Sometimes you just want a good racing game. But, sorry Fast & Furious fans: the new Fast & Furious Crossroads just ain’t it.
This “racing/adventure” game ties into the adrenaline-fueled, nitro-boosted movie series—taking place after the eighth film in the franchise. And it features the voice talents and likenesses of some of the movie’s leads, including Vin Diesel (Dom) and Michelle Rodriguez (Letty). But if you’re expecting world class hot-rodding in incredibly decked out cars, well …
OK, so what do you find here?
Fast & Furious Crossroads starts out in and around Barcelona, and introduces us to a woman named Vienna as well as her neutral-gendered roommate Cam. They’re a pair of American car technicians trying to make a go of it on the northeastern coast of Spain. Turns out that they’re not there for the beauty of the exotic locale, though, but because U.S. authorities are looking for Vienna in connection with something deadly that took place in her street-racing past.
However, Vienna’s new boyfriend, Sebastian, has a past of his own. And Vienna and Cam get dragged into even bigger and deadlier happenings involving a criminal organization of highway thieves. That means, of course, they drive a lot. When the exhaust fumes get thick and temperature levels hit boil, Vienna reaches out to good friend Letty, and the F&F hot-wheelers get involved.
Together they’ll dodge wrecking balls, mash up fast-moving tanks, send their cars leaping off impossible ramps, and speed into doing everything from zipping across the deck of an aircraft carrier to battling with a space rocket with little more than hot-rodding grit and a grappling hook.
That may sound like it has a lot of logic-free, hit-the-nitro potential from an F&F perspective. But the gameplaying rubber never quite hits the road. Most games of this stripe come with lots of intense racing, great driving mechanics and a bunch of smash-through-a-billboard shortcuts. Crossroads has pretty much none of that.
In fact, Fast & Furious Crossroads is more about speeding from point A to point B while bashing around in a nearly indestructible car than anything close to racing. The supercars you’re in may look cool from a third-person perspective, and blow through roadside debris at impossible speeds, but racing finesse is not in this game’s tool box.
Neither are thrills.
Eventually, the storyline veers into a save-the-world-from-bad-guys-destruction lane, but it never feels like you’re, well, in the driver’s seat. It all has a sense of being a rather short theme park ride. You’re furiously hitting the buttons for quick-time prompts of on-car gadgets and whatnot, but things feel like they’re gonna go where they’re gonna go. You’re just along for the ride.
And the T-rated content is all welded into place here, too. Language never gets too intense but you still hear s-words and quite a few uses of “h—,” “a–” and “d–mit” in the dialogue fuel mix.
And, of course, gun-pointing baddies, and smashing and bashing violence show up at every turn. You’re expected to grapplehook cop cars and use them as battering rams, even though you’re supposed to be the good guy. And from just trying to steer with clunky mechanics through city streets to running from police or heavy-footed thugs, you’re constantly smashing into, pinballing off of other vehicles, often sending them flying.
All of the above adds up to a game that’s definitely not geared for little kids. But it doesn’t have a whole lot to appeal to the big kids in the family either.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.