Review

Split/Second Velocity never really got the credit we think it deserved. It is quite simply one of the most exciting, exhilarating and enjoyable racers available on the Xbox 360 and PS3. Unfortunately, it was released at a time when so many other titles were crammed into the same month and as we all know, there’s only so many games you can play at a time!

Split Second takes puts the player in a fictional reality TV program where each ‘series’ of the show is set in a different location or around a different theme and around 8 races per series (12 series in total). The level designs and locations range from racing around an old docklands with huge ships anchored on the shore to an industrial zone where you race under and between power stations to city levels where racing down a dual carriage way into a city centre is the norm. All this at unbelievable speeds with other racers trying to get into first place by any and all means.

The races themselves in Split/Second Velocity are a variation of a winning formula – get to the end of the race in a top 3 position to earn leaderboard points to win the series. If you have enough points at the end of the series you go into a final race which if you win, gives you a choice of which series you want to enter next.

The races are made up of bog standard ‘first to cross the line’ and ‘time trials’ but also have a couple of interesting races where you have to race a helicopter and oil tankers while avoiding various obstacles.

The big twist in Split Second are the power plays you earn and unleash on the other racers and the racing environment. There are a maximum of 3 bars you can fill, each one that gets filled (from things like drifting, dodging obstacles and getting into a higher place) you can cause various explosions or obstacles for other drivers to avoid. Taking them out in true Burnout style, you can get ahead of the pack. However, you have to be careful because being at the front of the race makes you a prime target for everyone else so expect explosions to bet set off by other racers just as much as you cause them.Split Second PS3 Xbox 360 Game Review Play Eject

If you save up your power play bars, at certain times in races you will see a different icon flash up where you can unleash a massive track-changing power play. This can work to your benefit to not only take down rivals but also change the layout of the current course which could (but not always) be a faster alternative. There’s nothing better than waiting to unleash a massive power play on two or 3 rival drivers who’ve been leading all race by blowing up the railway line at the side of the track, causing the train to wreck the other racers, smash up the course and you go flying over them all thanks to a handily destroyed building!

The Multiplayer aspect of Split/Second Velocity is mad. Playing this game on single player is exciting and the AI is excellent but its nothing compared to playing against real life competitors who know where the best short cuts and power plays are. At first, it can be off putting to see others in faster cars and winning races but the level-up system is clever and it wont be long before you’re zipping along at incredible speeds, taking down other racers then desperately trying to avoid random explosions as you keep hold of 1st place.

Its a real shame that Split Second missed a lot of gamers radars. For fans of Burnout, this is a must. For a more serious racing fan it might not appeal but there’s no mistaking the speed and action that Black Rock studios have managed to cram into one excellent racer.

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