Fast & Furious: Showdown (Video Game Review)

While there may be plenty of gamers excited about the release of Fast & Furious 6 in theaters nationwide this week, there are likely few excited about this week's release of Fast & Furious: Showdown from developer Firebrand Games and publisher Activision. The new title has managed to go relatively unnoticed up until recently, and given Activision's track record with recent tie-in video games that include the much hated The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct and 007 Legends, it's easy to see why this upcoming release would be overlooked by so many people. The game does feature some alluring qualities as well including the likenesses of the main cast of characters minus Vin Diesel and some cool ideas such as the ability to customize rides with different upgrades and parts or joining up with a friend to play through the game cooperatively, but it just isn't enough to save a title that manages to do everything else wrong.

Fast & Furious: Showdown takes players around the world with the cast of the hit film series. There are eight locations in total that include the dusty roads of Mexico, the parties in Rio, the crowded lanes of Moscow and the sunny streets of Los Angeles. The variety is nice, but the environments themselves are very uninspired and don't seem very reminiscent of their real life counterparts at all. There are several events and missions scattered across these areas, and most are as uninspired as the place they call home. A handful of missions are cheaply recycled to offer little variety in the types of missions that essentially fall into typical cop chases, shootouts with rival cars and by the books races. Fans of the film series will enjoy seeing their favorite characters in the game, but their voices aren't featured in the game, and with a such a lackluster story dragging down the rest of the game, it probably wouldn't have mattered much anyhow.

Fast & Furious: Showdown is an arcade racing game to be sure, but the lack of realism doesn't help make the game more fun. Rather than offering an exciting experience such as one would find in the acclaimed Burnout series, Fast & Furious: Showdown is packed with about as much excitement as Pimp My Ride. Players can switch between driver and gunner in most missions, and there are scenes that feature would be exciting moments such as jumping between cars, planting a bomb and other mini-games, but they are never all that exciting with a poor presentation making Fast & Furious seem more like Sluggish & Boring. Complete enough missions, and you'll be able to unlock better upgrades and more customization options for your car, and once you've completed the game, if you can stand to play the game that long, there is a Challenge Mode where some of the highlights of the game's campaign are repeated with leaderboards standings to see who can endure the most pain Fast & Furious: Showdown causes while playing.

The problems don't stop there for Fast & Furious: Showdown however. The most unforgivable flaw may be in the game's presentation. Graphics in the game are very sub par and only match up well with those of an early PlayStation 2 release. Numerous glitches and poor animations compound the problem, as is an all too common occurrence to see items in the world flying out of place or characters glitch through the car doors and worse. A very boring soundtrack accompanies the action offering a selection of rock and hip-hop about as good as what you'd hear playing live at your local bar this weekend. It can't be overstated how despite the characters looking like blurry versions of themselves from the film, the voice actors all do pretty poor job in bringing the popular characters to life for Fast & Furious: Showdown. There are very few redeemable qualities in Fast & Furious: Showdown, and fans would be better served just seeing the new film and checking out some of the other great Summer films while they're there instead of wasting time and money on Fast & Furious: Showdown.

Fast & Furious: Showdown is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $39.99 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii U and $29.99 on PC and Nintendo 3DS. Fast & Furious: Showdown is rated T by the ESRB for Mild Language & Violence. For more information on Fast & Furious: Showdown, check out the official Activision website.

Game Features:
  • Multiplayer 1-2
  • Features Likenesses of Fast & Furious Films
  • Online Leaderboards
  • DLC Support
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

  • Game Information:
    Developer: Firebrand Games
    Publisher: Activision
    Platforms: PlayStation 3 (reviewed), Xbox 360, PC, Nintendo Wii U & Nintedo 3DS
    Release Date: May 21, 2013

    Score: 1 out of 10
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