Game Review – Split Second: Velocity

SPLIT/SECOND is an intense action-racing game where speed meets strategy in a city rigged for destruction, set within the world of a hyper-competitive reality television show. Racing to the finish line takes on added excitement when competitors trigger destruction on the track to take out their opponents. Competitors vie to be the first across the finish line in a made-for-TV city built for destruction, with the ultimate goal of becoming the season champion.

Game: Split Second: Velocity

Platforms: PC, 360,PS3, iPhone

Developer: Black Rock Studio

Publisher: Disney

It’s the last lap and there’s only three of us left.

I can see 4th and 5th place ,in my rear mirror, wrapped in a fiery tumbling embrace of metal and seared flesh. Still could have been worse, could have ended up the same way as 6th, poor 6th who never saw that bus roll into the road until it was too late.

The petrol station erupts in front of me I realize I don’t have the luxury of remorse. I hammer on the gas and say a silent prayer to the automobile gods who have blessed me with a great pit crew, heat resistance tires and an armour plated chassis that would make the KITT 2000 blush. I don’t break a sweat as the flames engulf the car, instead I concentrate on the road and weave my way through the debris littered in front of me, hoping those behind aren’t so lucky. I make it out the other end and straight into a sharp right.

“Drift you need more drift!” I hear mike, the most enthusiastic of my pit team scream the obvious into my headset. I hit the brakes then activate the drift mode in the same motion, the car responds as it always does… to perfection. I feel the back end slide out but I’m in control and allow myself a smile as the power meter fills. Now it’s a whole new racing world. Now I’m no longer unarmed.

We turn into a straight and I move in behind the pole position car. I can feel my car’s speed increasing as I catch his drift, I note  the  pun but don’t have the time to enjoy it, not at this speed and this opponent. He’s already put twelve drivers in the hospital and three in the …SHIT! I yank the wheel right as his tail lights come on and barely have time to swerve around the braking car.

In the split second it takes me to realise what his plan is I see the orange light in the distance warning me of the impending power play…this is not good. I’d heard the producers of the show were going to try something new this season, something that would really boost the ratings.

How bad can it be?

Then I see the passenger Jet in a headlong dive towards me and I get my answer. It hits the tarmac hard and the sound it makes takes out my left ear drums, the shock wave shattering the window tearing my face to a bloody mess. I block out the tons of plane wreckage sliding towards me, like some metallic breached whale, the cars behind me, my pit crew bellowing advice in my good ear and I focus. I grip the steering wheel, focus on the only thing that matters now…the finishing line and I hope I’m as good as the thirty million prime-time viewers think I am.

Split Second is an Arcade racer from developed by Black Rock Studio and published by Disney Interactive Studios and in case that overblown, self indulgent intro didn’t give you a clue this is one of my favourite games this year (don’t worry Red Dead you’re still safe Amigo).

You see when it comes to racing on consoles I’ve never really been into Racing sims. When my friends have been playing  the latest Colin Macrae I’m still playing my old version of Sega Rally so for me Split Second is a godsend.

I’m an arcade racer and proud of it. My first port of call with any racer I load up is to make sure it’s not given me the manual driving option…’automatic all the way please Mr Racing game’. Realism is not my friend in a racing game what I’m after is crazy speeds and good arcade fun. Split Second delivers that promise and then says screw it let’s make more fun and blow the crap out of everything.

The graphics are stunning and together with a great frame rate and ear-splitting sound effects create a real sense of driving faster than you can see. There were even a few times  when, like the wimp I am that am, I slowed down as I couldn’t handle the speed and figured any moment now it was going to be a case of bonnet meet wall (which looks pretty damn painful in this game).

The controls are easy to get to grips with and extremely responsive. A tutorial is provided but not really needed as it doesn’t take long before you’re pulling off ridiculously long drifts and jumps.

The action is frantic and some of the set pieces, which include, dodging jets, falling buildings and radio towers, being attacked by gunships and crashing ocean liners really get the old ticker jumping. If there’s a downside it’s that events are always triggered in the same position so you can plan for them after a few replays but to be honest it’s so much fun you don’t really care or at least I didn’t.

There are some great game modes in there as well which should keep you entertained for a while. One of my faves is Detonation in which after a the time limit expired the last placed car explodes and the then the timer starts again…now if that doesn’t make do some crazy stuff to get ahead of your opponents nothing will.

So in short if you love arcade racers and want to play one with more set pieces than about five(dunno why five, seemed like a good number) disaster films put together then give Split Second a go.

Buy Rent or Avoid Rating: Buy

Source: Split Second

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