By Katajero 2 Comments
I'm glad to find out where my Xbox Live Gold Membership money is going to, as I just finished a first run through of the Split/Second demo which arrived on the Xbox 360 today. It looks like the same demo they've been using for the E3 footage and most of the videos online.
Now this game is based on getting points for your power plays to use for thwarting the other racers. Power plays can range from simple attacks such as a helicopter hovering, when triggered will drop an explosive crate and hopefully affect someone unlucky enough to either receive it head first or be near it to feel the impact of the explosion. They can also be much bigger, resulting in bringing down aeroplanes to buildings for widespread damage or route altering attacks. They range from Level 1 to Level 3, of course 3 being the bigger and more powerful of the power plays. If you're a guy who thinks, "With all these power plays, I'd at least want a reason as to HOW I CAN DO THEM? It's not realistic unless it's explained to me" then you shouldn't really play video games. Well basically, just think of a reality TV show where they throw you into their created city and terrains and everything is rigged, with you holding the detonator for the various traps and route altering explosives.
Let me start and say, MY GOD. This game is amazing to watch and play. The sense of speed and action go hand in hand and gives you a total movie experience. You know what I mean, like when the main protagonist needs to escape from danger in a car and all hell is breaking loose around him. After all it is a reality TV show experience, so you'll notice from the get go that the camera follows you with a swerve here and there, let's call it "cinematic style" for now. This is further shown by the edges of the screen, with what looks like the edges of the lenses, probably to further say "Yo, you're looking through a camera, reality TV ho ho!" Graphically... I can't say since this is only just the demo, I mean we all saw God of War 3's demo and final game comparison didn't we? But with the nice hot summer look going on, sort of reminds me of California (I've never been, but I sure seens it on them danfangle television boxes!) Basically, it's a nice looking game, with blurs here and there in for the right situations and that sense of going fast.
Continuing on the notion of the "movie feeling" in the game at certain points, mine happened on my final lap when pretty much everyone had enough bars for power plays. Such an "epic" situation arose twice, firstly as I drove I noticed a skyscraper building blowing up in the back. As it fell, my eyes were fixed on it going down hitting the road in front of me, forcing me to follow a new route. The second moment was actually quite humorous, as I drove on the airstrip, I noticed a plane slowly falling down, until I thought, "Wait a minute... that plane is actually going to crash into the ground... no wait... it's going to fall on me! EVASIVE MANOEUVRE!" Sadly it crushed me but I ended up 1st thanks to some super quick cornering and Level 1 power plays.
As they say, you can't play a game just based on one aspect of the game play, so it's good to say that the driving is actually really solid as well. Cornering was perfect to master and drifting was beneficial. Manoeuvring around explosions and terrain deformation was difficult yet possible. With Maybe a certain other video game can look to this to learn how to make their cornering and drifting more beneficial than hugging the walls... (Hint Hint Blur).
As a racing game, it's quite solid, but with the power plays, it raises the innovation within making a racing game more fun rather than a gruelling process of constantly being hit all the time and not allowing any catch up for players behind. I can't wait to get my hands on the final version and see the other tracks and power play moments. Maybe even play it online with my friends and drop aeroplanes on them too. POWERPLAY, DROP A PLANE ON YO' ASS SON!