Whoever thought that there might be a decline in the number of racing games, May 2010 has showed us that is far from reality. May among being one of the best months of gaming in recent memory, also is jam packed full of arcade racers. Today we are checking out Split/Second from Black Rock Studio the developers behind the very popular ATV racer Pure which came out a few years back. Now going into the arcade car racing genre, does Split/Second have what it takes to compete in a very crowded field? Read our full review to find out.
When I first put in Split/Second I came into it with an empty slate. I had heard very little about the game and had not seen very much coverage of the game from the major outlets. As I mentioned at the onset of this review, this has been a packed first half of 2010 so it’s not surprising that some games might get overlooked. In all honesty that all changed the moment I started my first race in Split/Second where I saw the mayhem that was brought to life in this game.
I have seen my fair share of over the top arcade racers in my ten plus years of reviewing video games so I feel like I have a good idea of what to look for in this genre. With Split/Second you will notice right away that the action is fast and chaotic. You build up power by drifting, drafting, and of course getting as much air as possible off of jumps. This power is then used to reek havoc on the environment and by doing so taking out your opponents. I have to say the first few times I triggered these events it was breathtaking. Each of the eleven tracks in Split/Second has unique take downs that are all unique and quite stunning.
Split/Second has a single player campaign which is loosely (and I mean very loosely) tied to a reality TV show, but to be honest its just a rather cheap way of stringing races together. It’s an alright premise and does its job in moving you through the games different tracks and for that it gets the job done. The other hook is the online play which isn’t all that deep just giving the basic options to jump into a race. I did find that lag was at times detracted from the experience but that was neither a consistent issue nor one that plagued every race.
So flat out the racing in Split/Second is actually really good, in fact it’s excellent. There is one glaring issue though and that is that Split/Second is sort of a one trick pony. After a couple of hours of playing through the game you quickly loose the excitement of the takedowns and it becomes a rather run of the mill arcade racing game.
Visually Split/Second is really on par if not even a little ahead of the curve when it comes to the representation on the track. First off the way that the environment literally crumbles before your eyes is quite impressive. I was also quite impressed by the fact that the game manages to really keep its head above water with a solid frame rate even when the action in the game becomes overwhelming.
Split/Second is a blast for the first couple of hours, and its even more fun in those first couple of hours if you are playing with a friend. What happens unfortunately far too quickly however is that the game becomes saturated and the experiences that once got your blood pumping are now just part of the game. The experience though is still an enjoyable one, it manages to offer really good arcade racing that although may not have the lasting appeal still is quite enjoyable while it lasts.
Split/Second is one of those games that has a really solid concept and runs with it from start to finish. What ends up happening with this game though is that it looses that initial flare and ends up fizzling into a pretty standard arcade racing title. I do think Split/Second is worth a look, it makes for a great weekend game, and let’s face it who doesn’t love driving around and blowing stuff up.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.