Fast & Furious Adrenaline
As far as popular culture is concerned, The Fast and the Furious movie franchise is synonymous with street racing, so it would only make sense to attach that brand to your street racing game. So it goes with Fast and Furious: Adrenaline, a game all about tearing up the city looking to gain respect by racing hopped up cars. Personally, I wish they just left this one in the garage.
If you’ve played any racing games in the last few years you’ll recognize most of what’s included here. There are basic races, cop chases, time trials, etc. You can race these as one-off quick races or under the umbrella of the “story” mode. I put story in quotes because it’s so threadbare and tacked on as to not really feel like much of a story at all.
When the game starts you choose one of four rival gangs to represent, and throughout the course of the game will battle for control of areas of the city, gaining reputation with every victory and expanding your influence. All the “story” elements are told thorough a still image of a woman with text telling you what gang to challenge or what events you need to deal with next – generic things like that. It feels bolted on and offers no interesting narrative to drive the game.
Of course this is a driving game and not an RPG, so the game can still be totally great without a compelling narrative. As far as gameplay goes, the best I can say about Fast and Furious: Adrenaline is that it’s competent. Good, not great. It’s very arcade like, so you’ll find yourself bouncing off walls and other cars totally unscathed and with little penalty. It fits the game style and control, though, so I had a good time with this part.
They offer 3 different control schemes, which is a welcome change from other racers on the market. You can either turn by tilting, by virtual steering wheel, or tapping the left or right sides of the screen. I’m no fan of virtual steering wheels, preferring the tilt controls. As such I was delighted to see the game offered me the option. The game accelerates for you automatically, and you’ll tap the bottom of the screen to brake when needed. There’s also a nitro tank to tap to get a boost. Controls are intuitive and, while not very precise, they work well for the arcade style driving presented here.
The game has over 35 cars (though more than a few are just repaints of the same model) and 5 locales. The locales vary a decent amount in appearance, helping to make you feel like you’re moving around to different sections of the city. The graphics look a little on the blocky side, but not distractingly so. Again, it’s competent but doesn’t do anything to set itself apart.
If you’re not interested in playing the game single player, there’s a local head-to-head race mode and an online mode… kinda. You won’t be racing head to head online, but rather competing alone on the track for the best time. It’s not the ideal situation, as I think everyone would agree it’s more fun to actually race the person than just compare times. You can also send “brags” or videos of your races to Facebook if you’re into that sorta thing.
While Fast and Furious: Adrenaline is a competent racer, it does nothing to set itself apart from the pack. The controls are fine, and while the story is nonexistent, at least it doesn’t get it in the way. But with average driving and no story worth mentioning, I found myself without the desire to come back for more. After only a few races, you’ll likely feel satisfied and ready to move on to something else.