Fast, furious and packed full of high octane mayhem
Drawing heavily from the mechanics of its Asphalt racing titles, Gameloft’s tie-in for Fast Five is a hefty title that delivers more content than its small asking price would initially suggest.
Fast Five is purely a racing game, so all of the on foot action and shooting from the movies is nowhere to be seen. On-foot shooting sections would have certainly mixed up each chapter, as they are essentially all just a string of similar race types that quickly become a tad too familiar after only a few events.
Each chapter is unlocked after O’Conner acquires enough ‘Fame Points: which are awarded by placing in the top three positions in each event. Anyone who has played an Asphalt game before will be familiar with how the game handles, with automatic acceleration, tapping the bottom of the screen to brake and tilting to steer. It works well n Asphalt, and it works well again here.
You can also unleash a nitro burst by tapping the icon on the
left for a speed boost, or to give yourself more ramming power for taking out other drivers. Rewind power-ups can be used up to three times in most races, letting you undo misjudged turns or devastating crashes. The rewind skill is helpful given how perilous some tracks can be.
One track sees racers screaming around sharp turns at a dockyard and barrelling a down a long straight underneath a set of cranes. At the first lap the cranes explode, spilling girders dawn onto the road,
requiring a great deal of weaving or if you’re unlucky enough to gel smashed up, a simple tap of the rewind skill to try the stretch again.
These explosive moments of destruction are unexpected the first time around the course, and can send the pack into disarray without warning. You can also turn sharply into other racers to slam them into walls, sending them flying in a hail of debris. The crash effects are neat, but actually forcing an opponent into a wall requires almost a 90-degree turn on your part, meaning that if you miss, you’ll either slam head-first into the wall behind them and take yourself out, or slow to a halt and risk losing the race.
Drifting, however, isn’t so forgiving. Tapping the brake lightly while turning is supposed to result in a drift that rewards you with bonus cash at the end of each race. However, it tightens your turning arc so severely that cornering effectively become a real pain. Drift events that demand you slide round bends as often as you can quickly become an irritating slog as a result, and may have you reaching for the quit icon fast.
These minor issues aside, there is a lot to enjoy here, no less the sharp HD visuals, pounding dance soundtrack and lengthy campaign. More event types and diverse chapter missions would have been a sweetener, but as it stands, the available races are just about fun enough.
There’s also a range of multiplayer modes available for you to play with friends in a private match, or with the rest of the online ranks competitively. Online races can be conducted via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or across the web by syncing your Gameloft Live! account
Fast Five is a huge game at a modest asking price, and while the controls may feel slack and erratic at the outset, practicing to get a feel for the tilt sensitivity is to be advised. That aside, this is another solid racing title from Gameloft.