From a series that started out as a humble street racer and heist film, to a multi-billion dollar franchise, where Toretto can casually projectile throw himself like Superman.
Yeah, I still call shenanigans on that one!
Comes a racing/adventure game that looks to shake off the movie tie-in stigma these products are known for.
I’m Anthony from The Beta Network, and in today’s video we’ll be answering the question, Should You Play, Fast & Furious: Crossroads?
At first glance, I gotta admit I wasn’t the most impressed visually or mechanically, when I saw the trailers leading up to release.
So I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into with this title…
It seems the Fast & Furious community felt the same way… These comments are gold!
But after playing through it, I could really feel the attention to detail and series lore that Slightly Mad Studios permeated throughout Crossroads.
There’s a real, genuine understanding of the source material, and how they crafted the gameplay mechanics and scenarios very much fits the tone and atmosphere of the modern Fast films.
Working in close collaboration with Universal and the Fast & Furious crew, Slightly Mad Studios incorporated a tonne of in-series references and scenario set-ups that fans will recognise. Like when Brian and Toretto stole cars and a speeding train in Fast Five, albeit presented in a different format this time around.
Some of the iconic cars from the movies return too. The Chevrolet Yenko Camaro that was smashed up at the end of 2 Fast 2 Furious now has a new-found restoration in Crossroads, and several recognisable vehicles like the 1970 Dodge Charger and the Ford GT make a much-welcomed appearance.
They also got Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson to reprise their roles from the films. And does Vin Diesel say his famous line? “It’s family”. Does he? Does he?…
You bet your bottom dollar he does! That’s where half the budget’s gone.
The game itself is heavily story focused and straightforward. Don’t expect to be picking up side missions or free-roaming a massive world map akin to GTA, it’s more about playing through big, spectacle set-pieces in a linear progression. The protagonists are involved in street races, taking down opposing vehicles, hacking machines, escaping from dangerous locales and so forth.
Driving fast is the name of the game here and that’s virtually all you’ll be doing.
But this isn’t a negative at all, since the developers at Simply Mad Studios make racing game exceedingly well!
Transitioning from the finely-tuned, technical controls of Project Cars, Crossroads gives off a more arcade-like approach in it’s steering and physics to accommodate for Fast & Furious’
The playable drivers all use NOS for a short burst of pace, bump into parallel cars for take-downs – extremely satisfying! And use unique, character-specific gadgets such as the harpoon for newcomers, Vienna.
It’s really fun trying to latch onto an enemy vehicle, whilst chasing them down at top speeds.
And it adds a strategic element into the mix, since you can switch between characters on the fly and delegate who’ll be the most useful in each situation.
There can be a lot of drivers on screen sometimes, which can cause you to lock-on to the wrong target occasionally, but it’s nothing too major.
You’ll more likely find yourself sprinting ahead of your prey and then awkwardly waiting for them to catch up. This can throw you a bit off-course, as concentrating over your shoulder to line your vehicle up is almost counter-intuitive to driving at 200km/h, but I can’t really fault the game itself for that.
The steering reminds me a lot of GTA: Vice City’s, and I found it pretty easy to acclimate to.
Crossroads is rather forgiving as well; races aren’t too difficult to win and if you fall off the map or go out of bounds, you’ll just be returned to a close-by location.
Strangely enough, your character will usually find themselves placed in an advantageous position, upon restart.
You’ll be blazing through the street races and cities, being made even more user-friendly with the yellow direction arrows from Project Cars.
Along those lines, there is a fixed path you’re on and you can’t deviate much from it. Although, Crossroads isn’t so much about an open world.
Rather being a focused structure where all the action is dead-ahead of you.
I still think the game would have benefited from some extra variety, maybe an on-foot shooter section or something, but it’s hard to say.
Overall, it comes together surprisingly well.
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Now the car models look great! But I think the characters models specifically could’ve used some work. They look like they’re ripped straight from the previous generation of consoles, and why do some of them look like they have mumps?
I can’t unsee it!
Certain environments when driving are really easy on the eyes though!
Check that out!
This is normally the part where I talk about the story… But I’m gonna be honest here, there isn’t really much to speak about.
Newcomers Vienna and Cam are mostly forgettable and the original cast will give you the same type of performances you’ve come to expect.
Couple that with a mind-numbingly generic, evil-villain-needs-stopping plot, and that’s pretty much the gist of it.
So Should You Play, Fast & Furious: Crossroads?
I’d say yes but I’d honestly recommend waiting for a price drop, as the single-player mode is quite short – I clocked it under 5 hours in one sitting. And the story itself probably isn’t worth the additional re-visits either. Although, I didn’t get the chance to review the multiplayer, so this may increase its life-span somewhat, but we’ll have to wait and see how the online community receives the gameplay formula.
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