little strategy to the game. You have to decide if you want to take big jumps for large tricks and more boost, which takes more time. Or, do you take the small jumps to keep your speed up and get less boost.
Even with the arcade style racing you still have to be somewhat careful to land strait and not take corners to fast or you will crash and pretty much loose any chance of winning the race. Like most racing games on the harder tracks you will need to run a nearly perfect race to get first place, but it they do give you options to practice and restart the race as needed. You can run a single even with opponents to practice or run time trails to have the track for yourself and work out the best lines for each race type.
The race and sprint modes are pretty strait forward. In race mode you have a track that will be about 2 minutes per lap and it is a three lap race. In sprint mode you have a short track that takes under 30 seconds per lap and it is 5 laps. The race mode has a little give room where you can make up a few positions if you have a bad lap, but in spring mode if you have a bad lap you are pretty much out of luck. Fortunately those are really fast so it is not like you spent 10 minutes only to loose on the last lap.
Both race and sprint mode are pretty fun, but freestyle mode quickly became my favorite. It starts like any other race, but instead of trying to get first you want to get the most points for your tricks. Plus, freestyle is the only mode where you have to watch your fuel level. As you race around the track your fuel is used up, but as you do tricks you get some of it back. If you run out of fuel you’re out of the race, but your score still counts. So, it is completely possible to win without finishing the race. They also have power-ups scattered across the track that give you extra boost, more fuel, instant special trick, and score multipliers. It is such a unique take on racing and for me is less stressful because even if I have a bad lap I can still have a shot at winning if I can sting together some great tricks.
The game looks gorgeous. It has some of the best graphics of any game I’ve played. The sound track is nicely put together. It has a nice range of modern songs from rock to metal and hip-hop. Plus, they get the little details done well. As you race if you run through mud you slide and it sprays mud everywhere. Each different surface you race on feels different and you can tell if you are on dirt, grass, sand, mud, or ice. I also like that you unlock upgradeable parts for your ATV as you complete races, and that you can choose which performance parts to get first. This really helped me build an ATV that suits my racing style.
I’m probably 85% of the way through the single player World Tour and while it is challenging it is not so hard that I find it frustrating…so far. The last few races look like they will be pretty hard, but I’m looking forward to trying to get first in all of them. If you’re even a little into racing games I’d recommend trying Pure. It is a fun racing game that looks great but does not take itself too seriously. I put some tips and hints together after looking for some online and not finding any. Hopefully they help people just starting to play Pure.