On the console
Split/Second is full of edge-of-your-seat moments that will make even the most hardened arcade racing fan sit up and take notice. This was the game that allowed you to literally drop an entire building on your opponents, all while you had to dodge falling bridges, cars blowing up and unruly traffic jams. It was an incredible show piece that is hard to get out of your head. On the PSP, Split/Second is an ugly, forgettable mess that feels out of place on a handheld known for its stellar racing games.
In case you missed the console game released last May, Split/Second is a fictional TV show where the hardest of the hard race for money and prizes. But this isn't your father's race; it's an ultra-violent contest with deadly explosions happening around every turn. Come in first and you'll earn enough points to take on the Elite racers, a band of professional drivers just waiting to dismantle your car.
For the most part this Disney-published game is like many other arcade racing games on the market. You choose from a collection of fake cars, choose a course and get pumped up with whatever annoying nu-metal song just happens to be playing in the background. But Split/Second is different. Sick and tired of people passing you by? Do you want to catch up with the pack in a hurry? Perhaps it's time you bring out the heavy artillery.
In Split/Second players can literally blow up buildings to prevent their opponents from coming in first. And that's not all, cars are rigged with explosives, bombs will be dropped from helicopters and bridges will collapse at your whim. While you never throw anything from your car (it's not a kart racer), your command over the world around you is truly impressive.
It's also exciting to see how the race course itself changes from lap to lap. You may start out racing through the streets, but before long you'll be racing through buildings, underground and even on the tarmac while an airplane lands. Every level features its own over-the-top antics that feel like they came straight out of a big budget Hollywood blockbuster. Even on the PSP's small screen, these explosive events are breathtaking.
To keep things interesting, Split/Second offers players a number of interesting game types. Aside from the standard racing, players will also have time trials that involve avoiding missiles and other debris. In other mode you fight against a timer that is eliminating the last place racer. None of these game modes are specific to Split/Second, but they work well with the amount of explosive action going on at all times.
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