Split/Second PSP Hands-on: Feeling the Burn, PSP Challenges detailed

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I know what you’re thinking, and yes, the airplane still crashes onto the track in the middle of the race on the Airport Terminal. Track layouts also distort dynamically, environments crumble realistically, and towers teeter and topple majestically under the destructive spark of Split/Second’s signature Power Plays.

Split/Second PSP

Split/Second PSP Split/Second PSP

In short, despite the smaller screen size, Split/Second’s PSP incarnation does not skimp on the spectacle. The PSP version releases on November 16th with four-player ad-hoc Wifi multiplayer, and this week I took a pre-release version of the game for a spin.

Thanks to some dazzling real-time lighting and particle effects, Split/Second on the PSP looks remarkably similar to its PS3 big brother. The tracks layouts are nigh-identical, and the gameplay zips along at a speedy clip, blasting energetically through every one of its 30 frames per second no matter how many fireworks are on the screen.

Split/Second PSP Split/Second PSP

The controls have been been subtly tweaked to accommodate the mobile nature of PSP gameplay, and they feel tight and responsive on the analog stick and d-pad. You can still slipstream behind other racers to diminish wind resistance and gain a short-lived burst of speed, a critical tactic when you find yourself lagging behind the pack. The gas and brake buttons are mapped to X and Square, respectively; To drift around hairpin turns, you tap the Square button once. Given Split/Second’s blistering pace, I find it helpful to brake as little as possible and instead ease off the gas during dangerous moments. Finally, the L1 button triggers Power Plays, the aforementioned earth-shaking catastrophes that will wipe out your competitors if you master the, um, split-second timing.

Split/Second PSP

Split/Second PSP Split/Second PSP

Black Rock Studios (working with Sumo Digital) was kind enough to chip in an extra track for PSP players to bring the track total to 13 in all. PSP users also get new Challenges in addition to returning favorites like Elimination (stay out of last place), Air Strike (dodge incoming missiles), and Detonator (finish laps inside the deadline). Details on the new Challenges are still scarce and I’ll update you when I learn more.

UPDATE: Producer Jason Ried at Disney Interactive Studios in Europe chimes in with first details on Split/Second PSP’s new Challenges and the new track:

1. Destruction: target and destroy rival cars to gain bonus time and the highest score
2. Power Slide: high speed, power drifting game mode in which you drift around the track to gain score and extra time
3. Keep on Truckin: drive as the Survival truck while trying to avoid rival cars and barrels to post the highest score possible

The new track is an amalgamation of some parts of the various docks areas to form a much bigger track. It’s essentially a super track of the docks tracks and we call it The Docks.

Split/Second is a fast, aggressive PSP racer that will appeal to fans of destructive racers such as Burnout Dominator and WipEout Pure. If you have questions about the gameplay or overall experience, ask away in the comments below and I’ll do my best to get you an answer.

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  • wow a little late to the party wouldn’t ya say? I enjoyed the console version but the psp screenshots look like a ps1 game. Sorry, I’ll pass.

  • No video? Meh I’m getting GT5. I’ll stick with GT PSP for now.

  • Def getting this for my PSP day 1! Split/Second was one of my favorite racing games since Burnout (so awesome that I had to platinum the game) and seeing it come to the PSP is great!

  • I love my PSP and I know the graphics are great and the frame-rates are usually very good but for the life of me I can’t understand why Sony or the other devs continuously show off still shots only for a new game.

    The graphics on the PSP always look better in motion.

    • Agreed. We’d love to run a video of the game, but none have been provided — we’ll keep asking, though! It looks great in motion.

  • ok i will get it day 1 but why is it that the majority of psp games only support Ad Hoc multiplayer ? come on we want more infrastructure multiplayer games and a friends list ( and the ability to play with our psn friends )

  • Amazon has PSPgo with 3 free games for $199. New price point I guess????
    If your in to the whole Go thing I’m not sorry. love my 3000:)

  • @remanutd5 Sony doesn’t pony up for the infrastructure for 3rd party games hence the lack of online play in a lot of PSP games. Their 1st party online is lacking anyway.

    In this case, Nintendo did it best with their WiFi support on the DS platform. Truth hurts I know.

  • Is there a demo coming out? Any bonus, add-ons, etc for having the PS3 version, and vice-versa?

  • is this coming out for the psp go?

  • I like the PSP support!

  • Man, i wish someone with all the talent some of these racing game teams would get on a real sequel to Destruction Derby of many years ago… on PS3….
    Split Second was a cool enough game… im sure the PSP version will be just as cool…

  • Finally some support for the psp from disney. Its shaping up to be a great year for the handheld. Any comfirmation on if this is going to be on the psn?

  • @13 Agreed over 9000!!!

    A definite must buy when I get the chance.

  • any word on a possible demo ?

    i skipped that game on the PS3 because there is no d-pad steering (the same thing happen to ModNation Racer -_- ), i hope they wont do the same error in the PSP version

  • OFF TOPIC!!!why cant this page no longer supports the ps3 web browser??? come on guys fixed !!!

  • adhoc is not a suitable replacement for infrastructure.

  • Now your talking! ive been waiting TOOOO long for a good racing game for psp. i gotta get this one. and by the way, shame on EA for making me wait so long for a another need for speed release!!

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