Fast and Furious: Showdown
The Fast and the Furious series of films has well and truly established itself as a pop culture phenomenon, and since the series’ fine-tuning with 2009’s Fast and Furious, every subsequent release has gone on to outperform the previous at the box office. Despite slightly deviating from the series’ roots with Fast 6, the film has gone on to be the most successful in the franchise’s history, and has taken over $704,000,000 worldwide since its release.
With numerous failed attempts to capture the excitement of the Fast movies into a video game, one would hope that the recently-released ‘Fast and Furious: Showdown’ would finally be the game Fast fans have been waiting for. Unfortunately, Fast and Furious: Showdown is a game that doesn’t do the Fast movies justice. In fact, everything that could go wrong with a licensed video game goes wrong in Fast and Furious: Showdown, which is neither Fast nor Furious, but rather, slow and mind-numbingly boring.
I try to finish every game that I review, but Fast and Furious: Showdown is so awful that I would hate myself if I actually did finish it. Admittedly, it would be a difficult task to try to bridge the stories between the Fast movies (as everyone involved with the franchise’s production seems to want to forget Tokyo Drift) but the sloppy presentation of the “story” in Showdown leaves a lot to the imagination. Worse still, the voice acting in Showdown is some of the worst I’ve heard in a video game, and somehow even worse than the Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. One would assume that getting paid would be motivation enough to put in a decent voice performance, but the characters in Showdown sound like they really couldn’t be bothered with anything. Firebrand Games would have been better off getting actual voice actors to impersonate the Fast and Furious actors.
In fact, the story would have been better off if it was entirely presented in graphic novel-style cutscenes, which I usually can’t stand in games but would rather sit through than the anaemic performances given by the actors in this game.
The Fast movies aren’t trying to be Citizen Kane though, and the focus of the movies is high-octane, action-packed driving sequences and over-the-top stunts, which I wish could have also been said about Fast and Furious: Showdown. Unfortunately, Firebrand Games didn’t couldn’t manage (or couldn’t be bothered to) getting the gameplay basics down. The sensation of speed, the awesome feeling of nailing a handbrake turn, the excitement of outrunning the police, none of it is reflected in Showdown. The cars handle like melting butter on a hot plate, every single race and mission feels slow and sluggish, and the police might as well not even show up, as they are completely ineffectual and hopeless at their jobs. It’s a miracle the game even contains cars.
When you’re not crashing into walls and other cars (despite your best attempts), you’re being raped in the ears by the game’s woeful soundtrack. Song titles such as ‘I’m on Fya’, ‘Out of My Way’, ‘Go Harder’ and the deplorably-titled ‘It Goutta Control’ illustrate the quality of lyrics and song-writing without the actual need of listening to them. It feels as though Firebrand Games assumes only 12 year old boys watch the Fast movies, or at the very least, play their games. Actually, a more accurate conclusion would be that Firebrand Games assume that only mentally –challenged 12 year olds would play their games. Maybe Firebrand Games pinned all their hopes to the niche market of “grandparents who can’t actually judge whether a game is a good or not”. Either way, this game is downright awful, from start to… whenever you throw your controller away in disgust.
- Everything. From the sub-par gameplay and graphics to the woeful voice acting and soundtrack, Fast and Furious: Showdown gets nothing right.
There’s no point in me analysing the game any further, as there are no redeeming features of Fast and Furious Showdown. You really should avoid the game at all costs. Hell, I’ll go one step further and ask that if you see anyone pick up this game in a store that you immediately slap the game out of their hands and stomp on it as though it is on fire. If you are a Fast fan, do not buy this game.
Score – 1/10