Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A very quick diversion

One more Resonance of Fate has been postponed, this time by the unexpected arrival of Split/Second. This game reeks of the old Burnouts, which is much better than smelling of Burnout Paradise because it at least understands that it should not attempt to be more than it is. Split/Second is just a racing game; it doesn't try create a giant world to free roam through, it doesn't shove too much of a story at you (there is something about a Running Man style game show here, but it is easily ignored), but it does let me go really fast and blow a lot of stuff up. I really like the idea of earning the ability to use the environment against opponents, especially when that includes dropping buildings and airliners on them, but the way you earn these 'power plays' actually makes leading the race a severe handicap. Drifting nets the greatest bonus, but it also slows you down significantly, and the magic rubber band keeps the top two or three cars right behind you no matter how fast you are going. All of this put together leads to heart breaking last second losses. If it wasn't such a joy to see a giant boat slide off its dry dock, crushing six cars at the same time, I would not put up with it.

Split/Second also taps the same anal retentive vein of the old Burnouts in another way: I find it never difficult to move on to the next race before getting first on the last one. Tracks to reward memorization and harshly punish mistakes, so restarting a race three of four times before finding the right way to do it is not unusual. Even then, the evil randomness factor can crop up and you find yourself in last place for no discernible reason. This goes double with the other modes; I have decided that the events where a helicopter is firing missiles at you and the goal is to dodge them long enough to build up a multiplier and incredibly dumb, and are therefore exempt from the 'must be in first place' rule.

Yeah, that will work, I'll just keep telling myself that.

I do not expect to stay interested to make it through the entire 'season' of events, but it is fun for now. There really is only so much GO FAST DODGE STUFF that I can take, but at least Split/Second gets that right and looks good while doing it.

And it lets me restart a race when I screw up. Take that, Burnout Paradise!

Yes, I know DLC fixed this, but it was too little, too late.

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