PURE (PC, Xbox 360) Review

by Eddie Turner on September 29, 2008 12:00 AM EST

When it comes to games, the line between realism and fantasy slices nearly every genre into two parts. While each while each section is rarely the other's equivalent, gamers often tend to gravitate toward one or the other. This raises a few questions. Would you rather wield a knife or a flaming samurai sword? Would you rather explore an office complex with a flashlight or dungeon catacombs with a lantern? Closer to the game at hand, would you rather your vehicle catch twenty feet of air or a thousand? The good folks at the newly coined Black Rock Studios show us what side they're on by taking the fantastical approach to off-road racing with PURE, a freestyle ATV racer whose focus is on frantic speed and exaggerated aerial acrobatics.

In a world where new IPs are few and far between, it's always nice to see a fresh new title rise up among those with a number 2, 3 or 4 in them. While PURE's style of gameplay isn't anything we haven't seen before, it certainly puts its best foot forward at being the best in its class. So, what exactly is its class?

PURE finds its footing among off-road racing games like MotorStorm and DiRT, with trick pulling elements that are more reminiscent of snowboarding or skateboarding games like SSX or Tony Hawk respectively. As in all racing games, speed is definitely on the agenda. However, only a combination of speed and freestyle stunts will put players in the winner's circle.

Gameplay Overview
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  • MFK - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    Hey, not to be a pain in the butt or anything. But the reviewer seems to give a lot of credit to how fun and 'different' this game is.
    But the matter of the fact is, that this game is really no different than previous ATV racing games.
    Leaning forward and then letting go to catch more air? Already been done.
    Stunts on ATVs? Over done.
    Stunts done Tony Hawks Pro Skater Style? Is there any other way to implement stunts? I mean all games involving stunts, require you to move the stick in a direction and press one of the stunt buttons.

    So I really fail to see whats so different about this game. I will honestly confess that I am not the biggest gamer out there, but this game really does feel a repeat of all the ATV games out there albeit with a graphical update.

    Hell yea its fun, but it is nothing that has not been done before. I guess that is all I wanted to say.

  • EddieTurner - Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - link

    Not being a pain in the least. I did mention those exact sentiments though. To quote the second paragraph: . . PURE's style of gameplay isn't anything we haven't seen before . .
  • Sabrewulf6000 - Monday, September 29, 2008 - link

    Aside from the menu loading times (track loading isn't bad) and the missing riders on atvs problem I had that a clean graphics driver update solved, the game runs and plays fine, no hitching or pauses for me. One thing though, is there no AA support for this game, not that its a real problem with the graphic effects they use, its not too noticeable. Has anyone tried forcing AA yet? Also, are there any DX10 graphics differences that I am missing? The game looks fabulous in DX9, just like to know if I am missing out on anything.

    Athlon64 X2 5000 BE @ 3.2Ghz|ASRock 939 Dual-Sata2 W/AM2 Board|2x1 GB GSkill DDR2-800|Gigabyte 8800GT 512MB|Corsair 750W PS|XP Pro
  • error8 - Monday, September 29, 2008 - link

    I've played it on an 8800gt and a 4870 and above the terrible loading times, there is the stutter. Every now and then, the race makes a short stop for a fraction of a second and then it plays like nothing happened. What the hell?? It just kills the racing thrill, if there was any. ;)
  • Alphafox78 - Monday, September 29, 2008 - link

    I went to buy this yesterday so that I could play with my brother. it looked really good until we looked at the back cover and noticed that its only single player unless you have xbox live. what about split screen??? you cant do it. I had to pass.
  • mmntech - Monday, September 29, 2008 - link

    Seems to me that games in general are moving away from split screen in favour of online. I know Grid, Dirt, and Motorstorm are online only. It allows for more players but it isn't exactly a social activity.

    Pure is actually a pretty decent game. I enjoyed the PS3 demo. It offers a different twist compared to most other recent racing games. The graphics are decent, the gameplay with the tricks is interesting, and the tracks are pretty original.
  • Lonyo - Monday, September 29, 2008 - link


    PURE finds its footing among off-road racing games like MotorStorm and DiRT, with trick pulling elements that are more reminiscent of snowboarding or skateboarding games like SSX or Tony Hawk respectively

    Couldn't you just say:
    "It's a bit like motocross madness but with ATV's"?
  • Xavitar - Monday, September 29, 2008 - link

    I had the same thought. Motocross Madness and Monster Truck Madness 2 were both fantastic games.
  • StevenG - Wednesday, October 1, 2008 - link

    Loved Motocross Madness and Motocross Madness 2. One of my favorite aspects of those games was the "freeride" mode where there was no track to follow, just a huge hilly outdoor area where you could go anywhere. It was a blast exploring to find new lines with jumps that had just the right size and shape and landing zone to allow pulling off big multi-trick jumps.

    Anything like that in Pure? Or are you always following some predefined track?
  • EddieTurner - Wednesday, October 1, 2008 - link

    Sadly, no. However, many of the track are fairly wide open with multiple routes to take. A game I played this week called "Baja Edge of Control" did have that true free ride mode. The game had a lot of potential but the 1990's graphics was a big turn off on the 360 and PS3. I did have some fun with it though.

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