Did you know Fast and furious intersections existed before last week, when the game was released on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One?
The game received almost zero buzz, apart from a trailer debut in 2019 at The Game Awards. No review copies were sent to the press, and there seemed to be no marketing campaign for it – a bizarre situation for a licensed game that ties into one of the most successful film franchises of all time. It has similarities and voice acting talents from the stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Sonequa Martin-Green, Peter Stormare and Asia Kate Dillon, among others.
Despite Fast and furious intersections“impressive role-playing game and the success of the source material ̵
I understand that impulse, especially after playing the game itself. Fast and furious intersections is not a total wreck, but its many basic problems ruin all chances that it was fun.
A criminal underground highway thieves
Intersection introduces a new crew of street racers and outlaws led by Wien Cole (Martin-Green). They appear in the world of the fast-paced and furious films, and when they are over their heads, they reach out to a contact who may be able to help: Letty (Rodriguez), who gets the rest of the “family” involved.
The story involves a secret, historical underground criminal organization of highway thieves who collide with the game’s heroes, raise stakes until cars fly through the air, wreckage balls are involved and vehicles are turned into mobile hacking platforms. It’s about what you can expect from a fast and furious story: minimal logic, but lots of devastation. The voice actors all sound like they’re actually trying, which is a positive sign in this type of licensed game, but the rest of Intersection can not keep up with the role’s efforts to make something out of this mess.
You will control different characters in each mission, sometimes jumping between them several times in a single mission, although the game will tell you when to do it. All the big stars are there, but it’s the newer cast members who make the most of the heavy lifting. I do not even want to guess if any of this is considered canon, or what it would even mean for this particular franchise.
Intersection is not a racing game, as so few of the missions involve racing. It is not an open world game, as there is no open world and almost no freedom in how you tackle each mission or even how you get to the next section. It plays out like this: You learn something about history, maybe drive to the next area, maybe fight some other cars on the road, maybe do some stunts, maybe racing, maybe just drive. And then there is a new screen, and afterwards you drive somewhere else.
There is no world map and no way to explore these environments on your own. Instead, the campaign involves bits of driving separated by sections of characters that talk to each other before returning to the road and driving to the next destination. Sometimes that run is a race; other times you have to fight platforms with rolling weapons; and sometimes you’re just … driving to get somewhere.
Which is a problem because driving is awful. Every journey from point A to point B keeps you housed in a single road, and that road is poorly communicated. It led to several crashes where I thought I could go somewhere, just to slam into an invisible wall. The game features removal attacks that you can use to slam enemy cars into each other or on the sides of the road, seemingly lifting straight from the Burnout series, but without any of that series’ attention to detail or sense of fun.
There is a single camera angle, and it does a bad job of showing what’s going on. You can play with a keyboard on the computer, but the game does not say which buttons do what, only shows instructions for controls. When and if you manage to guess which buttons do what, just be aware that you are stuck with that configuration, as there is no way to reshape the keyboard controls at all.
Intersection explains so little. Although I admired the idea of a dangerous drive where I carried a volatile form of fuel that could explode if I had a crash, it was sad to actually do so. I could crash into so many things before the game finally told me that enough is enough. What is the difference between the first head-on collision and the third? I do not know.
The game would never tell me when my cargo was about to explode until it did, and even then I did not get the chance to see it. This is fast and furious – why introduce the equivalent of a vehicle bomb just to blow it off the screen if you fail the challenge? Isn’t the whole series about cars stupidly jumping and driving while things inflate right and left?
Add in all these frustrations and linear play, and not even the basic driving controls hold up Intersection. It is as if all aspects of driving, from acceleration to handling to the use of the handbrake and nitrous oxide, were handled by a different team, who each tossed a coin to see if they wanted something like realism or an arcade style. more adapted to the series’ feel. The results make it almost impossible to find out how my car will react to each situation until it happens.
Intersection also has a multiplayer option, which at least sound fun, but there are not enough people playing this game, so it is not sustainable if you were not looking for a “waiting for a game” simulator.
All of this and publisher Bandai Namco are still asking $ 59.99 for the game at launch, while offering a $ 29.99 season pass that gets you “three add-on packages loaded with new cars, custom items and more!”
Mediocre games happen, often despite everyone’s best efforts, but it is this seemingly attempt to start the game under the radar and offers great name recognition but nothing but moving. Fast and furious intersections from the bar “these things happen” to the “transparent collection bucket”. The good news is that based on the 27 reviews on Steam so far (mostly negative) and the long wait to find someone to play with online, almost no one was fooled.
Fast and furious intersections is out now on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game was reviewed on PC. You can find further information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.