Published on June 24th, 2013 | by Don Parsons0
One Hour In – Fast and Furious: Showdown
I love racing games. Back during the Playstation 2 generation, one specific racing game grew on me due to the massive amount of Japanese aftermarket brands you could tune your cars with. Simply titled Fast and the Furious, it was based around the Tokyo Drift movie. The Fast and the Furious game was plagued with horrid load times, but I really enjoyed it from start to finish.
Now enter Fast and the Furious: Showdown, which is nothing like the racing game from a generation past.
The framerate is just terrible. You know it’s bad if it’s the first thing I write in my notes.
The story tries to play off the movies, with missions plucked from various scenes. Remember when they dragged the big metal vault box thing in one of the movies? Yeah, that was actually a boring affair in the game because the physics are just flat out horrible. I think if this game had the physics of, say, a Need for Speed game, this particular mission had potential to be more enjoyable.
There is no tuning or customization in this game. Oh, I’m sorry, you can add decals and change the paint. No bodykits, no performance modifications, nothing. That’s a shame, because a lot of this I could have overlooked had they added some more customization features. I imagined it would have had all of the stuff from the original game, but with newer cars. Sad Panda.
During chases, your enemies have health bars above the car. That’s fine and dandy, but when I watched a cop car slide across the road for a quarter of a mile on its roof, bounce off of the guard rail and start driving again with little health loss, I have problems with that health bar.
Of all of the ways to make Fast and the Furious: Showdown stand out in a crowded genre, the developer opted to add in missions where you hang out of a window and shoot at the vehicles chasing you. The shooting is loose, there is no feedback, and it simply doesn’t fit into the game at all. Driving cars with sloppy physics is bad enough, but add in a terrible shooting mechanic that just feels half-assed made me want to pull my hair out.
Lastly, driving a semi-truck feels like driving every other car. You’d think there would be some difference, but no. Ugh.
I played three hours and decided I had had enough. Activision had a great opportunity to piggyback off of a franchise I personally enjoy a lot and come up with a decent racing game. Instead, it was a botched attempt by a developer that is used to making games for the Nintendo Wii and DS.