Actually, That’s Quite Clever: Split/Second

By Jim Rossignol on March 12th, 2009 at 12:29 pm.


For some reason I’d been ignoring Disney and Black Rock’s racing game announcement, Split/Second. Turns out the idea is quite clever: “Competitors in Split/Second don’t just collide with other vehicles to knock them from the track – they can also trigger explosive events that drastically alter the dynamics of the race. Players must use strategy and pinpoint timing to derail opponents, tactically alter the track or create entirely new routes.” This concept is illustrated spectacularly in the trailer, which sits beyond the click. It’s also oddly familiar, as if I’ve seen the idea somewhere before, but I can’t pinpoint it. Anyway, the game is due some time in 2010, and the official website which Disney announced doesn’t seem to live yet, but there is some additional fluff here.


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44 Comments »

  1. Smee says:

    “It’s oddly familiar, as if I’ve seen the idea somewhere before, but I can’t pinpoint it.”

    Rollcage: Stage 2?

  2. Gilzor says:

    Stuntman…?

  3. cyrenic says:

    The trailer looks interesting. As long as setting off the explosions is a strategic choice, and not as common as something like Mario Kart power ups, it should be a lot of fun. Especially in multiplayer.

  4. Jim says:

    Flatout 2

  5. Ian says:

    Provided the ability to do those things is well balanced and obviously if the basic racing is fun, this game could be pretty interesting.

  6. Jim Rossignol says:

    Flatout 2? Really? I don’t remember that having any such power-up/event stuff.

  7. bansama says:

    It certainly does show a lot of potential, and while similar to Fatout 2/ultimate carnage, it’s not really the same – seeing that in Flatout you trigger such things by actually hitting them, or getting something else to hit them. This seems to be more of activating such traps while you are safely outside the danger zone.

  8. NuZZ says:

    Nothing new to see here, move along folks! Burnout with NFS Underground obstacles it seems.

  9. bansama says:

    Flatout 2? Really? I don’t remember that having any such power-up/event stuff.

    Things such as the gas station or airplanes blowing up and collapsible parts of the scenery, such as log piles, were in Flatout 2/UC but I don’t think they really did much to hinder the other cars.

  10. NuZZ says:

    *Undercover, i mean. Yes, I played it. Only cus I found it on my compooter after a night of suspiciously slow internet. :O

  11. Markoff Chaney says:

    I’ve heard good things about this. I’m not much of a racing/sim guy, but I’ve heard that this “out BurnOuts BurnOut”. That, alone, has me interested, but it’s probably just lies.

  12. rob says:

    So this is what Spector’s been working on!

  13. MrFake says:

    Meh, triggerable obstacles. Can’t we just have a destructible course that falls apart on its own, maybe L4D director style to keep you on your toes? Combining racing and racer-triggered events … well I won’t say Mario Kart, but I will say racing + QTE = yawn.

    Still, any deviation from “go around track 4 more times” is a plus, no matter how it’s spun.

  14. David says:

    Hmm… Not sure I’m sold on the ‘Driver X triggers event Y’ mechanic. Do they have some sort of radio control in the car? I’d much prefer to have the obstacles triggered by fancy driving than simple push-to-activate. If I wanted that, I’d go play MarioKart.

  15. G says:

    It reminds me of roadside bombs in Iraq. Probably not what they were aiming for.

  16. Lu-Tze says:

    I’d guess the star rating for each obstacle represents some “cost” of activating it (although whether you can earn “credit” during a race, or it’s fixed at the start is obviously unknown), and many of them are clearly once per race. It’ll probably provide some interesting tactical depth if it’s balanced correctly, and there are sufficient of these triggerable events to be opportunistic, as timing is such a key factor.

    It does hold a lot of potential for getting unavoidably wiped out in the last 100 yards of a race though, which is always the most annoying thing ever.

  17. El Stevo says:

    Why is it people will complain about QTEs in every discussion? I didn’t see anything to suggest there would be QTEs.

  18. Agrajag says:

    Is it me, or are driving games swirling an a spiral toward some mashup between Paradise, FUEL, Interstate 76 and Split?
    I think the evolionary end is to drive anywhere you want, various race types and the ability to take your oppents out but a satisfying bang.
    Is the future free roam mariocart?

  19. MacBeth says:

    *Very* pretty trailer, like the concept. Dropping a bridge on your opponent does seem like a fun way to win a race… though as Lu-Tze says, a horrible way to lose a race. Swings and roundaboute…

  20. michael says:

    i think you might be thinking of RollCage. it was a sci-fi type racer out years ago (cant remember when but about 98 – 99)
    you could run into the supports of buildings around the tracks and road signs to knock ‘em down onto the guys behind or fire missiles and the like into the buildings ahead, it also had multi routes around the track. you could also drive on the roof of some tunnells if you where going fast enough. fun game and had a really good sence of speed for its time. anyone else remember this?

  21. rupert says:

    its got a lot to do to beat burnout that was one good game

  22. Muscrat says:

    hahaha wow RollCage. Hell yeah.

    I think I might reinstall it, have the game sitting next to me on my shelf. Good times.

    Otherwise Split Second reminds me of earlier Burnout games and a bit of Full Auto and yes Rollcage for good measure.

  23. Dr_demento says:

    Definately Rollcage – one powerup was a homing missile specifically designed to demolish roadside buildings all over the track (although if you hit ‘up’ then it would target the guy in front of you). Awesome game.

  24. Optimaximal says:

    NFS: Most Wanted? That had pursuit breakers.

  25. Fetthesten says:

    Excite Truck was the one that popped into my mind, actually. You could trigger landscape-altering switches that dug out enormous valleys or raised up hills, flinging your opponents away from the track. Which was fun.

    And so was Rollcage, of course.

  26. trigger says:

    when i saw this i thought of the movie ‘Death Race’
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0452608/

  27. Ginger Yellow says:

    “It’s also oddly familiar, as if I’ve seen the idea somewhere before, but I can’t pinpoint it. ”

    Wacky Races?

    Also, what everyone else said about Flatout 2. That was a fun game, although it had horrendous elastic banding. I’m kind of amazed this sort of thing hasn’t been done more often, but I guess it wreaks havoc with believable driver AI.

  28. bantros says:

    All it needs is you playing as Jason Statham

  29. Radiant says:

    I fucking LOVE Rollcage.
    And Jason Statham.

  30. Radiant says:

    I don’t know why I added that second bit.

  31. Calabi says:

    I remember the days when racing just involved actually racing.

  32. Buemba says:

    I really enjoyed Pure (And the PC port was very good, weird slow loading bug notwithstanding), so I have high hopes for S/S.

    I just hope they license a better soundtrack this time around…

  33. ZIGS says:

    rob says:

    So this is what Spector’s been working on!

    Nope, Spector’s studio is called Junction Point, not Black Rock :)

  34. DeliriumWartner says:

    Ace! I know it’s just CGI pretties, and it’ll become repetitive within a few re-races, but still – splode-tastic!

  35. MrFake says:

    @El Stevo: I mentioned QTEs, and it may be a mistake. I was thinking reflex-based triggers to upcoming or passed obstacles and landmarks. After all, I thought there was an implied duality with the name “Split/Second”; i.e. a split second to react to obstacles and a split second to trigger them (before someone else does).

    I don’t have quite the hate for this mechanic as most people do, because it massages my complete lack of skill at most things video game. I just think this is the wrong mechanic to fuse into a racing game. Racing is meant for speed and control, while QTEs are usually used to take a breather from controls without actually slowing the action.

  36. Joe says:

    High Octane had tracks that changed as you raced. Ah – High Octane, how no-one remembers you…

  37. EyeMessiah says:

    Uh outrun??

  38. c-Row says:

    @ Joe

    Well, I do. Best racing shooter ever!

  39. El Stevo says:

    There was a preview in Edge about this. Basically, you have a Power Bar, which is filled up through skillful driving (jumps, drifts, chaining near misses, etc). Once it’s full you can trigger a bomb (some of which open up shortcuts).

  40. FhnuZoag says:

    Sooo, mixing racing with terrorism, eh?

  41. Matt says:

    A bit like Excite Truck on the Wii, maybe? That didn’t have such grand explosions and cityscapes, but you could trigger vast deformations of the land to mess up the race of those opponents in front of you, often whilst giving you a nice shortcut as well.

    This, however, looks prettier. And didn’t look like the terrain shifts were so limited, either – rather than run into set icons to trigger something, you have to experiment with your power and launch it whenever to see what it can do. Colour me intrigued.

  42. Masked Dave says:

    Mario Kart.

    Sure instead of a blue shell it’s a dropping a bridge, but it looks like the same ‘level the playing field’ style of racing.

  43. Martin Edelius says:

    As mentioned, NFS: Most Wanted have stuff you can trigger to slow down your opponent.

  44. ikigeg says:

    That does indeed look awesome, especially the bit with the girders falling from the crane!

    I am however left thinking of Deathrace, and also adding a gleam of hope that they will make a speed-based “Running Man” game… something where you have to balance speed and running (like Mirror’s edge) with the violence and power (along the lines of Condemned or The Chronicles of Riddick) and the oh so important TV ratings.

    On the TV side of things, can anyone remember the name of a game released around 98/99 where you played a man that could turn into a demon-woman, which saw you investigating a house for a TV show. I remember it having slow-mo rotating camera angles for bullet-meets-head moments and you having to keep the audience entertained for ratings?