We have already seen what Gameloft can do when it comes to arcade racing titles. Whereas Asphalt was certainly more of an outrageously unrealistic, yet thrilling, arcade racing experience, you can tell that Fast Five The Movie: Official Game has its sights set on being the responsible older brother of this hyperactive toddler. But this actually doesn’t do the game any favours. Its speed boosts seem somewhat dimmed down, explosions lack impact and car collisions are as bad as ever, if not worse. Whereas in Asphalt you could overlook the not-so-amazing graphics for the excellent driving experience, here there’s certainly more to stick a stubby, disapproving finger at.
Fast Five Gameplay
Fast Five The Movie: Official Game — bit of mouthful, huh — tries to recreate the atmosphere and story of Fast Five The Movie. Let’s start off with the abysmal stuff first (it never ends to be frank). The story is non-existent. At the start of each story race, a comic book style narrative pops up with images and characters from the film edited into each environment. The voice acting is utterly terrible. It sounds as if Gameloft walked up to the actors (or impressionists, it’s hard to tell) and shoved a sheet of lines and a recorder in front of their face. The actual dialogue between characters serves nothing as to knowing what the hell is going on and the only hope of getting any of the plotline is if you have watched the movie beforehand.
But it doesn’t really matter whether you get the pathetic ‘cutscenes’ at the start anyway because they have no bearing on the race itself. No matter what overly-aggressive verbal communication is exchanged in the cutscene you will still be presented with any one of the standard game modes.
After you have completed the ‘story’ race then you will have access to 4 new races on the same track, just with different rules. Time Attack is probably the worst because the times are easy to achieve and with no other cars on the road, it’s pretty darn boring. Normal picks up the ‘success’ banner where Time Attack dropped it a long, long way behind. The other cars are what makes it fun, but even then, it’s not going to get you stumped, let alone feel challenged. Drag races are certainly a breath of fresh air as they attempt at a new approach of the racing formula. In a Drag race your car automatically accelerates and you are in control of the gear changes. So you need to time your up-gears to match the rev metre. You can also tell the car to switch lanes (maybe cut off an approaching opponent) and the tracks are extremely short. Drag races are much harder to win outright. You need to dodge traffic, work your way between lanes to get the best racing line etc. It certainly takes much more thinking that the other mind numbing modes.
Fast Five: Worst car collision… ever.
Whereas Fast Five may lack the blinding speed and awesome supercars that starred in Asphalt 6, it does have some nifty features hidden up its oily sleeve. Obviously with no inspiration taken from the Split Second series (*cough* sarcasm *cough*), there are interactive environments which cause buildings and structures to explode or collapse which can cause obstacles to appear in your path. However, these menial set-pieces are mostly laughably anti-climactic, have almost no impact an the track itself and become ridiculously predictable. To say that these events alter the track is far from the truth. Instead, to say they act as mere eye candy for the player (except they’re not that beautiful anyway) would be a little better put.
Another feature that I actually appreciate is the ability to rewind mistakes or crashes. This works surprisingly well as you see your car flip back on its wheels and reverse into a safe position in soothing slow-motion. I did find that starting from a rewind can cause problems as you’re instantly thrown back into the race with little time to adjust.
I can say the graphics are slightly better than Asphalt’s. The cars look beautiful and the tarmac’s well textured. Other than that the trees are still flat and there’s no mistaking whether the world looks properly real. But by now you should be expecting no more from Gameloft.
The sound almost acts like a soldier attempting to heave a wounded man out of the sodden soil. It’s pretty darn good, but the game isn’t going anywhere on just its sound. The sound design and music is wholly let down by the long load times, invisible walls, environmental flaws, the worst car collision in history and, above all else, its gameplay.
Whereas I did have some fun moments with Fast Five the Movie: Official Game, these moments were few and far between; spaced out by comically bad cutscenes, repetitive gameplay and an overall lack of imagination. With Fast Five being inferior to Asphalt in almost every way, it makes it seem like this title is relying more on its brand appeal than the actual player experience. As a result, this isn’t a racer I would recommend.
Description: A Film-based Racer Lacking Impact
Pros: It’s a racer that works, sound.
Cons: Repetitive, unpolished, pretty underwhelming, limited car customisation.
Advised Control Method: All (keyboard control)