By Punkgasm 4 Comments
Read the original post on my blog!
I know it's hard to try and make accurate comparisons between two games that haven't been released yet, but since the demos are both out for consumption now, and both titles being in direct competition with each other, I feel its more than reasonable to judge the two side by side.
Only two titles will be battling it out for racer supremacy this Summer. Both Split/Second (from Black Rock Studios and Disney Interactive) and Blur (from Bizarre Studios and Activision) are hitting store shelves at the end of May, and both games have been getting a lot of attention and a number of comparisons have been made, but only eyes-on.
Having spent time with the demos for each game, I think it is pretty clear which one is worth buying and which one is a solid rental. Here's a break down of each game's features.
- 72 events through 12 chapters
- 8-player online
- 2-player split screen
- Power Plays change the track and wreck other racers
- dozens of vehicles
- 14 real-world locations
- over 8 power-ups to use
- 20-player online
- 4-player split screen
- customizable load-outs
- dozens of licensed vehicles
Make what you will of the each game's features, but having experienced both of them, I can tell you that Blur offers a more comprehensive racing experience. It has more features and options, and really intense, competitive gameplay. It's also being handled by the veteran racing game developers at Bizarre Studios, the same team who forged their path to greatness with the Project Gotham Racingseries, as well as experimental titles like The Club and arcade classics like Geometry Wars and Boom Boom Rocket. The game has a solid frame-rate well above 30fps at all times, even in multiplayer, and has eye-popping neon-fused effects throughout the racing experience. Power ups are a strong game mechanic, and players can use them strategically at any point during a race.
Split/Second also has competitive gameplay, but the Power Plays get old pretty quick. You can't use them whenever you want, only when a notification pops up on screen suggesting you use it there. And even then, I only used them sparingly, as once I was in first place, I felt no need to implement them. The game is very pretty with lots of effects and explosions, and has very high production values, but the frame-rate couldn't keep with the action 100% of the time, and I found myself distracted by the crazy stuff going on around me. But I didn't have to worry about running into anything or anyone, as I got out front quickly and the track was pretty wide. It was all rather vanilla, and a little annoying seeing the same events play out in front me over and over again.
Both games have solid handling and physics, although Split/Second was a bit slippery for my taste, and Blur does tend to be on the floaty side, but it doesn't rob you of any fun. They both present flashy arcade experiences and I have no doubt that both games will sell well. However, I get the feeling that S/S is aimed at a younger demographic that thrives on mindless explosions and excessive grandeur, whereas Blur represents a more sophisticated crowd that appreciates a more tactical racing experience amidst the neon glow. Both games have the "whiz!-bang!-pow!" players expect from an arcade racer, but I get this nagging feeling that Blur is of a higher caliber. I know the respective demos are very different, what with Split/Second's being strictly single-player and only offering one car and track to play with, and Blur's huge multiplayer-only demo with several cars and tracks and even multiple race-types to try out. The demo for Blur, in my opinion, gives a much clearer idea of what you'll be getting with the full package, whereas the demo for S/S seems to be intentionally limiting the experience.
So what do you think? Will Blur pull away with a victory this summer, or will Split/Second blow away the competition with it's blockbuster presentation?