We all know the formula for a great Fast and Furious movie. Desirable cars, daring heists and Vin Diesel saying the word ‘family’ at frequencies so low they can only be detected by seismologists. On paper, then, Fast and Furious Crossroads has all the ingredients necessary for another classic instalment. That said, the Titanic probably looked pretty good on paper too.
Spinning an entirely original yarn and introducing brand new lead characters, you’re invited to join Dom, Letty and Roman as they attempt to take down the Tadakhul, a near-mythical band of highway robbers turned techno-terrorists. Over the course of the story mode, you can expect to replicate fan-favourite set pieces from the movies, including leaping onto moving trains, hijacking semi trucks and, of course, the obligatory late-night street races. The only thing missing is a mission to restock the fridge with Coronas.
The problem is, the game constantly feels on the verge of shaking itself apart. Crossroads is ambitious in its own way, with a couple of surprisingly large open cities to shuttle across during missions, but the technology just doesn’t seem up to the challenge. This is a game that is positively riddled with bizarre glitches, ropey graphics and frustratingly woolly objectives in missions. There’s also the lurching, lunging handling which makes you feel less like a heroic member of the Fast crew and more like you’re in charge of an unruly, nitrous-equipped shopping trolley.
After about four hours, you’ll have wrapped up the story and be left wondering where the rest of your £50’s worth of entertainment went. There’s a multiplayer mode, with a neat three-on-three-on-three structure, but it suffers from the same issues as the single player and won’t keep you occupied for long.
What’s most disappointing is that the developer clearly understands what makes the series so beloved by fans. There’s a glimmer of a good game in Crossroads and a plot that, at the very least, is no more nonsensical than the most recent movie. Sadly that stuff is buried under a mountain of technical issues, rough edges and underwhelming visuals. Still, if you are unfortunate enough to buy Crossroads at least the name is appropriate: it’ll be over fast and it’ll leave you furious…