PURE Review

Pure for the PC blends SSX style trickery with ATVs, and the result is pure fun. Fans of Burnout will feel at home with a game that falls on the more unrealistic end of racing, but it's not Mario Kart. There are boosts, crazy tricks, and monster jumps, but the ATV's feel and sound authentic, the tracks are very well polished, and the racing is solid.

The game starts with you playing a tutorial to get familiar with the mechanics. From there you can start a career, select a driver, and then make your ride. There are only a few characters, with many helmet colors and two sets of clothes, and you unlock more characters and outfits in the career if you rack up the wins. They come with the typical kind of stories that you would see from fighting game characters nothing to inspire you, but a nice touch at the least.

Something that could be a negative is that you need to spend around 20-30 minutes building a rig, but the result is a ride built for your style and looks good to your eye. There are about 24 parts, most with a color to choose, and some come with stats. You could auto-create an ATV if you want, but there is little fun in that. Early in the creation you will mainly choose your parts that affect stats: max speed, acceleration, handling, boost, and trick. If you don't know how to do the tricks from the start, perhaps you would rather have handling. Those are the kinds of give and take relationships with the parts, and of course, you get more parts as you play the game and do well. The late stages of the creation are colors and decals and purely for aesthetic appeal.

Then you can enter your career in the World Tour. There are only a few races and sprints open to start, and as you progress and do well, more open up. There are three types of events: races, sprints, and freestyles. These are spread out over ten stages, and a stage is comprised of four to seven different events to tackle. Most of the tracks are reused and the type is changed. You don't need to get first in all the challenges to meet the point requirement to move onto the next set, but by getting first you are rewarded more extras. The rewards are upgrades, characters, more tracks, parts, decals, and a bit more. Eventually, usually before moving to the stage that requires it, you will move up an engine class, which you must install in order to compete at the next level.

The different types of challenges usually mean you need to use a different ATV. The races are the longest and could be completed with any type of ATV you feel comfortable with. The sprints are tiny laps repeated a few more times than a race and offer fewer trick opportunities, so a good handling ATV that skips on the trick stat is best. Freestyle is where tricking out is the only way to win. Freestyles require you to race like normal, but the point isn't to win per se, you are really just trying to be the last man standing. You're constantly running out of gas in this mode, and only by picking up power-ups and performing tricks do you keep your gas gauge from going empty you basically do insane tricks to stay alive until everyone else is gone and then trick at your own leisure. It is fun, but you'll really need to master the trick system to maximize the fun from this mode, and the whole game.