Split/Second Preview

May 20, 2010 at 2:19 am | Posted in Articles, PS3 Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Click here to read my exclusive preview of Black Rock Studios explosive new racer Split/Second.

To really get a full experience of Split/Second, you need to play it. The recent demo which was released didn’t really do it justice, some races could be really intense with things happening everywhere, but some could be rather tame, and if the player had gotten used to how the car handles, races could be very uneventful all the way out there in front. Which is why when I was invited to play with a room full of other community sites and the games developer and publishers, I was immediately presented with how awesome this game truly is.

If you’re not fully aware of what Split/Second is, it’s the newest racer off the block from MotoGP original developers Climax, now known as Black Rock Studios, who kept us impressed enough with ATV freestyle racer Pure to sneak in production of their latest project Split/Second. An arcade racer set within a television show where racers can trigger things within the race track, to gain the edge on the race. Here, your environment truly is your weapon, with a staggering amount of different options to take out your opponents, all as visually beautiful as they are dangerous if you’re on the wrong end of one.

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The single player has a large season play, but multiplayer was what I was really there for, 8 players in a room, and we got right into some of the racing.

With your typical racer, the main game type is, your simple circuit racing, only you’ll be fighting for first with the vast array of environmental hazards at your disposal, some unique and special to the tracks. Along with this type, there is also elimination, where after 60 seconds; the player in last is eliminated until its just one racer left standing. These two race types alone, will keep you going for hours on end but to mix things up a little, is the addition of Survival Battle.

When told what Survival Battle actually was, it sounded impressive; the thought of racing around avoiding explosive barrels earning points seemed entertaining enough. It wasn’t until we started the race were we understood how daunting it actually is. Around the race track, driving along with you, are massive 18 wheeler trucks, which are firing red and blue barrels from behind. The blue barrels will throw you about a bit and make you lose control a little, but the red ones will out right ruin you. Overtaking these brutes is what earns you the points, and it’s a race against time to be the one with the highest amount of points. Whilst speaking with the developers, they brought up the fact they watched a lot of Hollywood films in the hope to really capture those moments that make films great, examples of where the idea for explosive spouting juggernauts came from that of films like Terminator 2 and Dark Knights underground tunnel scene.

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The vehicles available we the three we’ve all seen in the demo. This gave us a good idea of what to expect from the full game. Whilst I’m reassured all the cars will be unique in design and feel, they will all fall under 3 categories. Super car, your sleek, sports cars, that can get through the tightest of situations with ease, but is the weakest and can be subjected to being bullied. Muscle, your aggressive medium range cars with an easy to learn but hard to master sense of controls, these cars can dish out the dirt, but don’t get too crazy with them. And finally, the Trucks, everyone loves them, there big, they’re bulky and they like to be the bully of the race track, with surprising top end speeds and a sturdy defense at casual explosions, the trucks can be a dangerous weapon in the right hands. I also learned that nearer the end of the games career mode, a handful of cars will be unlocked in a class known as ‘Elite’ so we can expect some interesting looks and handling coming from those. And as we all know by now, we shall expect more cars in the form of the first DLC pack coming soon, with the ‘Hyper Cars’

The cars all come in a variety of colours to choose but what’s quite a cool feature to note out is what they’ve also implemented into the decal system. Achievements you unlock and earn whilst progressing through the games will appear as small decals added to your vehicle of choice, giving other players a little heads up on what they may expect. As well as this, your racing number online will start at 99. The more races you win and the better positions you come, your number will slowly whittle down until you reach number one. This, along with the achievement decals, act as a calling card for other racers so they know what they’re up against. Similar to Burnouts ‘one to watch’ at the beginning of each race. But don’t let races slip, or your number will slowly work its way back up.

Coming in out in just under a week, Split/Second is a sure hit for all racing fans, with intense racing and some spectacular game modes to keep you going if race isn’t enough. We can’t wait to get our hands on the full game, and neither should you!

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