Since its release in May of 2010, Blur has, hands down, been my favorite arcade racer. Oh sure, you have people who like Split/Second better and in my heart, Nail'd has been a close second to Blur, but there's something about the Activision release which just does it for me. However, with the release of Ridge Racer Unbounded, Blur may have lost the top spot.
We will not delving into the specific differences here between this new Ridge Racer and traditional Ridge Racer, suffice to say that new title isn't the same old thing (not that the same old thing is bad). Unbounded, certainly an arcade-style title, has a whole lot of destruction going on in addition to fast speeds, beautiful cars, good drifting, and is a great deal of fun.
Well, now that you have a basic overview of what makes it awesome, I find myself a little unsure of how to discuss the specifics. The game operates as car racing titles tend to do – you start off being able to play one race with one vehicle, complete the race, earn XP for performing certain tasks (fragging cars, drifting, destroying buildings), and consequently unlock more stuff.
There are a whole lot of cars and levels to unlock, with seven different races in each area of Shattered Bay, the city where the game takes place. There are also a whole lot of different race types, from straight-up win and destroy other cars to drifting contests to timed events. Different races allow for different cars to be used, and throughout the whole thing you're constantly earning XP and unlocking more stuff – it is a very fulfilling setup.
Unlike a Blur or other destruction-oriented racer, your only real weapon here is your car. Perform enough tricks (getting air, drifting, drafting, destroying stuff, etc.) and you get a power boost which you can utilize to run into other cars or destroy bigger and better things. That in turn gets you more points so you can do more damage, which in turn, well, you get it.