Platform: PS3, Xbox360
If you’re scared of heights, then this off-road quad racing game won’t help. Most of the time you’re about 60 feet above the ground pulling off ludicrous tricks that would make a Crusty Demon gulp. It’s impossible not to play this game without comparing it to Motorstorm, which is the highest-selling game on the PS3. Both have fantastic arcade racing controls and both have spot-on vehicle weight with tyres digging in or bouncing, just like you’d expect in real life. What PURE lacks in vehicles (only being quads) is easily repaid in far superior graphics and airborne tricks.
Unlike Motorstorm, where boost power regenerates, in PURE you have to earn boost through performing tricks. When your quad gets airborne, it’s time to party! Tricks are executed by hitting any of the face buttons and the left analogue stick. At the beginning of each race you only have access to Level One tricks, but as you fill your meter with boost you’ll gain Level Two tricks followed by Level Three. Each level adds more boost, but requires more time in the air and skill. Each trick also has a “Stale” factor, meaning if you pull the same trick repeatedly it loses “Boost” value, forcing you to always try new tricks. It’s a tough balancing act at first: either using boost to pass your opponents, or trying to always stay on Level Three tricks, but after a few hours it becomes second nature.
Single player mode is spent mostly within World Tour, which has 36 tracks against 15 opponents. Although the game is a little short for my liking, the online mode (up to 16 players) makes up for it. PURE was named Best Racing Game of E3 2008 and after playing it I can see why.