Did Fast & Furious Crossroads existed earlier than final week, when the sport was launched on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One?
The recreation loved nearly zero buzz, except for a trailer debut in 2019 at The Game Awards. No assessment copies had been despatched to press, and there didn’t appear to be any type of advertising and marketing marketing campaign for it — a weird scenario for a licensed recreation that ties into probably the most profitable film franchises of all time. It options the likeness and voice performing skills of stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Sonequa Martin-Green, Peter Stormare, and Asia Kate Dillon, amongst others.
Despite Fast & Furious Crossroads’ spectacular solid and the success of its supply materials — though its launch feels a little bit extra random, now that the newest Fast and Furious film has been delayed for a yr — it appears as if the sport was despatched out into the world to die a fast, hopefully silent demise, by no means to be talked about once more.
I perceive that impulse, particularly after taking part in the sport itself. Fast & Furious Crossroads isn’t a complete wreck, however its many primary issues destroy any likelihood it had at being gratifying.
A prison underground of freeway thieves
Crossroads introduces a brand new crew of avenue racers and outlaws led by Vienna Cole (Martin-Green). They function on the earth of the Fast and Furious movies, and once they discover themselves in over their heads, they attain out to a contact who would possibly have the ability to assist: Letty (Rodriguez), who will get the remainder of the “family” concerned.
The story entails a secret, historic underground prison group of freeway thieves that clashes with the sport’s heroes, elevating the stakes till vehicles are flying by means of the air, wrecking balls get entangled, and autos get was cellular hacking platforms. It’s about what you’d count on from a Fast and Furious story: minimal logic, however a lot of mayhem. The voice actors all sound like they’re really making an attempt, which is a optimistic register this sort of licensed recreation, however the remainder of Crossroads can’t sustain with the solid’s efforts to make one thing out of this mess.
You’ll management totally different characters in every mission, generally leaping between them a number of occasions in a single mission, though the sport will let you know when to take action. All the massive stars are there, nevertheless it’s the newer solid members who do many of the heavy lifting. I don’t need to even guess at whether or not any of that is thought-about canon, or what that will even imply for this explicit franchise.
Crossroads just isn’t a racing recreation, since so few of the missions contain racing. It’s not an open-world recreation, since there’s no open world, and nearly no freedom in the way you deal with every mission and even the way you get to the subsequent part. It performs out like this: You study one thing concerning the story, drive to the subsequent space, possibly combat another vehicles on the best way, possibly do some stunts, possibly racing, possibly simply driving. And then there’s one other cutscene, and afterward, you drive some other place.
There is not any overworld map, and no strategy to discover these environments by yourself. Instead, the marketing campaign entails bits of driving separated by cutscenes of characters speaking to one another, earlier than you’re again on the highway driving to your subsequent vacation spot. Sometimes that drive is a race; different occasions, you’ll must battle rolling weapons platforms; and generally you’re simply … driving to get someplace.
Which is an issue, as a result of the driving is atrocious. Each journey from level A to level B retains you boxed right into a single path, and that path is poorly communicated. That led to a number of crashes the place I believed I might go someplace, solely to slam into an invisible wall. The recreation consists of takedown assaults that you should utilize to slam enemy vehicles into one another or the edges of the highway, seemingly lifted straight from the Burnout sequence, however with none of that sequence’ consideration to element or sense of enjoyable.
There is a single digicam angle, and it does a poor job of exhibiting what’s occurring. You can play with a keyboard on the PC, however the recreation gained’t let you know which buttons do what, exhibiting solely prompts for controllers. When and should you handle to efficiently guess which buttons do what, simply remember that you simply’re caught with that configuration, since there’s no strategy to remap the keyboard controls in any respect.
Crossroads explains so little. Despite admiring the thought of a dangerous drive during which I used to be carrying a unstable type of gasoline that might blow up if I received right into a crash, it was tedious to truly do it. I used to be capable of crash into so many issues earlier than the sport lastly informed me that sufficient is sufficient. What’s the distinction between the primary head-on collision and the third? I don’t know.
The recreation would by no means inform me when my cargo was near blowing up till it did, and even then, I didn’t get an opportunity to see it. This is Fast and Furious — why introduce what quantities to a vehicular bomb solely to have it blow up off-screen must you fail the problem? Isn’t the entire sequence about vehicles doing foolish jumps and drifting whereas issues blow up proper and left?
Set apart all these frustrations and linear play, and never even the essential driving controls maintain up in Crossroads. It’s as if each facet of driving, from acceleration to dealing with to the usage of the handbrake and nitrous, was dealt with by a special crew, every of which flipped a coin to see in the event that they had been going for one thing like realism or an arcade-style strategy extra suited to the texture of the sequence. The outcomes make it subsequent to unimaginable to determine how my automotive will react to every scenario till it occurs.
Crossroads additionally has a multiplayer choice, which not less than sounds enjoyable, however there aren’t sufficient folks taking part in this recreation, so it’s not viable until you had been in search of a “waiting for a game” simulator.
All this, and writer Bandai Namco continues to be asking $59.99 for the sport at launch, whereas also offering a $29.99 season pass that will get you “three add-on packs loaded with new cars, customization items, and more!”
Mediocre video games occur, usually regardless of everybody’s finest efforts, nevertheless it’s this seeming try and launch the sport beneath the radar, providing big-name recognition however nothing else apart from that, that strikes Fast & Furious Crossroads from the “these things happen” pile to the “transparent cash-in” bucket. The excellent news is that, based mostly on the 27 critiques on Steam thus far (principally damaging) and the lengthy wait to search out anybody to play with on-line, nearly nobody was fooled.
Fast & Furious Crossroads is out now on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The recreation was reviewed on PC. You can discover extra details about Polygon’s ethics coverage right here.