So, Split/Second. One of the more recent racing games out there. Promoted with promising a '"Hollywood'' experience, players get to race in various destructible environments, never having any race that is the same and promising excitement all around. Will the team behind popular racing game ''Pure'', Black rock studios again deliver a fun racing experience or will Split/Second really only leave a short impression? Click on ''read more'' to find out!
What if you have an arcade racer and a multi-billion Micheal Bay movie and put them together in a blender, The result would be shrapnel, but jokes aside, that's what Split/Second is in a nutshell. The player is put in the position of a contestant in a fictional TV-Series '"Split/Second'', and apparently the producers are the single most rich people in the world, as they can buy entire cities and rig explosives in them, but aside from the fact that such a show in real life-is impossible, we needn't forget that this is fiction, and immerse ourselves in the experience.
The game certainly does it's best to create a believable experience that one is participating in said TV Show, the game doesn't call the ''Stages'' Stages, but rather "Seasons'', and there are twelve different seasons, with six episodes per season, each episode representing one event like a race or something similar. Before and after each season, you get a nice little montage, like a real TV series, what previously had happened, and teases with what is up to come. Everything in the game's presentation literally screams Hollywood and TV Series, so the game certainly appropriately delivered on that. One really feels he or she is participating in a TV series.
This is also reflected in the gameplay, the HUD is kept to an absolute minimum, there is no Mini-Map or anything similar. The only Information you have is displayed on the back of your car, which shows the Lap Number, your Position and your Energy, nothing more nothing less. This was actually quite a smart move by the designers, as the place where you will be looking at most in a racing game is YOUR car, right? Sure, every once in a while you will watch to an upcoming corner, or a car that passes by, but you don't want your eyes all over the place. Split/Second cleverly fixes that problem, and i can really see other games taking this concept over. It's smooth, slick, and most important of all, it's not in the way.
|With less clutter on your screen, you can really enjoy and immerse.|
Well not, I did mention explosives did I not? This is one of the biggest gameplay parts in Split/Second, when drifting or drafting, you collect energy. Fill up 1/3 of your energy bar and you can execute what the game calls a ''Power Play''. Most light power plays lets some explosive barrels drop, or let some cars explode, I even saw a few real impressive ones like buildings collapsing. With these Power Plays you can wreck your opponent, taking away their spot. Obviously, other AI players can utilize the same power play against you, so the game is can really dish out some unexpected jabs at you, which can sometimes provide frustration, but the game always gives a fair chance. The larger Power Plays can even change the course of the track drastically, creating an entirely new route, or letting an entire dam (Yes, and entire frigging dam, apparently Split/Second doesn't care about the welfare of other humans ) collapse. Such Power Plays always yield great result and it always feels satisfying to be in last place, then to have an airplane crash and snag in third or second place. Again, Hollywood is the key
Said explosives, tracks and cars are all very visually pleasing, and with so many destructible environments and route-changing power-plays, no race will indeed be the same. The graphics look slick and really mesh with the game style, and the explosions really sometimes make you stare in awe.
Simple arcade racing is not the only thing you can do though, there are various different events like dodging a helicopters missiles, trying to survive every powerplay detonated in a course, called ''Detonator'', and more, and these event mesh seamlessly in the Career Mode, making sure you things will feel fresh every time around, and that you don't get stuck by getting bored by doing the same thing over and over again.
However, for every good thing, there must be a bad thing as well. There are 11 different Courses/Tracks, but some are just slight variations of the other. The game, especially in the beginning stages, begs for more variety. It is only when you get halfway into the career mode when you have a good variation of tracks for each events, it is enough to prevent the player to get bored, but only barely.
As for online, it's basically what you are used to in the Career Mode, only upped a notch. Mix the ''Normal'' Race that you come across in Career Mode with '"Detonator'' and you have a pretty good idea what online races look like, literally everything will explode and collapse, so either this is extremely fun to you surviving amidst all the chaos, or will frustrate you to no end.
Split/Second, overall, looks very visually pleasing, and provides solid gameplay, and good fun overall, The game certainly delivers on it's promoting aspects ''Hollywood and Action'', and is easy to pick up and play. However, the lack of tracks, and online being mostly the same cars and being a little predictable, makes the worth of this game for re-playability a bit low. If you are curious, it's definitely worth a rental, or even a purchase if you are a fan of a good solid arcade racer.
Split/Second is available for the PS3, XBOX360 and PC.