Electronic Entertainment Expose [E3] 2008 Preview

Pure Hands-on

A lot of people aren’t going to want to hear this, but move over MotorStorm. I had the chance to get some hands-on time with Pure and I must say that I was quite impressed. I went into the Disney Interactive booth figuring I’d be greeted with some MotorStorm knockoff that lacked any substance or any real pull — boy was I wrong. As many of you know, Pure is an off-road racer developed by the team that used to produce ATV Fury and other similar types of titles, which means that these guys know what it takes to create a successful off-road racer.

The environments featured in Pure can rival those of MotorStorm without much debate. The atmosphere is lush and very vibrant just like you’d expect from this style of game. One of the things that add to this atmosphere is the vertigo camera angle. This camera style goes into effect while the ATV is high in the air, sucking the user close up to the vehicle and then sliding the camera back as you re-approach the track. On top of this, the track is tiered with several levels of terrain you can take. So depending on when you’d like to use your speed boost, you’ll be able to reach higher levels of play or lay off a bit to go right under obstacles in your way.


Pure utilizes a trick style that forces the user to earn harder maneuvers as the race goes on. Your trick level is designated in the bottom right corner. If you crash, you’ll lose the chance to try more advanced tricks. Once your trick boost meter is filled to the brim, you’ll be able to pull off some very impressive special tricks that are sure to leave some jaws sufficiently dropped. I had the chance to see several of these special tricks and couldn’t believe the innovation and creative thought that went into their design. Add these moves to the standard set list of tricks (that you’d expect to see at the X Games) and you’ve got a whole lot of variety.

Pure also introduces a crazy amount of customization into the mix — you’ll be able to create your very own off-road vehicle to your exact specifications. Apparently, there are 70,000 different possibilities which makes going online very unique as no two ATVs will be similar whatsoever. This doesn’t mean you’ll have different liveries or colors, but you’ll be able to adjust the vehicle right down to every little component. Obviously this adds a lot to the title as you’ll be able to customize “team-oriented” designs for online play. This way, you and your buddies can head into the 16-player online races looking like a true team.


The game also comes packed with a Freestyle Mode. You start with half a tank of gas and, in order to fill it, you must pull off tricks and/or rack up the multiplier points. It’s your standard points race with a bit of strategy mixed in. You’ll be expected to boost at the right moments to grab 2x icons, gas icons and so on. As for controls, they felt really tight. Pulling off tricks by holding down face buttons and utilizing the directional pad felt standard yet very responsive. Also, I’d like to mention that the AI played a lot more realistically than in MotorStorm. According to the developers, they didn’t want the computer gaining cheap wins where you’d lead all race and then in the last stretch, an AI-driven vehicle would dash in front of you for the win. Considering that exact situation was a huge gripe I had with the first MotorStorm, I was rather relieved to hear that it won’t be a problem within Pure.

The hands-on ended somewhat quickly as Disney had a very packed booth with many people waiting in line behind me. In the end though, Pure certainly exceeded my original expectations and has quickly became a title to keep an eye on at the very least. I do realize a lot of you will write this title off because you’ve already put emotional attachment into MotorStorm, but you’ll only be separating yourselves from a promising title. Pure is slated to hit retail shelves on September 23.