Split/Second E3 Hands-On

We got the first chance to go hands-on with Black Rock Studio's follow-up to Pure.

Black Rock Studios released Pure at the end of last year, and it certainly hit the mark with extreme sports and racing enthusiasts alike. Its follow-up is Split/Second, an arcade racing game in which environmental attacks or "power plays" form an important part of the action. We got to see a brand-new environment behind closed doors at E3 2009 this year, as well as play the airport level that was revealed a couple of months ago.

Split/Second's USP is the environmental damage system, which lets you take out competitors by using dynamic aspects of the surroundings. For example, on the docks level that we saw, you can cause cranes to pull cargo pallets across the track, forcing other people to crash or take evasive maneuvers to avoid them. You do this by building up the power-play bar displayed underneath your vehicle, mainly by performing drifts, going over jumps, and driving well. When you're in the vicinity of other racers, you can trigger these explosive events by pressing the button that appears onscreen, but you can also use them to open up new areas or create shortcuts.

There's no doubt that Split/Second looks the part, with explosions that look particularly impressive in motion. Nick Baynes, the game's director, told us that he wanted to use the Call of Duty series as a benchmark for the explosions in the game, given that they're not something you usually see in the racing genre. Another trademark of the visual presentation is the lack of an onscreen heads-up display, with your power-play bar actually appearing underneath the car itself. There will also be a subtle glow around environmental hazards, so you should be able to spot them before someone else uses them on you. That said, learning the tracks will naturally be a benefit, which we discovered when we played the game on the show floor.

Split/Second is shaping up really well, and with Bizarre Creations' Blur on the horizon, this is one game that's going to have some healthy competition on release. It's currently penciled in for the early part of 2010, and we hope to bring you more on the game in the run-up to release.

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Discussion

27 comments
wyatticefair
wyatticefair

looks awesome. will be a new take on the racing genre. has anyone done a game like this before?

Yossi1007
Yossi1007

LOOKS LIKE IT WILL LAG LIKE HELL BUT ONE O THE BEST RACERS SO FARR FINALLY THEY GOT THE IDEA GAMES R SUPPOSE TO BE FUN NOT FRUSTRATING

Eagle700
Eagle700

I really love action racing games and I will get the game as soon as possible.

raza3
raza3

racing games=awesome

blueguykisame
blueguykisame

true burnout paradise was great.. Midnight club LA was okay... i think FUEL is great.. maybe this will be too.

gmax
gmax

Definitely something to look at.

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

As it is a racing game, I'll eventually check this.

pakhair
pakhair

Really lookin Forward to this Game...............

Maxspeed22
Maxspeed22

Sounds like an okay game but have to test it first before i really comment on it.

SSBFan12
SSBFan12

I have never heard of the game until now it looks okay but I am not going to get it.

anwar_amutalib
anwar_amutalib

i like the concept. it'll bring a whole new perspective in racing genre.

ocdog45
ocdog45

I'm one of the few people who still love arcade racing games, or whatever thsi will be considered.

crazerlapd
crazerlapd

I think this game is great. I've never played PURE, but will buy this game when out in the store.

bakalhau90
bakalhau90

Hey vixie, lol. I think this has a great potential, Pure was awesome and there's no reason to think this won't be.

vix
vix

i don't think the genre is stale completely...burnout paradise is awesome. this looks awesome too, but it's also totally different. can't wait.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Looks like a cracking idea - can't wait to try it!!

wonderman1
wonderman1

looks good, have pure and its a lot of fun

Blackadder51
Blackadder51

hmmm looks like an interesting take on a stale genre, hopefully its as good as it sounds

dark_being
dark_being

Seem like a nice driving game with some nice touches