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Review: Split/Second

December 26, 2011

Who’s up for super-destructive racing? Developed by Black Rock Studios and published by Disney Interactive, Split/Second (Split/Second: Velocity in Europe) was released in May of 2010. You play as a racer (who coincidentally races under whatever your Xbox Live user name is) in the titular reality show, competing for fame, glory, and credits used to advance in the season.

Each season is broken up into twelve episodes, each with six individual events that differ based on episode. At the end of each episode, there is an elite race, where the qualifying contestants race against the seven most talented racers ever to compete: Raptor, Vixen, Live Wire, Torpedo, The Hammer, Brawn, and Rigg.

Added to this is the “Powerplay” system. It works like this: you build up charges on your powerplay meter through various actions during the race, such as drafting behind other racers, drifting around corners, jumping over ramps and hills, and narrowly missing the powerplays initiated by other drivers. Powerplays are different for every event, but for the most part they involve stuff blowing up. Buildings shower the course with debris, bridges come down to block your path with rubble,  explosions send cars, trucks, and buses flying into your path, airport control towers tumble to the ground and planes crash, trying to blow you off course and land on your car.

All those powerplays I just mentioned? They’re all from the first event. I am dead serious. The first race in the game, an airport gets blown up. And the hell of it is, it’s fun. Even when you lose a race, you still blow up everything and wreck five or six other drivers in the process. It’s a rare game that can make losing fun.

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