Split Second

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
    Bridge goes: Big Badda Boom!

    One day, the fine folks at Disney Interactive Studios, after watching a 10-hour marathon of Michael Bay movies, picked up their copy of Burnout Paradise and thought, "This is a fun game, but it's missing something... something explodey." And with that, the game Split Second was born.

    Split Second is a racing game set up like a reality/Game Show (not to be confused with the Tom Kennedy quizzer from The Seventies) in which racers compete through 12 episodes of an internationally broadcast television series, also titled Split Second. The racing is much like it is in any arcade racer, with one key difference: at any point, after accumulating enough energy (through drifting, drafting and jumps), racers can set off "Power Plays" in which bombs are dropped from helicopters, cars and trucks on the side of the track are blown up, overhead cranes and bridges are blown up and fall onto the track, the road itself is blown up to change the route of the course, buildings fall over, planes fall out of the sky... yeah, it's basically Burnout turned into a Summer Blockbuster.

    All it's missing is Megan Fox and Linkin Park[1].

    A sequel was in development but Disney canceled the project, leading to the studio's ultimate closure.

    Tropes used in Split Second include:
    • AKA-47: Kinda. The vehicle companies seem to be pastiches of real companies. Ryback has more chunky vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to the modern versions of classic American muscle cars (Camaro, Mustang, Dodge Challenger). Cobretti cars are sleeker, with a name evocative of Italian manufacture (Ferrari, Lamborghini). Which makes Hanzo the Japanese company (name close to Mazda, Honda).
    • Attack Reflector: You eventually get the opportunity to destroy those damn helicopters by sending their missiles right back at them.
    • Awesome but Impractical: The Level 2 Power Plays are sometimes completely ineffectual if you time it wrong or if there aren't enough cars to be hit by it when you fire it off.
      • Also, the Elite Goliath. Good lord is it built like a tank, but reaching top speed is not easy. Almost all of the other trucks suffer a problem in that it's easy for them to ignore shock effects... but if they're shoved far enough off course, they won't be able to recover in time and crash anyway.
    • Bragging Rights Reward: Getting achievement points causes the logos of said achievements to show up on your car, as a way of showing people online just how much of a badass you are.
      • One of them, Untouchable (win a race event without crashing) has two spots on the rear of every car. That should give you an idea of how often you can expect to crash in this game.
    • Beyond the Impossible: The reality TV premise would be impossible in Real Life; it's more or less just an excuse to blow as much stuff up during a race as possible.
    • Cliff Hanger: For a racing game, interestingly enough- after the championship race, you're doing the winner's podium shots when things start blowing up, even though the power plays were already deactivated, and then an army of rogue vehicles with mysterious logos on them show up, and finally the scene cuts to black with "TO BE CONTINUED" on the screen.
      • If you listen to the guy on the mic, it sounds like he's talking about a now-defunct company that did a show similar to Split Second several years ago. Apparently the company wasn't as shut down as the Split Second team thought.
      • Left Hanging: Due to the cancellation of the game's supposed sequel.
    • Death From Above: Air Strike Mode, in which you are being chased by an attack helicopter that fires volleys of missiles at you.
      • One of the Power Plays on the "Airport Terminal" level causes the air traffic control tower to topple over, crushing the racers beneath it and rerouting the course onto the airport runway. During the next lap, a jumbo jet comes in for a crash landing on said runway. While you are racing on it.
        • That one is pretty easy to avoid (just stick to the far left of the track and watch the incoming jet engine) and is actually a separate Level 2 Power Play. But still. Crashing plane.
    • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: If your car gets wrecked, you simply reappear after several seconds just fine. On the other hand, considering this is an action packed racing game, those are still precious few seconds being wasted. However, this is averted in certain game modes, where death is permanent, automatically ending the round for the affected player.
    • Death World: In the 'Detonator' mode, the player has to complete a lap of the track while the majority of the offensive Power Plays trigger in front of them. Every barrel, fence, car, train, building and bridge can and WILL explode as you drive past it in an attempt to throw you into a wall and explode. In short this mode could be renamed Everything Trying to Kill You.
    • Don't Try This At Home: In no small part, the developers and the game itself make quite the effort to tell you that everything portrayed within is entirely fictional, and should NOT be attempted in real life for any reason. They again, this is DISNEY we are talking about.
    • Downloadable Content: In addition to several car packs, there are three packs that each include a new game mode, a new track, and a few cars. The new modes are Survival Race (racing in Survival mode), Deadline (Detonator with timer-pausing pickups), and Onslaught (racing in Air Strike mode).
    • Dueling Games: Sorta, being released about a week before Blur, even though being an arcade racer is pretty much the only thing both games have in common.
    • Disaster Movie: Many of the Level 2 Power Plays look like they came out of one of these.
    • Epic Fail: You know you (or the other AI cars) are doing terribly in an Elite race if Rigg is in first place, because he drives the Elite Goliath mentioned above. Even under AI control, Rigg is basically the Butt Monkey of the Elite team and will almost always come in dead last regardless of everything that happens in the race.
    • Everything Trying to Kill You: Detonator events, where the course's Power Plays trigger by themselves, forcing you to outmaneuver them and keep your speed. During Season mode, these must be beaten in a certain amount of time (which is ridiculously unforgiving; scraping by with mere miliseconds is par for the course and you will restart).
      • Even moreso in multiplayer when you're driving ahead of the pack, bombarded with the combined power (and bodywork) of everyone behind you. And with drifting, power flows in like water.
    • Exploding Barrels: Survival mode has you dodging as many of these as you can. You get bonus points for overtaking the trucks dropping them.
    • Follow the Leader: It's Burnout WITH TRAPS! AND NO BOOSTING!
    • Infinity Plus One Car: The Cobretti Slipstream is an amazingly good car, especially if you love drifting, and works well on almost any track. The Elite S510 is a close second. The Elite cars are not actually that practical despite their awesomeness or good looks. The description for the Le Mans-esque car won by taking 1st in the final race lampshades this a bit:

    "It's a purebred track car. Great! Except we're going to make you race it down a storm drain, through a hail of explosions."

    • It's Going Down: If you see anything big, tall, and cool-looking in the level scenery, there's a pretty good chance that it will be sitting on top of a car at the end of the race.
      • Or several cars. The more that aren't you, the better.
    • Limit Break: Level 2 Power Plays, which use your entire energy bar, and which often have a far greater impact on the race (changing the route, taking out several racers at once).
    • Old Save Bonus: The "Have We Met Before?" decal, which shows up if you have save data from Pure.
    • One-Hit Kill: In Survival Mode, some of the Exploding Barrels launched from the semis are red rather than blue and will Wreck you instantly. Once time's up, you enter Overtime and the trucks only drop reds. Good luck.
    • Recurring Riff: There is a very distinctive melody that plays throughout many of the game's pieces, from the intro to the Elite Race themes.
    • Rubber Band AI: Two-way until the higher difficulties. No matter which car you pick for any race in any season, you can easily manage to pull middle of the pack at the very least, unless you drive atrociously and crash into every Power Play on purpose. The A Is will rarely get too far ahead or behind. This means you can't take a supercar back to the first episodes and clean house (although differing handling/acceleration stats and more experience with a vehicle certainly help) by zooming into a lead far ahead of all the other cars.
    • Runaway Train: One Route Changer sends a train careening down a track next to the course before blowing up. You can get a Cosmetic Award for taking out three or more racers with this: The Pain Train.
    • Scenery Gorn: The likely state of the course after a few laps.
    • Shout-Out: The entire game is one long love letter to popcorn summer blockbusters.
      • Survival Mode, in which you have to overtake a series of semi-trucks that are dropping explosive barrels to stop you, is lifted almost directly from similar scenes in Bad Boys II and The Island.
        • One of the Survival courses takes place in a storm drain, giving a feel very similar to a Chase Scene in Terminator 2.
      • The achevement/trophy names have shout outs to Hercules, of all things- the ones named Going the Distance and Zero to Hero specifically. Yeah, Disney Interactive published the game, but still.
    • Show Within a Show: Within a game, but you get the point.
    • Stuff Blowing Up: Have we established this yet?
      • No better way to take in this trope than by setting up a Detonator event. Bask your car in flame and explosions as you charge through the course with just about every Power Play triggering by itself.
    • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In quite a few ways;
      • On each track on the hardest difficulty (which kicks in somewhere around Season 7) there are one or two AI opponents who can (and will) drive the track with 100% precision, meaning the only way to slow them down is to hit them with Power Plays. If you let them overtake you and get out of sight, they'll have a 10 second lead on you in no time flat. This is exceptionally noticeable in the Elite Races, where Torpedo, Vixen and Raptor are the major offenders, and can rack up a 20 second lead if left to their own devices.
      • On Elite Races, the other Elites will hardly ever use Power Plays on each other, and have a seemingly infinite Power Meter, which they will use to throw every single Power Play on the track at you if you're in first place. Good thing it can't use them too well and that most are really easy to recover from.
      • It's a small blessing that the AI really cannot handle being on the recieving end of Power Plays; if they start going off course the drivers seem to panic. Sometimes a simple explosive barrel can outright wreck even the built-like-tanks trucks, even when it'll do hardly anything to your probably fairly flimsy car on a direct hit.
    • Variable Mix: Each track has three variations, and fades between them as the race becomes more or less intense. This is especially noticeable in the Elite Races given their difficulty often causes it to reach the highest intensity. It's also easy to hear in Free Play on the Easy, on a track you have down to muscle memory, with a supercar: You'll never have the music reach it's highest point because you'll be so far ahead they can never keep up.
    • Wreaking Havok: What do you expect from a game that actually uses the Havok physics engine?
    1. or not, considering the fact that she won't be in the third Transformers movie