Review: Drift 21
I enjoy racing games and have done so for many years. Although they aren’t my favourite genre of videogame, I like to get behind the wheel of a virtual car and burn some rubber as much as the next person. If you ever speak to me about racing games, you will definitely hear me talk about Sega Rally, as it is one of my favourite games of all time.
So, I was excited for the chance to try Drift 21, a new driving game in early access on PC. Would it come number one on the podium, or drive me around the bend?
As the name of the game suggests, your main aim here is to drift around the track as stylishly as possible. Upon starting a new game, I was placed behind the wheel, and had the chance to drive my car around a small track. My first impressions weren’t good as the handling of the car didn’t feel as responsive as I would’ve liked, and I was making a complete mess of my brand-new car. There isn’t any damage physics, so even though I was bumping around worse than my 8-year-old on the dodgems, it didn’t have any effect on the vehicle. Not all driving games have damage physics, but I do like to see wear and tear on my car when it takes hits. However, I guess the main point of the game is not to hit everything in sight, whereas I resembled Stevie Wonder taking a test drive!
The next phase of the game was to take me into the garage where I could walk around my car and look at the various parts which you can customise. This includes getting the car on a ramp so you can inspect the numerous things that can be changed and upgraded.
I soon discovered Drift 21 is a serious simulation, as quite frankly there is a staggering amount of customisation available for your vehicle. There are over 750 parts that can be added to fine tune the performance of your vehicle. Let me repeat that. 750 parts!
Here is a “short” list of some of the things that can be customised: (many of which I have no idea what they are)
- Air filters
- Blow off pipes
- Cam gear
- Camshaft holder
- Crankshaft cover
- Engine block
- Engine head
- Exhaust pipe for exhaust manifold
- Fuel rail
- Fuel tank
- Head gasket
- Head valve cover
- Ignition coil
- Intake manifold
- Oil pan
- Oil filter housing
- Oil pump
- Power steering pump
- Spark plugs
- Timing belt
- Timing chain
- Timing belt tensioner
- V belt
- V belt cover
- Water pump
- Water neck
And that’s just the engines!
You can also customise the gearbox, drivetrain, exhaust, suspension, steering, brakes, rims, tires, car body, interior including all manner of gear shift knobs, handbrakes, seats, and steering wheels. You can even customise the battery for the car, fuse box, wiper motor and fuel tanks!
You can clearly see from looking at this list, Drift 21 is for serious petrol heads, and not aimed at the casual driving game enthusiast like me.
This probably isn’t the technical term, but once I’d “fiddled” with my car a bit; I took it out on the road. Did the changes I made make much difference to the handling, or at least my ability to keep the car on the track. The short answer is no. After a few races, I had the following thoughts buzzing about my brain:
- The game is still in early access; therefore, the handling is constantly being worked on so I can’t be too harsh on it.
- I don’t fully grasp the customisation, therefore the bits I added actually made the car handling worse.
- I’m shite at driving games.
- This game isn’t very good, the car drives like crap, the handling is rubbish, let’s turn on Forza Horizon 4 instead.
On the plus side the graphics looks nice, and the fully licenced vehicles have a nice shine to them. For me, when I play a driving game, I like to race against other vehicles. Sadly, there are currently no cars in Drift 21 to race against, so it’s a fairly isolated experience unless you want to perfect your drifting skills, which I guess is kind of the point.
If you are a serious racing/car enthusiast who loves cars so much you are bothered about what type of fuse box to install in your car, then you may enjoy Drift 21. If like me, you occasionally like to put the pedal to the metal and find car parts a bit baffling, then it’s probably best if you steer clear.
Drift 21 is available now in early access for PC.
Review by Chris.