PS3 Previews: Split/Second Preview

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Split/Second Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Q1 2010

Publisher:

Disney Interactive

Developer:

Black Rock Studio

Number Of Players:

1-2 (2-8 Online)

Genre:

Racing

Some people may believe there’s only so far you can take a racing game: you can either go uber-simulated or crazy-arcade or somewhere in between, but those are the limits. Every racing game falls within that aforementioned spectrum. Well…maybe Black Rock has a little something to say about that, as their new and very ambitious project may end up being something entirely new in the eyes of racing fanatics. It’s Split/Second, and although it isn’t due out until early next year, it quickly landed a spot on our ever-roaming radar when it was first announced. There were a variety of tidbits we gleaned from that announcement that perked our ears and piqued our interest, and now, IGN has gone hands-on with an early build of the game. This, combined with the baseline details we’ve been able to gather, allows us to get a closer look at a super promising title. Although it’s closer to an arcade-type racer than anything else, there’s an intensity element that should be very, very original.

In some ways, though, Split/Second may be similar to last year’s Need for Speed Undercover, which utilized a Hollywood presence to spice up the premise; it went from simple racer to an action/adventure/racing blend. As Black Rock design director Paul Glancey told IGN: “This is as much an action game as a racing game. It's certainly something different from what other people are doing.” If you’ve forgotten, these are the same guys that produced Pure, one of the best off-road racers we’ve seen in quite some time, so we do have plenty of faith in Black Rock. If you’re at all familiar with Pure, you know that the crowd-pleasing big air tricks were the focal point, so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that over-the-top flashiness will play a large role in Split/Second. Glancey says they’re going for “Hollywood realism” and if the team does their job, they’ll give us “total craziness” in the form of a racer that will make our palms sweat and pulses race. The game consists of a variety of professional stunt and race drivers, competing across 24 episodes in a massive single-player campaign, all in the effort to become the Split/Second Champion.

Now, we stumble across another element: stunt driving. Will there be a semblance of the old Stuntman titles? Well, to some extent. Your cars will not only race, but they’ll also perform aerial acrobatics that will give you the ultimate edge against your opponents. Depending on the environment, any number of obstacles may be in your path, and you might even be able to use some of them to your advantage; you just gotta think outside the box, you know? In this way, every event may be different no matter how many times you participate in it, and if you want to succeed, you’ll probably have to experiment on a frequent basis. We imagine fast reactions and a keen eye will be pre-requisites playing this game, but just don’t expect the game to rely entirely on racing or stunts. The combination of the two should be intriguing, and if you factor in the dynamic, destructible environments, Split/Second could be one of the most engaging, singular experiences in video games. Of course, Black Rock needs to insure that multiple gameplay elements remain solid, and that’s a definite challenge for any developer.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the gameplay is the powerplay bar, which will dictate access to what they’re calling “powerplays.” You build up the bar by drifting, drafting, jumping and performing general stunts, and you will even get to use some of the destructive tools you may have at your disposal. If you look around the track, you will find that certain sections of the course will be adversely affected by your actions; the goal, of course, is to pile a bunch of crap in the path of your opponents. IGN talks about dropping a bunch of explosives on the track and then having to work their way through the debris, so you can imagine the range and scope of the possibilities involved. As Glancey added- “Every environment we look at for a track has to give us these spectacular moments.” Like we said, this isn’t just about racing, but about an experience that involves a little bit of everything that can be included in a game with cars. We’re not expecting something like Twisted Metal, but stunt/race driving always intrigues us. Provided Black Rock Studio doesn’t make things too overly complicated (remember your target audience, guys), this could be an excellent production.

Split/Second is scheduled to hit in the first quarter of 2010 and although Gran Turismo 5 remains tops on our most anticipated list, it’s fair to say that Back Rock’s project is most definitely on our tracking radar.

5/7/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (19 posts)

Scarecrow
Thursday, May 07, 2009 @ 10:20:33 PM
Reply

*yawn*

Racing games have gotten so stale...
Where's Gran Turismo :*(

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, May 07, 2009 @ 10:32:09 PM

It's...um...over there!

'runs away'

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Tim Speed24
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 7:24:42 AM

Have you tried Grid or Motorstorm:Pacific Rift?

I still play both of these and they are far from stale. Heck I even throw in Burnout Paradise from time to time....it's the ever evolving racing game that won't die!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 11:07:33 AM

Yeah, I tried Pacific Rift. It was fun; just not my type of game.

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Scarecrow
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 11:36:55 AM

Yeah have both Motorstorms! Great great games!

The Rally racing games are kikcing ass(Sega Rally is pretty awesome too).

But the Road racing games are just stale....
I'll give Grid credit, but Burnout, Need For Speed.....Forza...they all feel the same. All 'bout powerboosting and "shiny" cars.

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Wage SLAVES
Thursday, May 07, 2009 @ 10:39:51 PM
Reply

Remember when Gran Turismo 2 had an Arcade and Simulation disc! I want my GT 5!

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Tim Speed24
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 7:26:41 AM

Well, we got more back on the PS2 games. They gave us weather effects, a ton of modes, more cars and guess what, you didn't have to pay extra.

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jlch777
Thursday, May 07, 2009 @ 10:45:21 PM
Reply

@Wage
Me too!!!

Last edited by jlch777 on 5/7/2009 10:46:09 PM

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ZubraZap
Thursday, May 07, 2009 @ 10:52:33 PM
Reply

I'll take this puppy even though I recently picked up Midnight Club LA ('bout to pop it in). I'm what you call a RACER GAMER. For some reason as a non-car-nut I fail to realize why I enjoy Racing games so much!?

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fluffernutter
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 2:18:55 AM
Reply

I'm looking forward to this game. It brings in a little of everything and I like variety. Bring it on.

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Tim Speed24
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 7:21:39 AM
Reply

This game is sounding pretty cool. Racing with stunts and explosions.....what's not to like?

I sure hope GT5 comes out at the same time and not delayed another year. That way I can get my sim fix and go arcadey with Split Second.

Also Maybe E3 will bring the Twisted Metal announcement......then race game lovers will have everything we could want on the PS3.

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MornelitheVT
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 9:04:34 AM
Reply

Pass - I'll wait for Gran Turismo 5.



Morne

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shreevin
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 10:11:00 AM
Reply

Sounds cool, but I'm really interested in Fuel. Racing with torandoes just sounds intense! And 5,000 sqare miles of free range driving?!? Yes, sir, count me in!

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CH1N00K
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 3:31:58 PM
Reply

I always wanted to see a Cannonball run version of a game. Race across country. Or like the Bullrun TV series. Race to check points and then complete different events when you get there. Having to worry about things like stopping for gas or getting lost, or speed traps and traffic lights.

Games like midnight club and such do a nice job of recreating a city, but I've always wanted to do something like race through the rocky mountains, or a coastal highway. Could you imagine being in a race where you drive by your own house?

I don't know if the technology is there yet to be able to put all that information in, but I'd like to see it someday. With DLC being so popular with games now, you could even launch a game that includes a couple of states, and then every little bit add an expansion pack that eventually includes the rest of the US/North America. Lol, maybe even have a border dash through Mexico with the Federales hot on your tail or the RCMP (Pull over,eh!)in Canada. You could even make a version for people on the other side of the pond and just keep growing the game. But it's pretty ambitious and would take a lot of development time, so I may never see this...But I can dream.

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city96
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 4:28:14 PM

I want that too!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Neurotoxiny
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 7:39:46 PM
Reply

Motorstorm was a great game. Burnout's probably going to be the best racing game for a few years though.

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LightShow
Friday, May 08, 2009 @ 9:59:39 PM
Reply

if the screens are in game, i might just buy it for sheer prettiness

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hald
Saturday, May 09, 2009 @ 5:54:48 AM
Reply

This whole setup reminds me a bit of the movie "death race".
But I like it. Will be looking forward to more info!

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racoon
Thursday, July 02, 2009 @ 8:49:27 PM
Reply

it looks like burnout paradise to me but its a shot to take

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