Drifting cars is nothing new to racing games, from Forza to many arcade racers but Drift 21 is all about the drift.
505 Games and developer ECC Games S.A. aren’t doing things by halves, here. They’ve got proper licenced cars, well thought out tracks and plenty of tyre smoke.
Update January 2021: As this is early access I thought it only fair to add any thoughts on major updates to the game. One of my concerns with this game was the lack of multiplayer. Thankfully this has now been added and makes the game a little more value for money but most importantly, the update in November has completely redesigned the handling and UI and while it’s not perfect, it’s a huge improvement in the feel of the cars. I’ve now come back to the game and it feels very different, though there’s still work to be done. One thing that does impress me is how much better this now feels with a wheel, so good work ECC Games and I really hope this improvement continues as there is still work to be done but it’s now looking a whole lot better.
This is most definitely a game for petrolheads. It allows you to take your car chassis and pretty much tweak anything under the hood. You even get your own garage to roam around in, complete with a car lift to check under the floor. Everything is here for your tinkering pleasure until you’re read to get out on the track.
I’m impressed with the graphics, considering the budget the developers probably have, there’s some nice detail to the cars and the game world is well detailed with fairly good draw distance, even though your focus will be mainly on the route straight in front of you.
The tracks are a thin selection at the moment, just three of them. It’s not ideal but this is early access. The limited tracks are made up for by the attention to detail and as this is an Early Access game, I’m expecting more to arrive soon and more attention to the gameplay, too, because this is my main bugbear. A game like this comes down to its handling and this game is, sadly, not up to the task. Cars are far too difficult to control even going in a straight line. I’ve tried with my steering wheel and after waiting for an update in order to use it, I ended up going back to a gamepad for driving, which is certainly not ideal in a game that is attempting some form of realism.
It’s a shame the handling isn’t up to the task because what we have here is the bones of a very good driving game focusing on the art of drifting and I, for one, would be very happy if they could somehow do their own tinkering under the bonnet to get this running well. There’s no real competition either, it’s just you against yourself here.