What happens when you combine spectacular and breathtaking environment with intense racing action? You get the complete package in a game called PURE. Unlike in Snowboarding games where you need to stay grounded to maintain speed in the race and not perform tricks at all, here, you need to perform totally insane tricks up in the air to provide you with superb boost. The more complex your tricks become, the greater the boost you receive. Just make sure you complete your tricks while still in mid-air or risk hitting the ground and tumbling in rough terrain, suffering from vicarious pain and getting the boost wiped out.
To perform your tricks on air, you just push a button and the desired direction on the thumb stick as you climb up the air. If you want to pull off longer with more intricate trick combos, you can simply tweak your techniques with a shoulder button or you can even drastically up the payoff by simultaneously flipping your ATV, either frontward or to the rear.
Three event types are available to choose from: Standard races, Sprints, and Freestyle. If you want a healthy balance of both speed and tricks, then Standard races are your thing. There’s a constant tug-o-war between building-up boost meters to get ahead of your opponents and using the boost to perform more complex tricks. If you happen to max out the boost bar, then you get access to a special trick which is the insane part of the Standards. Special tricks are humanly impossible, but quite a sight to behold in the game with moves that if used can instantly refill your boost bar; if you’re up to the challenge, it doesn’t hurt to get ahead of your opponents while performing dangerously insane tricks up in the air.
Sprints are quite technical in a sense and are composed of brief races around undersized, rigid tracks where the only thing that matters is speed. Tricks are not necessary in this event because your main focus is keeping a smart race line in order to come out on top. Freestyle on the other hand, is the polar opposite of Sprints where tricks are of utmost importance. In this event, you have a draining gas tank which you need to constantly fill up. The tracks are bedecked with slopes and inclines, while power-ups are profusely strewn around to give you great opportunities to perform big tricks in the air and score enormous points. You had better catch big air and chalk up substantial multipliers or you’d be in big trouble; if the gas tank is left unfilled and runs empty, then the game is over.
PURE’s core mode is the World Tour where you start off racing on relatively weak ATV’s and as you keep winning races and rising through the ranks, you unlock either new parts for your ride which you put piece by piece or faster ATV’s you can use in later races where opponents are pretty much more aggressive. There’s a wide array of customization you can do to your ATV in the garage and optimize your racing experience or simply primp your ride. By merely pressing down a button, you activate the game’s autobuild option which automatically put together all the parts you need to get the most out of your racing experience.
You can also enter single event or online play with up to 16 players but tracks and necessary parts can only be unlocked through the World Tour, so better work your way through the World Tour before venturing into these two options.
The best thing about PURE is its spectacular visuals. They are simply breathtaking. The environment is brought to life with its amazing detail from flowers to grass to just about everything that make it more realistic. Conversely, the action maybe far from authentic but the physics feels convincing enough; providing an excellent variety of tracks with varying contrasts and awesome detail. All in all, this game is very satisfying in both the visuals and the gaming experience.