Got the power?
Turning combat on its head, Split Second provides destructible scenery to wreak havoc on your competitors. Drifting, drafting, jumping and narrowly avoiding collisions, builds up your Power Play meter, which can be used to open shortcuts, change routes or, best of all, trigger cataclysmic events in front of your hapless competitors. Ranging from sweeping a crane's arm across the race track to demolishing entire buildings, you'd think all the destruction would severely hamper concentration. But Power Plays are sufficiently spaced out to ensure an excellent balance between racing and combat. Already excellent in single player, the tactical aspect of this balance takes the game to a whole new level online.
Blur, on the other hand, unashamedly borrows from Mario Kart. Every weapon has been copied, even down to the lightning bolt. And while their implementations vary slightly, it's not enough to prevent Blur from feeling every bit the poor imitation. Worse still, where Mario Kart occasionally left you feeling cheated, as a single red shell robbed you of victory, with 20 cars on track, each carrying up to three weapons at a time, you'll spend most races being bounced around the middle of the field and won't have any time to worry about competing for first place.
Weird light was hard to Dodge
Split Second: Velocity 20%
Next page: Cars
Couldn't disagree more
... with the criticism about Blur. I haven't played Split/Second to compare, but Blur is a tremendous game and easily the most fun I've had with a racer online ever - certianly more than Mario Kart Wii.
The weapons are actually very well balanced. Every single one can be countered (or avoided with a bit of skill) and the combat is as much about tactics (e.g. do you fire that shunt - homing missile - forwards as soon as you pick it up, or keep it in reserve to fire backwards and take out the shunt that someone behind may fire at you) as it is about the joy of mindless chaos. There's nothing unfair or game breaking in there like Mario Kart's Blue Shell or Lightning and the pick ups are not randomised - you can see the selection on the track and it's all about driving through the pick up you want or need as the race dictates. If you're constantly getting shot to pieces, you should consider picking up a shield, right?
As for ramming into course dividers, surely the point is you need to practise the game and learn the tracks. That is what real racing drivers have to do too, you know. It really isn't a problem if you play a track more than a couple of times or - get this - just look where you are going! Drifting similarly, comes with practice.
Final gripe about the review - you completely fail to mention the Modern Warfare 2-esque levelling and unlock system which makes even coming last in a race worthwhile because you're still gaining fans (xp) and working towards the next set of new cars or mods or unlocking challenges to win more xp. I'm no expert racer and in my time with Blur online I've seldom finished first, but the game is as much fun when you're battling it out for 4th place as it is when you're out in the lead. This aspect also gives Blur a lot more longevity than (I'm led to believe) Split/Second has.
I'd fully recommend Blur to anyone, even if you're not a big racing fan. Actually, especially if you're not a big racing fan.
Blur deserves much more than this
Blur is one of the most enjoyable games I've played for a long time. I disagree when you say it is a poor imitation of Mario Kart. Yes it borrows heavily with regards to the weapons, but I think it's a major improvement, Mario Kart has had it's day, Blur is a fresh look at the genre.
You say the drift mechanics let the game down.. I'm not a fan of drift racing but nailing a hairpin sideways and using the nitro on the exit is one of the most satisfying 'moves' I've experienced in a racer. Maybe some more practice will change your mind here? ;)
You moan about 'numerous route-dividing chicanes' that are missed because you're concentrating on weapon collection and the attack from other racers - surely this adds an extra layer of skill to master? As for the comment "time and time again you'll ram into course dividers", may I refer you to my previous comment about practice? Of the numerous hours I've spent on this game so far this has happened a hand full of times and just reminds me to concentrate more in future.
Online play is 'practically unplayable'? I disagree. I have had a lot of fun online, finishing in all positions from first to last, even when I have come last this only makes me want to play again and try new tactics.
I'll be honest, I've only played the Split/Second demo, which was very disappointing; one track, one car, nothing else. I thought the car felt heavy and the sense of speed was very lacking for a game with a title like that. I will play the full game at some point and my opinion may well change, but for now I'm a Blur fan and I feel your review was very harsh.
I'll shut up now.
I have played both games already. You call Blur bland, cheap, etc. No, it is more fun. The AI in S/S is extremely cheap, the helicopter races are just downright stupid and most races you'll be playing over and over again hoping for a lucky break. Now Blur: Career mode is excellent and challenging without being cheap, when you win a race is because you are good and not because you caught a lucky break after 20 or so tries and the only, not only is well populated but the ranking system is just right and experience is absolutely brilliant.
Here, that is my two cents.
crap game, crap review.
pick up sonic racing - probably dirt cheap.
loads of fun - great tracks etc.
trying to get AAA on all challenges also takes some work :)