TIME TO BURN
In many ways, Split/Second: Velocity is a fantastic example of how good racers can look and a fabulous demonstration of innovation. But it's not perfect. While we can tell that the 360 hardware is being brutally punished by the on-screen action, after playing Blur (which can cater to a field of 20 drivers), we can't help ourselves hankering for more competitors than the eight Split/Second can manage. Also, we're still finding it hard to completely remove it from Burnout's mighty shadow.
That Split/Second isn't quite as fast is a shame, as is our belief that actual driving skill (in traditional races, at least) doesn't play as much role in your grid position as it does in Criterion's racer.
The sheer area-effect devastation of your average powerplay means that there isn't so much impetus on being the fastest driver when you can sit back, drop bombs on the frontrunners and then drive around their smouldering corpses. Although, we will hasten to add that we might change our minds about this once we start racing online against the infinitely more aggressive general public...
We enjoyed Split/Second: Velocity immensely. It looks fantastic, contains some brilliant gameplay modes and frequently provided us with awesome, adrenaline-filled moments that had us sucking through our teeth as we narrowly avoided the outlandish destructiveness of a toppling power station or a missile-launching helicopter gunship. Split/Second is a racing game in the same way that Top Gear is a show about reviewing cars; why get bogged down with the boring technicalities and the restrictive realism that appeal to car nerds when you can opt for fire, brimstone and the accessibility that comes with crowd-pleasing exhibitionism?
If you take that as a criticism, then you'd best get back to adjusting the downforce and tyre pressure settings in Forza 3 or waiting ever-patiently for Gran Turismo 5. If it sounded to you like a compliment, then welcome to Split/Second: Velocity. Strap yourself in - you're going to have a blast...
An outstanding fireworks display on wheels but not quite a Burnout beater.
- Seat-of-your-pants rollercoaster racing Blowing
- up Barrel-dodging Survival mode
- We'd like more than eight cars on the track
- Being patient and waiting to launch a super powerplay
- Those pesky helicopters!