To coincide with the release of the latest Fast & Furious movie – Fast & Furious 6, Activision has published a game developed by Firebrand titled Fast & Furious Showdown. The videogame tie-in aims to bridge the gap between the latest cinema release and the previous Fast & Furious 5 movie by showing cut-scenes and racing events to keep you up to speed. It’s shockingly awful both to play and to look at with the developers looking like they’ve delivered an alpha port of a last-gen game. I am surprised that Activision has even permitted the game to be published by attaching their name to one of the (if not THE worst of all time) racing games currently available on the Xbox 360.
Fast & Furious Showdown, is designed as a single player game of very short missions and challenges with the option for another player to join locally only and share in this driving crap – so that’s no Xbox LIVE multiplayer anywhere to be seen at all. It’s just you (and if you like a friend next to you) and around thirty missions to complete with an extra twenty-four side missions if you wanted to “officially” take your time and complete everything. The missions and challenges range from having to flip cars off the road, win races, heists by evading the police, hijacking, aiming a gun from windows to shoot other drivers on the road, seeing how fast you can speed through some speed cameras, among many other acts of causing destruction and mayhem across the globe. Each mission is very short and barely challenging to say the least, it’s a run of the mill, do your worst scenario – but barely destructible environments, vile looking cars and unrealistic driving physics. One mission truly stands out to showcase the ridiculousness of ‘Showdown’ – the Rio Heist mission, a scene from the previous movie in which bank safe’s were tied to the back of very fast cars and driven through the streets has been re-enacted in all its glitchy, buggy glory. Badly designed box looking cars have attached to their rear, safe’s that might have well been made of rubber than any form of metal; bouncing around left, right and centre with barely any weight in them!
Aside from two main options of Fast & Furious Missions and Challenge Modes, it also features a Profile screen to check out your vehicles which can be customised with paint, rims, decals, but don’t expect to be blown away. Customising any vehicle does not cover up the poor visual quality, but at least in-game you can add mods to make them try to go that little but faster. Extra options within the Profile screen show you your world rank, (sparing a thought for all the gamers who actually spent money on this), check out your stats and compare them with other friends who might own the game. You can also unlock concept art and movie stills the more you play, or additionally just browse google images to save you the hassle.
There are definitely no thrills to be had racing and aiming to complete the missions and challenge’s within Fast & Furious Showdown, the game does not even really feel complete. It comes across as a cheap and nasty rushed out effort to get the Fast & Furious name on a game with cars in it in the hope that some poor bastard falls for the hyped up blurb on the back cover after they’ve watched the film. Gameplay wise there isn’t even much to play – it is just about completing one challenge in the space of five minutes tops so that you can unlock the next challenge, so on and so forth. The added ability to change your cars, apply mods, but still doesn’t add or improve anything about the game. It’s a mass of dirty designed roads plastered in what looks like toy cars in which you either hit or miss them. Visually it’s an absolute mess in that it looks like a really basic PC game from about ten years ago.
All I can say is don’t buy this because you will feel robbed of your hard earned cash. Activision known for publishing such top games such as Call of Duty and Prototype should let go of the cheap tie-ins with this ‘Showdown’ crap and their other nasty game ‘The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct’ proving they are possibly throwing all their Call of Duty profits to the wind. Fast & Furious Showdown deserves a generous one out of ten for having a few catchy tunes at the title screen. Its a basic bare-bones racing/action title you need not bother yourself with; nothing enjoyable and one of the worst racing games of all time.
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