Generally favorable reviews - based on 78 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 78
  2. Negative: 0 out of 78
Buy On
  1. With tracks ravaged and different for every lap and timed explosives akin to Mario Kart, Split/Second just overtook Burnout and sped through its burning wreckage.
  2. 100
    By expertly blurring the line between arcade racing and popcorn action flicks, Black Rock has not only further established itself as one of the top racing studios in the game, but also created arguably the most intense driving experience of this console generation.
  3. Part game, part reality TV show, part summer blockbuster movie; I can't recommend Split/Second highly enough.
  4. 91
    I find myself strangely drawn to its slightly old school re-imagining on the arcade racer. You might be tempted to wait for a fleshed out sequel, but I suspect that in hindsight this will be the version to play - before it feels the need to grow up or add more complexity.
  5. After playing it for an extended period of time, I think it is a great game and would recommend it to anyone who is on the fence and loves racing games. Unfortunately, the candle on this game burns out a little too quickly, with only a few modes supported for online play.
  6. Split Second's longevity isn't in its innumerable tracks. It's in finding new ways to better yourself in its smaller set of them.
  7. Crash and burn! Split/Second is action-packed and furious fun with a cool 'Powerplay' feature making it possible for you to cause gigantic explosions. This is the legitimate successor of Burnout! It's only obvious weakness is the spare multiplayer mode.
  8. If you are a fan of arcade racers then make sure you don't miss out on this title. If you aren't a fan of that type of racer be sure to try out this title anyways as this might be the one that turns you into that fan.
  9. 90
    I just hope they tweaked and improve the formula to address the issues I raised earlier because even with those small bumps in the road, Split/Second is still a worthy heir to Burnout's throne. If they can smooth out the ride, it will definitely deserve to wear the crown.
  10. With Split/Second, Black Rock Studio has clearly blown the doors off. This is fast-paced racing at its finest, the best of its kind since Burnout 3: Takedown hit the open road years ago. It'll take a lot to top this one.
  11. Although its gameplay is probably a little too "Power Play-centric" and the intense atmosphere might lose its charm over time, Split/Second proves to be an exceptional racing game, capable of assuring an intense and fun driving experience to both fans of the genre and potential newcomers. An absolute must buy for anyone searching for some real action.
  12. The great surprise from 2010: fun, addictive and visually stunning. It's a brilliant game that will appeal even to those who don't like racing games.
  13. Though initially it tends to be a bit on the easy side and learning when and where to use which power-plays is a case of trial and error, it's not long before the game escalates into a nail-bitingly intense experience.
  14. Split/Second is a phenomenal experience for everyone almost more so for those who take little to no interest in racing.
  15. It's no Burnout beater, but this is about as close as anything will get to matching the intensity, lunacy and destructibility of Criterion's baby. Consistently enthralling, Split/Second's fiery formula brings a new lease on life to the arcade racing genre - we can only hope it's a franchise that's here to stay.
  16. In all, I think Black Rock has really established itself as a powerhouse in the arcade/action racing genre and Split Second is on the top of my racing pile. It's refreshing to see developers exploring new options rather than just adding another year onto the title.
  17. Very funny at first and technically impressive, Split/Second: Velocity is a very addictive game that brings you adrenaline constantly. It's a pity it has some balance and multiplayer problems tough.
  18. Split/Second is a game for anyone who's looking for a different racing experience. It may not compare to Gran Turismo, NFS, or the other games in its genre, but it's certainly worth a play.
  19. 87
    Split/Second is an explosive shot of distilled arcade energy; it's action that's fueled by the slick production of the Hollywood a-list, and racing that's infused with an infectious amount of fun.
  20. Split/Second: Velocity defines a new way for arcade racing. Despite some issues with the game AI and the sense of speed, it is a fresh new IP we're grateful for.
  21. An outstanding fireworks display on wheels but not quite a Burnout beater. [June 2010, p.68]
  22. Even if you are not a racing game fan, Split/Second offers up so much fun from the get-go you just can't go wrong picking this title up.
  23. Split Second is a funny arcade racer, standing up on its own unique trait: the ability to blow up specific elements of the track, a chance gained only when driving with a certain skill. Spectacular as the Hollywood movies to which it inspires, it falls short on customization and online options. It won't last more than the 10/12 hours offered by the campaign, which is a shame indeed. Still, it deserves to be played for its unique and funny approach to the racing genre.
  24. Black Rock managed to create a new contender in the arcade racing arena: Split/Second: Velocity brings us a good combination of stylish graphics, spectacular gameplay and perfect difficulty balance. If you're looking for a distinctive and unique racing game, you won't be disappointed.
  25. Overall, Split/Second: Velocity is a fantastic arcade racing title.
  26. 85
    In the end though, Split/Second has so much going for it that it's easy to recommend for kart and arcade racing fans alike.
  27. 85
    If you enjoy the genre at all, Black Rock has certainly crafted one of the finest action/racing games ever created and they continue to prove their expertise in the genre.
  28. While there are some problems here and there, Split/Second is a great racer, with a simple, arcade feel that allows for great accessibility and some real challenges for hardcore fans of the genre.
  29. As the most exhilarating arcade racer on consoles Split/Second provides plenty of thrills with a tried and tested arcade racing formula combined with refreshing and dramatic game changers with the introduction of the fantastic power play mechanics.
  30. The racing is simple, yet intense. The graphics are top notch. The game's unique power play feature keeps every race fresh, and the thrill of blowing up other cars never gets old.
  31. Black Rock Studios' last title was Pure, an ATV racer that dealt out a phenomenal amount of vertical experience. Lots of tricks and crazy stunts. It has remained in rotation at my house thanks to a 10-year old that has long since eclipsed my own skills at the game. And it looks like the studios' follow-up, Split/Second, will finally take Pure's place in that rotation.
  32. Split/Second is a unique, innovative, and aggressive experience that is not like any other racer out there.
  33. It's a shame that Split/Second fails to provide new courses later on, and once you've seen it all, it does lose some of its magic. But while it's fresh, Split/Second delivers an exhilarating sense of danger and surprise. It's just simple, explosive fun.
  34. 84
    In spite of lacking some more content, arcade fans will find a very interesting game they should at least try out, and the rest of gamers might be pleasantly surprised by its ideas.
  35. Split/Second is a total blast and keeps up the pace for race after race. The only problem is that the novelty eventually wears off and the whole thing starts to feel a little shallow. As an arcade racer, this one is hard to beat though, with thrills galore and it is even more fun to dish out some of the pain online too.
  36. Split/Second is an exciting, fast paced arcade racer that is ever bit as enjoyable as other franchises in this genre.
  37. This game has plenty of edge-of-your-seat racing and thrilling moments. Some of the repetition, however, slows it down. [Issue#206, p.89]
  38. Black Rock has proved the concept, shown what kind of polish they can muster, and given arcade racing fans a reason to get back in the game. The explosions and thrills will certainly last until the inevitable "Split/Second 2" throws a couple of different buildings at us.
  39. Too bad the courses are reused so many times-don't be fooled by the time of day-which only lessens the white-knuckle tension so effortlessly created earlier.
  40. 82
    For the most part Split/Second: Velocity hits the mark like a cargo ship through your windscreen. It's extreme fun and effortless to get into, like the best weekend party games should be, but may struggle over the longer term.
  41. The definite arcade nature of play sets this up to be experienced with friends or online. Everything is so simple – the screen is uncluttered with trivialities like a speedometer or map, and the controls are limited to just a few buttons. It really should do well as a casual title to play with mates. Restarting a level takes only moments, allowing players to retry levels in a snap, and the awesomeness starts right from the minute the level loads. As a single player experience it may not have the longest lifespan, but it could become the most popular arcade racer out there.
  42. It's a great trick, but the game is still pretty much a one-trick pony.
  43. There's no doubt about it, Split/Second is a finely balanced, visually stunning racer that loves the brown stuff hitting the fan.
  44. 80
    It doesn't possess the customization features of a Forza or a Need For Speed, and it lacks some of the arcade-friendly gameplay variety offered by a Mario Kart and a Blur. However, more than any other racer that precedes it, Split/Second creates dramatic tension and cinematic thrills in every single race, and it almost always leaves you trembling after crossing the finish line.
  45. There are more arcade racers than you can count, but Split/Second brings something to the pack that makes this game a must-try. Every race is a hyped-up experience full of explosions and crashes that leaves the décor in shambles, but puts you on the edge of your seat. Realism or depth is not something you can expect from this title, but that shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
  46. If arcade racers are your bag, I can highly recommend Split/Second and with its split-screen multiplayer it would be a great one to keep the kids entertained. Longevity will vary based on your personal tastes and attention span but Split/Second will be a blast while it lasts.
  47. Edge Magazine
    Much like a summer movie blockbuster, Split Second offers thrills galore, but there's a hint of glossy superficiality to it, too...Yet there are few games in the genre that create quite so many sharp intakes of breath and instances of unintentionally barked profanity as this one, and sometimes that's what racing gaming is all about. [June 2010, p.96]
  48. The fact that as much work's been done under the bonnet as on the gloss of the visuals is an impressive feat, and one that makes Split/Second one of the most highly-recommended alternative takes on the genre in years. [Issue#96, p.108]
  49. Split/Second requires exactly the right combination of skill, memory and reflexes from you while maintaining a permanent high of tactile feedback, sensory assault and knife-edge excitement. If that's Black Rock's elevator pitch for a modern arcade racer: sold.
  50. While I have a number of concerns about the overall execution of Split/Second, the lows are well worth tolerating for highs that are so good, so crazy, and so face-numbingly intense.
  51. There are funnier and more satisfying racing arcades out there. But for a pure spectacular feeling, Split Second Velocity is hard to beat.
  52. The moment-to-moment action of narrowly avoiding explosions and falling buildings produces hundreds of those heart-in-mouth moments that Burnout is so famous for. While comparisons to Critereon's superlative series are inevitable, Black Rock's effort is, if anything, even more spectacular.
  53. Official Xbox Magazine
    Lets you race through four action movies that have been melted down and poured out on the pavement - who are we to criticize that? [July 2010, p.74]
  54. When you finally take the key out of the ignition, step out of your hotrod and observe all the carnage that Split Second has wrought, the overriding impression is that this is one slick game.
  55. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Solid, addictive and astonishing to behold, Split/Second: Velocity is a shot in the arm for the arcade racer. It's just a shame that you're left chasing the high after the first dose. [Issue#59, p.80]
  56. This is a game best enjoyed in short bursts, or in the multiplayer. At its best, it's an intoxicating cocktail of high-speed thrills and explosive action. It may feel slightly shallow after several hours of play, but give it a brief window of your time and you're looking at some of the most intense and gleefully maniacal racing available.
  57. Split/Second delivers loads of explosive fun. Unlike in many other racing games with weapons, Split/Seconds Powerplay-system rewards skill over luck, both for the attacker and the victim.
  58. It may have its problems with repetition and unfair AI, but there's no doubting the joy to be had engaging in its phenomenal action.
  59. Aside from some AI and multi-player issues, Split/Second should please any racing fan, but will definitely find a home with Burnout fans as this game has that series' sense of complete anarchy, but with a twist that hasn't been done before in the form of the power plays.
  60. If you're looking for something a little new in the racing genre then you can't go wrong picking this little gem up.
  61. This game suffers from being a little too shallow, and after playing the same tracks over and over, it's a little too easy to tire of the game after the main story mode has been completed. Still, I would hope that there will be a sequel to this title, as the premise is solid. The execution just needs a little fleshing out.
  62. 75
    Split / Second: Velocity is frenetic, exciting and gorgeous, but beneath the glittering surface lays a repetitive, shallow arcade racer that is ultimately encumbered by an unfair level of difficulty which discourages long-term investment.
  63. Far from perfect, with a slightly unfair multi-player component for the cash or time impaired, Split Second is still tremendously fun and addictive.
  64. This shallow but rambunctious arcade racer may have only one trick up its sleeve, but it's a really good trick.
  65. Split/Second Velocity is a great arcade racing game, with fresh and unique ideas that gives new life to the genre. Spectacular and fast as there is no other, unfortunately its gameplay mechanics are so restricted that players can't really improve their skills, and that is not as fun as it should have been. With a deeper array of game modes and gameplay mechanics, this would have been an amazing game.
  66. 75
    Split/Second puts up a good show but doesn't do this for a long time. The coolest features are the Power Plays but even they become repetitive after a short while.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 102 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Apr 20, 2014
    Buying Blur and Split/Second at a similar time has resulted in inevitable comparisons, and while I find Blur to be the superior game,Buying Blur and Split/Second at a similar time has resulted in inevitable comparisons, and while I find Blur to be the superior game, Split/Second is far from a bad one and its personal preference at this point as to what people prefer.

    The sense of speed and sheer intensity when everything is exploding is in its favour, but it gets a bit too repetitive for my liking. A few more tracks or maps would have done a world of good to the racing. The level 2 plays are someones true racing fantasy being played out on screen, but its just not to my taste. It has a bit in common with Burnout revenge with its art style and racing theme of battling over racing which I do like since no other game has done that for me in years.

    Worth a look for arcade racers and thrillseekers alike
    Full Review »
  2. May 31, 2013
    Mix of NFS Most Wanted and Flatout 2. Great game with simple but very good game play. Need real skills to win some events. Hope they will makeMix of NFS Most Wanted and Flatout 2. Great game with simple but very good game play. Need real skills to win some events. Hope they will make sequel. I love it. Full Review »
  3. Apr 7, 2012
    Split Second is a great take on arcade racing. The games advantage system is highly unique. Instead of boost ect. you can only get hugeSplit Second is a great take on arcade racing. The games advantage system is highly unique. Instead of boost ect. you can only get huge passes by blowing stuff up to sabotage opponents. it is not like a fire and forget (red shells), but with every power play, you have to time it for the best usage. the season play (career mode) has an ok difficulty curve, especially near the end. this is more so because of the power plays, not the AI. the lack of alot of tracks (11) is made up for in what you can do with them. i have not played multiplayer, but I did play the demo for it. some cars are impossible to use online, but the game is till good nonetheless. if you are looking for an easy game, this is a no no. But otherwise, very good and I highly recommend it. Full Review »