Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Split Second Velocity PS3 Demo

Knowing I had the PS3-less racing aficionado known here to readers as The Artist over at Christmas I loaded up some racing demos onto my PS3 to keep him amused. One of these happened to be Split/Second Velocity (SSV).

Now I've mentioned before my dislike of this genre and any inclusion thereof 'polluting' the FPS etc. and my surprised enjoyment of Burnout Paradise which just let you have fun - SSV is Burnout on Crack. How much fun is it? Well well the Bratii came over I loaded it up for them and we took turns going around the same track. 

Handily the demo would conk-out to advertise itself every three races so I can easily ascertain how many times we played it. We saw the ad five times, that is we each had five attempts all going round and round on the same track; and each time both they and I were eager to try again.

I was impressed by Major's skills he shaved a full 30 seconds off The Artist's time and managed to use that to stay 10 seconds off our repeated attempts to beat him. Admittedly he never managed such a time again but he consistently won.

"I'm actually thinking of buying this", I confided to them. "Though it depends on how much it is"
"I've got about £14" pipes in Minor.

Yep it's so much fun that Minor is offering me some of his Christmas money for me to buy a game he can't play on his own system and can only play maybe once every month or two when he visits.

Major's response - "I wonder if it's available for the XBox?"

Game have it at £13... I wonder if Minor still has that money :-P

What was it that elicited this response. Well like Burnout superficially it's less about racing and more about fun. As you drive along you can drift (slide around corners), draft (tailgate), and occasionally jump (um jump) and doing so fills up a gauge that activates Power Plays aka things that go boom. Have a full gauge and some of the cars ahead of you might gain a little blue (or red) car crash icon over them. Activate the Power Play and something near them goes boom and hopefully wrecks them.

The skill lies in the simple point that it's not just a case of spotting the icon and hitting the button, you need to time it right; get it right and the hovering helicopter will drop the explosive barrel onto your opponent; get it wrong and it'll drop too early or too late. Worse still if you're too close you might wreck yourself; that is if those behind you don't use a Power Play on you first.

From a more explosive viewpoint if you've got the gauges you can initiate course changes, boring huh? Um one change occurs by blowing up a tower and toppling it onto the off-ramp or blowing out a section of the road ahead so you jump/drop down to a lower level. Of course if there was anyone on that stretch of road at the time... heh heh heh.

So fun, but if it was just that it might get dull and repetitive, where it shines is that just like Burnout you can actually hone racing skills too. It's not just about blowing up your opponents, you need to brake just right at this corner; judge whether to risk the shortcut that someone else has activated and will close shortly after them. I see the promise of getting deeper into this game beyond the pyrotechnics.

Yep some shopping to do Saturday methinks.