May 2020 will be an eventful month for Fast & Furious fans. The ninth installment in the series is coming to theaters across America on May 22, and the next video game inspired by the franchise will be released for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One before the end of the month.
Called Fast & Furious Crossroads, the game was developed by Slightly Mad Studios, the team responsible for Need for Speed: Shift and the Project CARS series. It puts surprisingly accurate digital renditions of actors Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and Tyrese Gibson in an action-packed adventure peppered by car chases, explosions of all sizes, weapons, plus on- and off-road racing.
The roster of vehicles shown in the game's official trailer includes an early Ford Mustang, a first-generation Chevrolet Camaro, a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, a vintage Dodge Charger R/T, and a Renault Megane RS. There's even what appears to be a cross between a tank and a hovercraft. Most are heavily modified, and many have appeared in previous Fast & Furious movies. The game looks like a first-person shooter where players go from mission to mission, but the developers put a big focus on cinematic action scenes to bridge the gap between gaming consoles and Hollywood.
Publisher Bandai Namco wants to keep the full plot under wraps for the time being. It nonetheless promised an authentic story line, as well as single- and multi-player modes. "Players will travel from the streets of exotic locales to the murky world of international espionage, pulling off high-speed heists and stunts as they battle to take down a new threat," according to the game's official website.
We've previously seen two Fast & Furious-inspired video games for mainstream consoles. The Fast and The Furious came out in 2006 for PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable (PSP); it received mixed reviews from gamers and movie fans alike. Fast & Furious: Showdown was released for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS in 2013. Making it available on a wider selection of consoles didn't boost ratings, and it wasn't universally loved, either. Some of the cars that starred in the various movies have made it into racing games like Forza Motorsport 7, but video game developers collectively steered clear of the franchise until Crossroads development began.
Time will tell if three's the charm. In the meantime, additional trailers (including one showing the multi-player mode), pricing, and an exact release date will be published in the coming weeks.