With my Sunday Driving playthrough of Black Rock Studio’s excellent Split/Second now at an end, it’s time to take a final, summative look back at one of my favourite racers of all time.
Split/Second, like its contemporary and rival Blur, was a victim of a combination of factors: poor marketing, arrogant publishers and an overall gaming landscape that was somewhat in flux. As such, while those who took a chance on it back in the day tend to look back on it rather fondly now, it doesn’t get nearly the recognition it deserves.
Let’s change all that, shall we?
Continue reading Racer Essentials: Split/Second
If, in 1978, you ever entertained any childish fantasies of being a fireman, then Atari had the video game for you!
Fire Truck was an unusual spin on the top-down driving game in which you took control of a distinctly retro (even at the time) fire engine on its way to deal with some sort of flame-related emergency. The fire truck has limited fuel and thus is unable to ever get to its destination, but at least you can score some points along the way! Because as we all know, real firemen are rated according to how close to the emergency they got.
Obviously this is mostly made up; the “fire truck” concept is actually an excuse to provide some interesting and unusual two-player cooperative driving gameplay, in which one player steers the cab of the truck and the other the trailer. You can play it single-player too, but for maximum amusement, bring a friend.
Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.
We’re closing in on the end of Split/Second now; only a few more episodes to go!
Today’s episode, Boneyard Rush, takes us out of the city and into a few areas rather devoid of life… the desert, the canyon, the industrial zone. Bring on the Bridge of Death!
Hit the jump to see how things went today… and to admire a stupid gag that took me probably more time and effort than it really deserved.
Continue reading Sunday Driving: Boneyard Rush
What could possibly make a Split/Second race more exhilarating? Why, the prospect of getting covered in poo in the process, of course!
That appears to be the unique selling point the announcer gives us for today’s races, some of which unfold in the city’s storm drains. Lovely!
Hit the jump to see how these potentially filthy events unfolded…
Continue reading Sunday Driving: Cleaning Up
Well, after a disastrous morning of my computer pretending to be dead… I finally managed to get an episode of Sunday Driving recorded!
Our Split/Second adventures continue as we progress through the game’s “Season” mode, the challenges growing ever more severe as we reach each new episode.
Hit the jump to see how today’s automotive mayhem went…
Continue reading Sunday Driving: Threshold Break
Look at me, I’m on camera!
Yes, after some reluctance and a surprising amount of urging from my wife (who either really wants me to suffer or genuinely thinks this is a good idea) I finally decided to show my Actual Face on one of these videos. I thought Sunday Driving was as good a place as any to experiment a bit with this format.
And yes, I know I cut the top of my head off in my GameFace shot. This is why we do experimental takes like this!
Continue reading Sunday Driving: Midway Pass
You thought we got off lightly last time around with “just” some races and time trials? This week’s episode more than makes up for that.
That damn helicopter is back, and ready to cause considerable grief. And those trucks are back, too, ready to hurl flaming death out of their rear end, much like my friend James did after he decided to find out what kind of curry a “Naga” was.
Hit the jump to see how things went.
Continue reading Sunday Driving: Hit the Skids