For PS3 fans, this game will most likely remind them of MotorStorm. However, the similarities between the two are few and far apart. Yes, the game features the same dirty off-road environments that the PS3 franchise is known for. And yes, knowing when to use boost is crucial to the gameplay. But, the vehicles of Pure are much more responsive than the ones in MotorStorm. Turns are a lot easier to handle, which should help attract a more casual audience.
Players will have to work to earn their boosts. Before each hill, players will push down on the analog stick and flick it forward to launch the riders into the air. While flying, players can input buttons: X for easy tricks, O for harder tricks and Triangle for the hardest tricks. The boost meter increases with each successful trick, and having more boost unlocks more complex tricks in the air. Pulling off and landing the tricks are surprisingly easy.
Visually, Pure has the chops to compete against other games in the genre. The style makes it look good as MotorStorm and Codemaster's Dirt. The framerate on the PS3 build we played was silky smooth -- a good sign that the PS3 version is being handled with care. One thing that we were disappointed by was the crashing -- or lack thereof. Perhaps the game wants a tamer ESRB rating, but we were surprised by how lackluster wipeouts were. For example, mistiming a trick and landing it at the wrong angle simply grays out the screen as the rider slouches off the vehicle. Crashing into walls or other obstacles at high speed seemingly does nothing as well. Crashing into other riders has no visible effect.
While Pure was a fun, solid experience, we do admit that the demo we played could use a bit more challenge. However, with attractive visuals, solid presentation and intuitive controls, Pure certainly has potential. You'll be able to get a demo disc for pre-ordering the game at various retailers, or you can wait for the downloadable Pure demo, available on PSN in September.