Disney's 'Split/Second' Wreaks Havoc at High Speed

Chris Morris|Special to

Sure it’s fun to race cars, but it’s even more fun to crush your opponents under a shower of steel girders. That’s the theory behind Disney Interactive's "Split/Second."

Blending action and racing, the game pits you against a collection of stunt drivers and racers in a reality TV competition. The plot of the game, though, is fairly irrelevant. The fun lies in driving at insane speeds and wreaking havoc.

Players can collide with other vehicles to knock them from the track, but the real fun comes when they trigger "explosive events" that change the outcome of the race. In some cases, that means obliterating opponents. In others, it means you can alter the race’s route, which, when used strategically, can be a significant advantage.

Playing out like a Michael Bay film, the game follows the path blazed by previous action/driving titles, such as "Burnout" and "Full Auto." And, with the recent shift in direction in the "Burnout" franchise, "Split/Second" could steal away some of that audience.

Disney, so far, has only revealed a few of the single-player aspects of the game. An online multi-player component could be unveiled at E3. Undoubtedly, the thought of bringing down a bridge or a communications tower on top of a friend will further boost the buzz factor of the game.

Players will have to be patient, though. "Split/Second" isn’t due to come out until sometime in 2010. 

Because the ship date is so far out and so little of the game has been seen, analysts say it’s tough to make sales predictions at this point.

With that in mind, Scott Mucci of GamerMetrics, a forecasting group that tracks the hit potential of titles based on gamer interest on the IGN enthusiast Web sites, says interest has been fairly stable and the game could perform well, especially if Disney publishes it during the first calendar quarter of next year—a time frame that is often devoid of AAA titles.