App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
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This will surely come as a shock to anyone who has been watching television commercials for the last month and a half, but there is a new The Fast and The Furious film coming out. Like clockwork, Gameloft is on top of the situation, with a brand new racing game that will take advantage of this release. With a title that is surely the product of weeks of focus testing, Fast Five the Movie: Official Game, is going to take another trip down the tilt controlled lane of racing, minus all of the action of the film itself. Does it have enough to set itself apart from other iOS racers, or are we looking at another last place finisher?
When it comes to racing centric movies, there are few that can rival the Fast and Furious brand. Then why would you expect a generic racing experience when there is such a rich body of work to draw from? Loosely following the storyline of the flick, the game somehow attempts to draw the cobbled together storyline using Gameloft's traditional racing, drifting, elimination and other assorted minigames. These events have no actual bearing or basis in the story whatsoever, but act more to fill out what would have otherwise been a rather meager offering.
Showing its true colors as simply a Burnout-inspired racing experience, Fast Five also includes a fully functional online multiplayer. That said, this multiplayer is not based off of GameCenter's matchmaking; instead, it uses Gameloft's proprietary multiplayer technology, which quite frankly leaves something to be desired. This is not to say that it is unusable, but when you already have an existing friends list, it becomes increasingly frustrating to start all over again.
If there is one area that the title excels above all others, it is the visuals department. Everything looks very sharp and well detailed, with very little distracting visual pop in. In another added touch, the game seems to have somewhat aped from Split/Second's scripted environmental events. These massive explosions or other landscape altering events can drastically modify the way a track will need to be approached from lap to lap.
Though Fast Five the Movie: Official Game is supposed to be a compliment to the film, it honestly feels like another attempt to milk Gameloft's existing customer base. Other than an occasional cartoon vignette in between stages, there is very little that could not be found in one of their existing titles. If you don't own any of said titles, by all means give this a download, but if you have already dipped your toes into this market, you may be best maintaining your distance.