Fast and Furious: Showdown begins with you driving a car through a lifeless city, smashing into every other vehicle you see without any repercussions whatsoever. When the cops show up, you begin flipping them with your…car-flipper device, all the while continuing to race through city streets that feel increasingly confining. At some arbitrary point, the screen will display the phrase “Busted,” meaning you have failed your mission. Now confusion sets in. What the hell did you do wrong?
Do not worry, I was able to complete the mission on my second try (without making any changes), and then I was rewarded with some horrendous cinematics featuring talent-less D-list actors, all doing their best to mimic the character’s from the movie, with absolutely no success. It is then that things just continued to spiral downhill without ever letting up, and I began to realize that playing this game was a terrible mistake.
To put it mildly, Fast and Furious: Showdown, based on the famous movie franchise, is a cheap, offensively bad, cash-in with so little imagination that it’s hard to believe someone actually allowed it to be released. As the game continues, the issues only become more obvious — the city is filled with barriers that block off countless streets, the same car seems to drive by you over and over again, and your vehicle really doesn’t like to respond to your controller commands, especially when moving at high speed.
When you actually do manage to find yourself enjoying an intense chase scene, you’re likely to run into freezing, glitches, or other errors that will have to throwing your controller to the floor, just wanting it all to end as quickly as possible. At some points I actually felt like the game was taking me hostage, forcing me to play missions over and over again, through no fault of my own.
The good news is that most missions are as simple as getting from point A to point B without being busted by the police or wrecking your ride. Occasionally things get switched up by putting you behind a gun with infinite ammo, but considering how terrible the driving physics are, you can imagine how frustrating it is to actually hit your target when shooting.
The difficulty curve is chaotic; some missions are painfully easy to finish, while others are insanely difficult. The change in difficulty feels unnatural, as if it was designed this way in order increase the length of the game artificially. However, even with some ridiculous difficult missions thrown in, the entire game is only going to take you about three hours to complete – which is one of the only positives. Yes, it’ll be a three hours full of bugs, repetition, insulting simplicity, and cheap failure — but at least it’s over quickly.
Fast and Furious: Showdown is a mess. Everything from the way you upgrade your vehicles to the map layouts feels half-assed and watered-down, making it painfully obvious that this game was rushed out the door in time for the new movie. Even if you’re the type of gamer who absolutely must play every driving game on the market, I think you should skip this one. It offers absolutely nothing original, and doesn’t even manage to rip-off other driving sims successfully.
Fast & Furious: Showdown is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Mild Language, Violence. It can also be found on Wii U, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, and PC.