|System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360*|
|Dev: Codemasters Southam|
|Release: June 12, 2012|
|Players: 1-8 (Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Mild Lyrics, Mild Violence|
Like the modes, the race tracks are largely hit or miss, and none really stand out. They're sprinkled with destructible objects for you to run into or slam your enemies into and a little of the game's fantastic personality can be seen in them. Unfortunately, like most of the game, they're never pushed far enough. There are occasional parts of tracks that are flashy and fun, but too much of the time you'll spend on them is driving on flat open road with little to look at. It doesn't help that the selection of maps isn't all that great so they get repetitive very fast.
As a whole, I love the way this game sounds. Slamming into the other cars genuinely sounds like two heavy chunks of metal and rubber colliding, and the music provides the perfect backdrop to the action going on onscreen. There's only one thing that ruins practically everything: the commentator. You can't mute him and he literally never shuts up. It'd be less annoying if there was a box I could check to have him be quiet, or if the words he uttered weren't so painful on the ears, but there's only so many times I can hear the words "T-bone-tastic!" and "T-bone-alicious!" yelled at me before my will breaks and I press that mute button on my TV remote.
The number of racing modes is great, but they just aren't interesting or original as they should've been, and despite being fictional creations, the cars are mostly forgettable. Unless you don't mind being inundated with text asking you to sign online, or redeem your online pass, etc. I suggest grabbing an online pass, because those messages don't go away.
When you're playing this game, it almost feels as if developer Codemasters wanted to take the series in an exciting new direction, but they also wanted to play it safe. The result is Showdown, a game that has great potential, but squanders it by not doing really anything that hasn't been done better in other games.
Date: June 14, 2012