Many have described the racing Split/Second as Black Rock Studios’ big follow-up to Pure; an intense off-road racer that proved to be one of the year 2008’s biggest driving games. Split/Second takes things to a bit of a more sophisticated level, as the gameplay revolves around the fact that you are participating in a reality TV show, the goal of which is to utterly defeat your opponents in cool and stylish ways. The draw of this is that there are, in fact, many different cool and stylish ways through which your opponents can be totally obliterated.
Another game that Split/Second seems rather akin to is Burnout. Like in Burnout, it’s possible to kill other competing racers in all sorts of ways. However, quite unlike in Burnout, in Split/Second you charge up a power meter by pulling off cool stunts. Then, once you near an area in a level where you can activate a destructive event (like the knocking over of very large crates, explosions, etc.) then you will be given the option to do so. Still, activating events depletes points from your power meter, so it’s up to the player to decide when and where he should activate events. Sometimes events can cause massive explosions that even alter the very course of the track, or open up new shortcuts. Sometimes both.
As you can probably tell, this is a very arcade-style game. Fans of Gran Turismo may be put off by the unrealisticness of the races, as cars zoom through levels, navigating the areas at entirely ridiculous speeds, pulling off entirely ridiculous stunts in the process. At any rate, you have to admit it all looks very, very pretty. The explosions are topnotch, and the game runs at a beautiful 30 frames per second. At last report the game supports up to eight cars on the track, which seems a little measly, but hopefully it’s been bumped up since then. After all, Mario Kart Wii supports at least 12 players.
Split/Second is a high profile racing game that Black Rock Studio intends to ship for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC in Spring of 2010.