A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game features fantasy ATV stunts and jumps. Riders fly hundreds of feet through the air, performing wild acrobatics as they float across chasms. An in-game note points out that the tricks seen in the game ought not be tried by anyone in the real world, but it might be a good idea to remind any children who might be playing that what they are seeing is not physically possible and that trying to recreate the action on screen is extremely dangerous. Moms and dads should also be aware that plenty of authentic off-road racing manufacturers' logos are shown in the game. Pure features an online racing mode for up to 16 players. Common Sense Media does not recommend online play for anyone under 12 years of age.
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What's it about?
A fantasy off-road racing game along the same lines as the PlayStation 2's popular ATV Offroad Fury series, PURE is a highly polished, accessible, and surprisingly deep ATV racing experience. It begins with a brief tutorial that lasts only about five minutes and explains more or less everything players need to know to play, such as preloading front suspension just prior to jumps to gain maximum air, and how to pull off wild tricks. From there, players can head into the 10 stage World Tour mode, which features about 50 races, go to the garage to design their own ATVs using a wonderfully robust vehicle editor, or jump online to race head-to-head against up to 15 other people.
Pulling of aerial stunts after hitting enormous jumps is a big part of the Pure experience. These stunts power up an onscreen \"thrill\" meter, which can be used to provide a speed boost in any race. Plus, performing long trick combination is the only way to win freestyle events, which aren't judged based on speed but rather score. The good news is that nailing tricks is a snap; just push any direction on the control stick and press one of three face buttons that correspond to easy, medium, and hard stunts. The strategy comes in knowing how many tricks you can pull off in a single jump, and making sure you land in the proper position to hit the next trail or ramp. It's so fun and accessible that even players who normally don't like the idea of tricking in racing games might be tempted to give it a go.
Is it any good?
When players aren't marveling at their aerial acrobatics, they'll likely be admiring Pure's tracks. From a Californian airplane boneyard to a gorgeous New Zealand glacier, the locales are both imaginative and exotic. They're also big, featuring countless trails that lead to a variety of shortcuts and major tricking areas. In order to win some races you'll need to watch your computer controlled opponents to learn the quickest route through the maze of paths. It's a challenging game, especially near the end. Players will need to re-race many events multiple times, using each lap to learn a little more about the fastest racing lines and the smartest areas in which to trick, before finally placing first. Luckily, the sheer thrill of racing in Pure keeps the frustration of repeating events at a minimum.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about off-roading safety. Because of the way it is presented, do you have any sympathy for the game avatars when they crash spectacularly into trees or plummet down crevasses? Compare the action on screen with any potential real world activities you may be involved in, such as mountain biking, motocross, snowmobiling, or even skateboarding. Does it appear as though the game's riders are taking proper safety measures with their riding outfits and vehicles?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.