What We Liked
Garage Rock: The vehicle modification is shockingly detailed for such a cartoonish action game. You start the game in the garage custom building your ATV, selecting everything from the chassis to the handle bar guards. The game even offers up advice on which pieces are best for the game's two primary modes: race or freestyle. You could spend a full day in there before you start racing and as you win new equipment throughout the game, it's back to the garage to update your four-wheeler.
Air It Out: Once you're ready to race, you'll settle into World Tour, a solo career mode where you compete in sprints, races, and freestyle competitions against other AI racers. The action lies in the nausea-inducing aerial tricks. The controls are set up similar to classic Tony Hawk moves: hold down a button and push the left thumb stick in any direction. The goal is to fill your Thrill Bar by progressing through a series of tricks with the X button, the circle button, and triangle button (on the PS3). Pull off enough tricks without crashing, and you're ready to launch a Special Trick by holding down the L1 and R1 buttons and aiming the left thumb stick. It's not all about show-boating-pull off enough consecutive tricks and you get a boost, which rockets your ATV past the competition on straightaways.
Flying the Friendly Skies: Those of you looking for realism in your ATV racing games might want to check out about now. In addition to the ridiculous regular tricks, the special tricks including moves such as standing on your ATV and playing air guitar. The insane air you catch in order to pull off these maneuvers could make the aforementioned Hawk lose his lunch. And that's exactly why this game is so much fun. Kudos go to the producers for allowing you to steer yourself through the air, too. Since you spend so much time flying off ramps, you need to be able to control your flights. Not only can move yourself both left and right, but you can rock forwards and backwards to square on all four wheels and maintain maximum speed.
Freestyle Points: Tricks can help you win races, but in Freestyle Mode, it's all about getting massive air. Pure does a nice job of changing the rules for the different competitions. Instead of just racing through laps while flying through the air, your goal in Freestyle is to maintain a full tank of gas while pulling off any crazy combination of sick tricks. You can pick up various power-ups like gas refills and point doublers by snagging them mid-air or driving through them on the track, Mario Kart-style. The change of focus in Freestyle essentially gives Word Tour two different modes.
View from the Top: You spend the majority of each race hurtling through the air, and the sweeping views from tracks located everywhere from Wyoming to New Zealand to Thailand show off the game's graphics. Postcard perfect vistas come into focus each time you launch off a jump. Just don't get distracted by the picture perfect view or you'll land in last place.
Online: Go online and you can race up to 16 friends or challenge them in freestyle events. Not only are all of the game's single-player modes available online, you can take your challenges to a different level with Freeride. Freeride tracks leaders in everything from fastest lap to highest jump and lets you set up your own competitions.
Check out Pure in action:
What We'd Change
Go It Alone: No tournaments and no head-to-head matchups leave the offline experience feeling a little brief. The bumpy tracks take you by surprise at the start, but as the races wear on, you'll begin noticing a similar set up in each respective location. Once you've mastered the race lines, not much stands between you and total domination.
Crash and Burn: We're all here to have fun, but would it have killed the guys at Disney to add a couple of crash graphics? Miss a landing and instead of plummeting to your death -- probably not their first option -- you simply get reset on the track, mid-race. No damage done and only a few hits to your Thrill Bar. A steeper penalty for crashes and bad jumps could've upped the stakes even higher.
Sound Off: The limited soundtrack will have you memorizing words to songs you don't even like. Also, you'll occasionally hear your character egging on opponents with stale insults… in the middle of a race in which you're in 13th place.
Typos: Maybe this bullet point is for fellow editors only, but typos? Really? When you finish, you're greeted thusly: "Congratulations, you came 1st." How many people saw this game before it was shipped to retailers? No one noticed a missing "in"?
Once you lock into the controls, you'll be pulling off stomach-turning maneuvers at breakneck speeds all the while fending off 15 opponents on the way to the finish line. This game is all about fun and even a lack of depth doesn't take away from the addictive thrill of launching off a cliff into the great wide open. Pure delivers the type of adrenaline rush you expect from a frantic racing game.
-- Reviewed by Paul Ulane, SI.com