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Split Second | review | game | Lollipop


(Disney Interactive for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano

Since 2008's ATV racer Pure was a relatively unheralded master class in satisfying arcade racing, sterling presentation and stunning visuals, the smart money was on developer Black Rock Studios to strike gold again with its next project. Cash in your bets, because Split/Second delivers on all of the spectacle promised by its outlandish premise of a TV show wherein drivers trigger explosives to wreck their competition as they race to the finish line. Like Pure's focus on huge air and ridiculous tricks, Split/Second's explosive "Power Plays" are integral to the experience: The hardcore enemy A.I. forces you to be aggressive to win. This conceit makes every race compelling from all angles, whether you're sweating it in the front, trying to hold on, or plotting large scale chaos from the middle or back of the pack. Plus, it's expectedly gorgeous, from the sleek HUD and menus to the impeccably detailed tracks. The only downside is that it feels a little robotic at times: The online multiplayer options aren't built to foster a real community feel, and the career mode needs some kind of humor or character to spice up the overall tone (you never thought you'd miss that goofy DJ from the Burnout series). Why think macro, though, when, as the title implies, it's those lightning quick micro moments - dodging exploding buildings or swerving around a careening jumbo jet - that produce the controller-squeezing, teeth-grinding moments to remember.


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