Spit/Second is a racing game based on a fictional reality show for stunt drivers inspired by the explosive styling of Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer. The player must qualify to appear in the next 'episode', and finally to become the 'season' champion. The game is also known as Split/Second Velocity in other regions of the world (like Europe).
The player races around a "fake" made for TV city that is rigged with explosives. The game's tutorial is a casting call where you must qualify for the show and the game's opening cinematic shows you the different sets being made. The game pitches the show as a massively popular one that'll be watched by billions.
As to keep with the illusion that you're taking part in a TV show, the game is split up into 12 different episodes each with their own theme. At the end of each episode, the game gives you a short promo of the next one while the "fake" credits roll. The game also has the BRTV (Black Rock TV) logo on the top right corner of the screen.
Season mode is the game's "story" mode and is divided into 12 different episodes. In each episode, you have to complete to move on (see Race Types). Winning each event nets you credits and once you have enough credits you unlock the Elite Race. The Elite Race is the last of the six event and is championship that goes on through the entire Season Mode. According to your rank at the end of the race, you win a certain number of points. At the end of each episode there is an Elite Race and you must rank well enough to be number one by the end of the season. You must complete this race in order to get to the next episode.
During an episode, there is always one race that is locked : the Bonus Round. To unlock this race, you must do certain things like wreck a certain number of opponents. The Bonus Round lets you get even more credits that are automatically used to get new cars and unlock the next Elite Race. Once you've completed an episode, the game lets you chose what episode you want to play next.
Drifting, drafting and overtaking nets the player power, which is in turn added to the distinctive, semi-circular power bar. When one of the three segments is full, the player can activate a Power Play. Depending on the amount of power earned, the effect of the Power Play differs. Earning more segments increases the effect on the environment and opponents.
Some Power Plays are purely offensive in use, causing explosions and mayhem to take out your opponents. Power Plays can also open shortcuts temporarily, allowing the player to shave seconds off the lap time or gain position in the race. However, once a Power Play meter is filled to its maximum, significant changes to the track can be made through massive destruction of the environment, altering the course for the remainder of the race.
The game tells you when you can use a Power Play on an opponent and the color of the icon over the other cars indicates what kind of Power Play you are about to trigger (blue is a levels 1 Power Play while Bordeaux colored ones are level 2 Power Plays). You can be destroyed by your own Power Play and a Power Play used against an opponents car isn't guaranteed to hit which means that there is a certain amount of timing involved. When your timing is perfect, the game can zoom in slow motion to show you the wreck or can offer you to watch the crash again as an action replay. Sometimes your Power Play wrecks an opponent indirectly (The blast of the explosion can send a car flying out of control and into a wall).
Power Plays can sometimes be used multiple times on the same object. For example, in one of the construction site tracks you pass next to a building that is in construction. The first time you use a Power Play on it, it triggers an explosion and part of the top of the building starts hanging off. The second time, the top bit falls and creates ramp. The third time, the entire building falls on its side and the cars must pass under it.
Sometimes, to show you just how powerful the Power Play is, the game music cuts off to let you hear the blast of what is happening.
The heads-up-display is designed in a unique way, as all related track information (position, laps, power play level) appear around your car as you are racing so that you don't have to look up in the corners and risk crashing and there is better visibility so you can see every detail of the massive destruction around you. The HUD also tells you when you can activate a Power Play on the enemy in front of you.
Split/Second has different race modes. Each race mode is automatically unlocked in quickplay after completing it in the career.
The classic race type. You must do laps around the track and try to come in first. To help you do this, you can use your Power Plays to destroy your opponents.
Time attack with a twist. You must do a lap around the track, trying to beat a certain time with a car that the game chooses for you. While you're trying to do your lap, the game starts triggering Power Plays against you. A good knowledge of the track and where the Power Plays are is required to succeed.
The car in last place is disqualified after each countdown. The first countdown starts at 50 seconds and once that countdown is finished, the other ones last 20 seconds each until only one car remains. Power Plays are on during this event and there is an achievement/trophy that requires you to pass an opponent when there is only one second left on the countdown.
In this game mode you must dodge explosive barrels that are thrown at you from the back of a big rig. You win points by passing a big rig and for every third big rig you pass, you increase your multiplier. The trucks throw different kinds of barrels at you: blue barrels damage your car while red barrels are an automatic crash. Getting hit by multiple blue barrels at the same time will make your car crash. Your goal is to get a high score before the timer runs out. Once the timer does run out, the game goes into sudden death where one crash means an automatic game over.
You must dodge each wave of missiles fired from a helicopter. The game shows you where the missiles will land and you must do your best to dodge them. You earn points after passing each wave, the number of points depending if you got partially hit by a missile or not (perfect wave). You have three lives to complete the event and after every three waves, your multiplier increases. Going to slowly will result in automatic elimination.
This is your chance to get back at the helicopter. As always, he fires missiles at you that you must dodge. After completing a wave, you get to fire a missile back at the helicopter. You must do this under a certain time and the event ends once the helicopter's life bar is reduced to zero or that the timer runs out.
There are no licensed cars appearing in Split/Second, rather the team has designed their own fictional car brands that are unlockable over the entirety of the game's mode selections, rewarding the player with new vehicles however they play. The cars are either unlocked by progression (like getting to the next level) or credits that are awarded to you at the end of each race. You can also download an add-on for the game that will unlock all the cars. Each car has different stats and some cars are better for certain situations then others. For example, the pick-ups have slow acceleration but good speed and they are tough meaning that they are less likely to go crashing out of control after getting hit by a Power Play.
|Cobretti 445 GT|
|Hanzo Indus V8R|
|Cobretti GT RS|
|Cobretti Nero GT400|
|Hanzo Bayonet R|
|Elite 440 Special|
|Cobretti 530 GTS|
|Ryback Cyclone RS|
Tracks are heavily influenced by action movies set pieces and chases rather than specific locations, with the emphasis being on environmental hazards and dynamic track deformation. The tracks are littered with different booby traps and aids that the players can trigger during the race through the use of a 'Power Play'. Along with these are other various traps and features that can either help or hurt the player. For example, helicopters flying overhead can drop bombs on opponents while a gas station might explode as you drive past it.
Race Mode Tracks include:
- Airport Terminal
- Downtown Central
- Construction Site
- Port Bridge
- Ferry Wharf
- Dry Docks
- Airplane Graveyard
- Storm Drain
- Power Plant
- Quarry (Onslaught DLC)
Split/Second has both online and offline split-screen multiplayer modes. Online pits you against 7 other racers in all the race modes that are found offline (except helicopter attack and revenge). Split/Second has a rank system. You start at an online form of 99 and your goal is to get all the way down to 1. To improve your form, you must place in the top half (4th or higher in an 8-player lobby, 3rd or higher in a 6-player lobby, etc.). The game lets you play in ranked matches a well as private. In the lobby, the game lets you know how powerful their car is and what rank they're currently on. Like in single player, you can use Power Plays on your online friends and foes and can also use the cars that you've unlocked in offline modes. The game also offers a two player split-screen mode that's the same as the online mode except with no leveling up.
Split/Second had day one DLC packs. These packs let you unlock all the cars and tracks in the game and came at a price. The developers later announced 4 other DLC packs that would provide new content.
The first pack brings super charged cars that are supposed to give you the edge on your opponents. The second pack, named "High Octane Super Car Pack", also provides new high speed vehicles. The third pack is free, a gift to players and features a car similar to the Ryback Cyclone.
On October 12th (11th for PSN) the "Survival at the Rock" DLC pack was released for both PS3 and 360 at a price of $6.99 or 560 Microsoft points. It is 281MB and comes with an all new track: Minepit Park Quarry. Like other Split/Second tracks, the Minepit is rigged with explosives that you can detonate against your enemies. The pack also comes with 3 new cars and the Ryback Coyote special. Also included is a new survival level on the Minepit track where you must dodge exploding barrels being thrown out of a big rig.
On October 19th (18th for PSN) the "Deadline pack" DLC was released for PS3 and 360 for for 4.99$ or 400 Microsoft points. This pack introduced a new game mode called Deadline. The player must race around the track while a timer ticks down. To freeze the timer, you must drift to pick up power ups that freeze it. The DLC also comes with 4 new cars.
In early November, the "Quarry Onslaught" pack was released: first for the 360 on November 2nd at a price of 800 Microsoft points, then on November 8th for the PS3 at $9.99. This pack included the new Quarry track that can be played in any game mode and the new Onslaught mode, which is similar to Airstrike, but with multiple cars.
Split/Second was demoed during E3 2009. In the demo, the player was racing through an airport. Throughout the race, the player revealed shortcuts, destroyed an entire bridge, caused a communications tower to collapse, and even dodged a large jet that skidded across the track. The other level shown at E3 was the docks. The HUD showed the racing info displayed on and under the car's bumper.
- You can tilt the game's menu screens with the right stick.
- The achievements and trophies that you've won are used as decals on your car.
- Staying on a certain car in the car select screen for a long time triggers a cutscene of the car.
- All cars resemble licensed cars.
- There is an unlockable car (the Class C "Ryback Mohawk XDX") with a Disney XD skin and minor performance tweaks, apparently due to the developer/publisher relationship between Disney Interactive Studios and Black Rock Studios. More info can be found from the game's official UK game site.
A sequel to Split/Second has yet to be announced, but the game's ending leaves open the possibility for a sequel. Once you've finished the game's season mode, the announcer congratulates you as your car proudly stands on the podium. Suddenly, everything around the podium starts blowing up. The game show host makes it clear that this wasn't planned, and realizes that those responsible are a group of people who were part of a show that was cancelled in the 80s. As they seize control of construction trucks, wrecking everything in their way, a truck with a wrecking ball swings at the camera at which point the screen goes to black and the words "To be continued..." appear.
PC System Requirements
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 2.53 GHz, AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5600
- GPU: NVIDIA Geforce 8800 GT, ATI Radeon HD 3870
- Memory: 2.5 GB
- Hard Disk Space: 6.5 GB
- DirectX 9
PlayStation 3-specific features
Split/Second does not support custom soundtracks.
The PSP version of Split/Second is scheduled to release on November 16th in the US, and November 18th in Europe. Weighing in at 133MB, the demo includes only one track, the Aircraft Graveyard, and three cars:
- Cobretti GT RS
- Cobretti Vortex
- Hanzo GT
The track appears to be a direct port of the console version, including all of the level 1 and 2 powerplays (referred to as "Standard Powerplay" and "Super Powerplay") and shortcuts.
In addition to the information above, the demo claims the full game will include:
- 12 episodes with 72 events
- 25 vehicles
- 4 player ad-hoc multiplayer
- "Unique challenges specific to the handheld"
- "Completely new track based on The Docks environment"
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