We've not heard much from Bizarre Creations since the release of The Club and the subsequent Activision buy-out, so the chance to check out the Xbox 360 multiplayer beta of the forthcoming Blur proved to be irresistible.
The firm's last 360 title - Project Gotham Racing 4 - was a handsome-looking game with native 720p, a rock-solid 30FPS and 2x multisampling anti-aliasing, boosted by excellent post-processing effects that helped to significantly enhance the sense of speed and the realism of the simulation.
With Blur, the approach shifts to a more arcade-like experience, with shades of Mario Kart and WipEout in its use of power-up weaponry and intense vehicle-to-vehicle combat. However, Bizarre's focus on solid-looking visuals and impressive effects work hasn't changed.
So how does the performance look based on the beta code?
The answer is "remarkably well". From start to finish, no matter how much is happening on-screen, Blur maintains its 30 frames per second output without a single dropped frame, and thus not a single fluctuation in the graph, which is as even and consistent as previous record-holder Dante's Inferno.
Tech-wise we see a slight upgrade in the framebuffer format compared with PGR4. The game retains the native 720p resolution, but anti-aliasing is upped to the Xbox 360's maximum 4x MSAA. While background geometry levels are a little on the low side in the beta, the eye is kept occupied owing to the sheer amount of vehicles on-screen at any given moment.
In short, Blur is looking as solid as we would expect from a Bizarre Creations title and we're looking forward to checking out final code on all formats. Blur is due out for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on 28th May.