Wow! This is the breath of fresh air
that I needed in 2010 and with so many car games being released and yet
to be released this year, I wanted something like a popcorn movie
experience... fast, fun and friggin' awesome! This was THAT game!
From the creators of
PURE, probably one of the most underrated off-road games of 2008,
Black Rock Studios bring us Split/Second, a high speed car game that
uses environmental triggers to knock your racing competitors into
millions of pieces as you whiz on by.
The game is reminiscent of a variety of
titles that include Burnout, Mario Karts and more recently Blur but in
my books, this game is far superior due to the uniqueness of
environmental triggers as opposed to traditional powerups in kart games
that include shields, missiles and the like.
triggers are called power plays that basically has the world that you
race in linked to high explosives and other dangerous traps. In order to successfully use these
power plays, some timing is involved because there's no point in
pressing it when you opponent is just out of the way. Although at
its core, Split/Second is an apt racing game, the inclusion of using
jumps, drifts and drafts to boost up your trigger meter makes for a
thoroughly enjoyable racing experience that will definitely get your
By building up your power-play meter and at
certain points in the race, the game will prompt you to engage in one of
your power plays which may include a bus exploding, a crane moving its
giant ball on the road or my favourite, a Titanic like ship in the dry
docks sliding its way onto the road, knocking out all your opponents.
was quite amazed at how interactive the environment is but best of all,
this works both ways and you need to pay attention to what you are
racing by because these triggered events can also impede on your race
position. Apart from making life hell to your racing opponents, they can
also be used to activate shortcuts such as opening garage doors or
lowering ramps for you to drive on. Pretty damn sweet if you ask me!
In terms of a solo experience, the game features a great single-player
mode that allows the player to engage in a season of the "popular"
reality TV series called Split/Second. Just imagine if you had an
unlimited budget, you could create the most outrageous racing
environments ever from 21st century utopian cities to airports and
constructions sites, ensuring that the racer cannot rest on their
laurels, not knowing what is around the corner. These episodes, 12 to be
precise are presented as a TV series with slick
introductions but the crux of the matter is the variety of different
modes available to you, the racer.
These include traditional races to
elimination or my two favourites, survival and detonation. For example
in Survival, one race may require you to pass as many trucks as possible in order to
become number one, however these trucks have explosive barrels falling
from them. Sometimes it's easier said than done. Whereas Detonation has
your racing environment blowing up around you as buildings topple and
planes come crashing down. The goal is simple, avoid it all... HA! By
ranking in the top 3 of your events, this unlocks new tracks, gameplays
and vehicles. All in all, there are around 72 challenges to compete in.
Also, for competing each race, you are
awarded credits which can then be used to unlock additional cars and
decals. Each of the cars that you drive have their own pros and cons
such as speed, drifting ability or strength and you need to experiment
which vehicle will work in the particular gameplay mode that you have
The control system works well on the
DualShock controller with the shoulder buttons used to accelerate and
drift/break, the left analog stick to steer and finally the d-pad used to
activate the power plays, change views and most importantly
look behind you because you really need to see who is challenging you.
I'm really trying to think of a flaw for this game but I just can't and
even though it is frustrating to get knocked from spot 1 to spot 5
because of a stupid crash or failing to observe an upcoming environmental
trigger, the game is just too enjoyable. Some may call this a negative
but in my opinion, it is user error, rather than flawed gameplay.
do crash or become victim to one of the environmental triggers,
depending on what position you are in or how many seconds ahead you are, you
generally go back four or five cars that is still usually enough to make
up some time, unless it's the final lap.
Apart from a very cool season mode,
Split/Second supports a Quick Play option but you need to complete the
Seasons mode to unlock new tracks and cars. My favourite is a great two
player split screen option that had me reminiscing to Burnout but for
me, I want more explosions and crashes and this game gave me just that.
Lastly, we have an online mode that allows you to compete in all the
gameplay modes from single-player but online with up to 8 players.
For me, this game reminds me of those classic
arcade racing games that never took themselves too seriously such as
Outrun or some other outrageous SEGA game. However, the graphics are truly a treat on the PS3 with some
stunning attention to detail. The cars feature your traditional
reflective surfaces and high polygon count but it's the environments with
their big budget Hollywood blockbuster sets that had me shaking my head
in amazement. The lighting in the game is first class as are the huge
Hollywood style of explosions and animated triggered events that me
wooing like a kid. Oh Damn... I'm a woo boy!
Audio plays a big part to the gameplay and
I do suggest that you invest in a surround sound system to truly
appreciate this title. The developers make use of this aspect,
especially when the environmental triggers have been let loose as buildings
fall down or you crash at ridiculously high speeds and then your vehicle
smashes into a thousand pieces. The musical score is quite dynamic and
does changes with the action in the game, just like you would expect
from a Hollywood movie of a similar genre. The only thing this game does
not have is actual crash damage while you race and your pretty much
Just imagine every bad Hollywood car movie
slammed into one game and that game is Split/Second. With thoroughly
entertaining driving mechanics, the highlight of Split/Second are the
power plays or environmental triggers that truly make this game bigger than Ben Herr when
it comes to huge Hollywood style explosions and stunts. Enough
yabbering... this game is AWESOME!