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Split Second: Velocity preview

Reality television is the future, so we're told; and if the ideas cooked up by the creative minds in the film and game industries are anything to go by, these shows look set to get increasingly violent.

Split Second: Velocity builds on the traditional arcade racing dynamic, setting it against the background of a high stakes game show and then liberally stuffing every last orifice with as much explosives as developers Black Rock Studios can lay their grubby little hands on.

Races take place in a variety of urban and industrial landscapes created for the show, with charges set up in key locations, ready to blow at any second. In order to set off these charges, racers need to build up their Power Play meter by drifting around corners, drafting close behind other racers or launching themselves off jumps. Activating one of the lower level Power Plays will typically trigger a small explosion designed to take out one or two of your opponents, whilst the biggest explosions result in complete changes in the layout of the track.

It's not all as simple as it sounds however; as the title of the game suggests, split second timing can make all the difference between the driver in front of you being side-swiped by the explosion of a formerly stationary vehicle, and your opponent clearing the carnage with mere inches to spare, with you running headlong into the burning wreckage intended for your competitor. The AI is also just as capable of uses Power Plays and it's promised that repeatedly targeting one opponent is likely to result in the AI seeking to exact revenge upon you in suitably explosive fashion.

Anyone hoping for destructible scenery on par with the FlatOut series may be a little disappointed; even with the chaos going on around you triggered by the Power Plays, there's little to plow your car (or your opponents) through besides the occasionally fence.



With so much action happening on and adjacent to the track, Black Rock have taken the opportunity to streamline the HUD to the bare minimum - race position, lap number and Power Play meter are displayed directly below the car and that's it; no speed, lap time or mini map to be seen anywhere. Despite the potential for the screen to be littered with explosions at any given time, the action remains fast and frantic without so much as a hint of slow down.

As well as the standard racing gameplay, there are a number of other modes that have been promised - one such mode, 'Survival', requires players to overtake a number of lorries against the clock; to make life interesting, the lorries in question have decided to throw barrels at you to slow your progress. All of this action is available both online and offline, with two player split-screen confirmed for consoles or up to eight players online for all platforms.

All of this adds up to an exciting proposition for fans of both racing and over the top explosions. Split Second: Velocity is set to light up Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on 21st May.


Beanz | 5th May, 2010
Rasher's picture
really looking forward to this release, had a feel of a lot of old games all put in one box
should be fun

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