Split Second is a new racing game coming from Black Rock Studios who’s making it their first outing in the racing genre. Split Second was the only title Disney Interactive had on the show floor and gave gamers the chance to check it out. When the second day of the conference came about, I got in as early as possible to get in a seat to play the game. There was only two laps available per race, but I managed to make it 4 to get a good feel for the game.
To start, there is no HUD screen whatsoever; your HUD details are right on the back bumper of the car. This shows how many laps you have left and on the left side it shows you what place you’re in the race. There is what you would call a power bar which once it fills up your given the chance to knock out some of the opposition with Power Plays. This happens when you drift, draft and jump through the race to earn your meter. These are points in the game where you take out the racers. Much like the Burnout series where you are able to completely knock people out by crashing their cars, you can interact with the environment to do just that. Once an icon pops up if you press the A button there are triggered explosions that if timed right can destroy the opposition. Although, be careful yourself as you can easily wreck your own car if your not paying attention.
The game is fast and you can easily get lost in the speed of the game. You can build up your power bar and unlock route changers. These route changes effectively change the course. Remember, Split Second is based on a fictional reality race show, and the entire city is designed for destruction. You can use these event triggers to take out other drivers and change the race completely. These route changers also help you with shortcuts throughout the race so you can ahead as quickly as possible. There are 3 race classes to choose, muscle cars, speed cars and trucks. Muscle cars are the bulkier cars of the group and can handle the track and turns. Speed cars are obviously the faster cars of the group and are a little hard to maneuver as well so you may spin out at times with them. The Trucks are your standard racing Trucks like you would see in NASCAR for instance.
Much like Modern Warfare 2 is a Hollywood shooter; Split Second is a Hollywood racer and displays it wonderfully so. The visuals looked great and everything was top notch that I could see. We’ve certainly had our titles from the genre, but it looks like Split Second is about to bring something different to the table and we all know that change is a good thing. Split Second will be releasing on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC on May 18th in North America and May 21st in Europe.