A brilliant arcade racer that gives Burnout a run for it's money.
I went into Split/Second after playing the demo many, many times, and I was very impressed. The graphics, sense of speed, sound, all top notch. Split/Second was developed by Black Rock Studio based in Brighton, UK, and they have, by making this game, almost made a rivalry with Criterion, who are based not too far away in the UK, the creators of the Burnout series. I for one think that this time however, Black Rock have made th e better game. Burnout Paradise to me seemed too overwhelming, and the open world concept did not work well, as I instead prefer preset laid-out tracks. This is where Split/Second delivers. It feels like a graphically enhanced version of Burnout Revenge, but with the concept of power plays thrown into the mix.
Power plays are to me what makes Split/Second fun. Basically, after drifting, drafting and jumping, you earn more power on an on-screen gauge that is strategically positioned behind your car, so you can focus on what is going on in the race, and not worry about the heads-up display. So, when you fill this meter up, you can use it's power to turn the environment around you against your opponents. The bar is split into 3 different sections, 2 sections for level 1 power plays, like blowing up a bus or a van, or even some larger objects in the game. When you fill it up in all 3 sections, you can deploy level 2 power plays, and this is when the fun starts. You can take down skyscrapers, bring down planes, blow up cooling towers and more. My personal favorite's are the level 2 power plays that are in 2 parts, because after blowing it up once, you have to do another lap before seeing how you can expand upon it. For example, you can blow up a ship, which when blown you can drive through, but after you use the 2nd level 2 power play on it, the whole thing moves, and creates this huge (big-ass) ramp that sends you hurtling through the air, and it lands you on top of an aircraft carrier.
The game also has lag-free online multiplayer, with many of the different race modes available for play. The game does a good job of finding opponents quickly and getting into the action nice and fast. T he only faults I could find with this game (hence the score of 4.5/5) are the several glitches when driving through the canyon track, and the way that the game deals with crashes. I found myself too often barely scraping the side of a wall, yet crashing horribly. These are only minor problems in a game that is mostly a fun, enjoyable, summer blockbuster of a racer.