PURE Review

11 01 2010


PURE was released on September 16, 2008 and developed by Black Rock Studio formerly Climax Racing who were previously behind the Moto GP and ATV Offroad Fury franchises. The roots of those franchises can clearly be seen in PURE; like ATV Offroad Fury PURE is an off-road quad-bike racing game that also incorporates insane tricks into the game. The player races customizable ATV’s in picture perfect destinations across the world in an attempt to be atop the world ranks all while pulling of incredible stunts at gravity defying heights.

Can this title be a launching point of success for Black Rock Studio or has this title simply crashed and burned? Continue reading to find out.

Single Player

PURE is the definition of what a classic arcade racer should encompass its controls are smooth and the gameplay is fast. The overall basic concept like any racer is to finish in first place but the process to achieve those results are refined yet simple: keep doing tricks and keep being rewarded with boost. As you land these series of wild and over the top tricks you fill up your thrill bar thus allowing you to gain more boost and subsequently unlock more absurd and crazy tricks. Therefore to truly do well the game forces you to be both a great rider and an accomplished aerialist.

In the single player campaign you compete as one of six riders and although there is no functional difference between them they do each have their own special trick that they perform. The single player campaign or World Tour has ten stages of increased difficulty and requirements, as you compete each individual race in the stage you move that much closer to the top rank. These different stages consist of three different race types; the classic race which consists of three laps with a heavy mixture of turns and vertigo inducing jumps, Sprint which are shorter races consisting of 5 laps that usually only have one or two jumps and many hard turns and lastly Freestyle which is a mode to perform and combo as many tricks to display your high score.

These races can be played on any one of the twelve breathtaking and pristine environments that are rich with subtle but rewarding detail. Although that might not sound like enough each track has multiple branching paths and shortcuts that can boost you onto remote cliff sides or drop you into muddy gulches making it feel as if the environments are free roaming. Each level appears meticulously laid out in a way that showcases its beautiful and expansive environment thus making it hard to realize this title was released well over a year ago.

But truthfully what really stands out is the absurd and over the top tricks that you can perform. These wild and physically impossible tricks while on the surface appear shallow at further investigation have a much deeper process to them. For instance you are rewarded by performing a variety of different tricks and won’t be rewarded as much with tricks that you have previously landed during that race which forces you to try different combinations and in turn keeps the game fresh. The controls for these movements are a breeze allowing the game to be easy to pick up but harder to master. However the accomplishment you feel when you flawlessly string together a series of crazy tricks invokes such a sense of joy that it makes you want to keep playing.

As you win events you will unlock more events along with additional parts and accessories to customize your ATV right down to the color of the grips on the handle bars. However that whole garage experience feels overly cumbersome and complex especially if you are only adding new parts. If you don’t feel like taking the time to customize every single aspect of your ATV then you can simply hold down a build button to quickly put together a more than capable ride. However the single player is not much deeper than that, no local multiplayer despite the World Tour being fairly short.


The online features mirrored the modes that were available offline with the inclusion of tournaments. In multiplayer you race against 15 other people and despite only the hardcore fans still participating I found it relatively easy to stay competitive due to the broad appeal and skill of the game. Although the multiplayer was semi-vacated, which I expected due to the age of the game, I still had no trouble at all finding and participating in a game which is a testament to the quality of this title.

While the multiplayer was no deeper than the single player it still ran just as smooth and just as fast even while racing against multiple opponents. However don’t think of trying to go online before you have unlocked the higher engines classes as you will be at a serious disadvantage. You will still have to unlock everything in single player in order for it to be used in multiplayer matches. The replayability will vary depending on the gamer as you possibly have an infinite amount of opportunities to replay this title and continue to challenge yourself online. However once you beat the “World Tour” and dabbled in the rest of the modes you can still challenge yourself to the track specific time trials or the trophies both of which were challenging and fun.


PURE doesn’t take much skill to master and the totally outrageous stunts and tricks that you can perform were fun from the very start. The game was very accessible and grabbed my attention early on while still being fun to play. It’s a game that is easy to get in and out of meaning you don’t have to worry about remembering a story plot but instead play a few races then if you decide can move out with worry which is a welcomed change.The game may lack depth but for me has the perfect amount of depth in what I want in an arcade racer. Despite its relatively simplicity the game has a surprisingly amount of strategy involved in deciding which jumps to launch off of and the risk versus reward of performing tricks off of those jumps.

Since it’s an older game I am sure you can find this title for a reduced price, if so and if you like these types of racers then I would have no problem recommending this title. It’s a great change of pace game that would be perfect to have in your collection giving you the opportunity to return to it as you wish. If on the other hand you have little reason to either play a racing game online or replay the single player after you already complete the game then I recommend you just rent this title for a little mindless change plus the chance to get a look at what to expect from their new title Split/Second.

PURE doesn’t blaze any new trails but is certainly a ride worth taking. The game doesn’t let up from start to finish

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4 responses

11 01 2010

I really enjoyed Pure, kinda got knocked aside by Motorstorm: Pacific Rift which is a shame.

Agree on the graphics front – very impressive.

12 01 2010

Great to read another post from you!

12 01 2010

@GregHorrorShow – I was surprised how much I actually enjoyed it, I had other ‘newer’ games to play but I still found myself going back to this one. The graphics honestly surprised me, I wasn’t expecting it to look as good as it did.

@Shaha44 – You are too kind, Thank you! I appreciate any of the feedback I get especially when its from you two. Again thanks to both of you for the motivation to keep on..

22 02 2010
PURE Trophy Guide « Beyond The D-Pad

[…] for a game that came out two years ago. However I didn’t just pick up this game for the trophies I recently reviewed PURE and if my recommendation wasn’t glowing enough in the review then this guide should be. It […]

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