Drift 21 – Review
Follow Genre: Racing, Simulation
Developer: ECC GAMES S.A.
Publisher: 505 Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Drift 21 – Review

Site Score
8.7
Good: Much content, High quality, Great driving
Bad: Career mode is bland
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Back in 2020, we tried out one of the first builds of Drift 21. The game was plagued by quite a long development period and the fans were losing hope. During our initial tests, we were blown away by the huge amount of initial content, but some things were missing. Now the game has officially been released and we take a closer look at the finished product. If you love working on cars, love drifting, and are looking for a game where you can do all the work yourself, then this game might be perfect for you.

Story

At first, there was no story at all, the game just functioned as a sandbox for the player to freely build and try out vehicles. Now in the full release, you have a career mode where you must build up your reputation from scratch by creating drift cars for well-established brands and drivers. These missions are fun but become really boring as they are always the same (build vehicle X stage 1 through 3). Every part is available for purchase from the start, so you can immediately build that 1000+ HP drift missile if you have the cash. The story arc in the career is a nice addition when all that drifting and racing gets boring. It has you building vehicles for others which you get to keep. It keeps the gameplay mixed and you can even use your own cars for the missions. The ultimate goal is to get every vehicle to stage 3 and become the ultimate drift king.

Graphics

A very impressive feat of Drift 21 is the large variety of different parts that can be scattered around your warehouse without ruining the frame rate. The game already looked good during its Early Acces period so there aren’t too many differences between the alpha build and the full release. That being said, there are many new items added to the game, such as colorful engine parts and interior pieces. Players can still enjoy the game through different camera angles; from behind, inside and go-pro-like mounted on the car. Sadly cars don’t get damaged when you crash them into a wall. It would have been nice if you could give your car battle damage and replace dented fenders or broken bumpers.

Sound

A big step up from the Early Access version is that vehicles now have the right sounds. This was something we mentioned in our preview that the turbo vehicles missed the real turbo noises. Now when you install a turbocharger you will hear it spool and the blow-off valve while decelerating, while the atmospheric upgrade gives the car the nice raspy trumpet sounds coming from the ITBs. The engines sound great and the exhaust will bang loudly, especially when you forget to mount any mufflers. In the game, there are a handful of power plants and each has its own unique sound, from the high revving rotary engines to the powerful V8. For music, you only have a song playing while in the main menu. Working in your garage is rather silent. It seems like the radio is missing in your workshop and the car also has none for weight reduction.

Gameplay

Drift 21 is a racing game where you are free to build your dream car and actually race with it. In the game, you have two main modes to select from; the career mode where you can start your company and build sweet cars for clients, or the sandbox mode where you get unlimited possibilities on crafting the car of your dreams. With the game having twelve different vehicles, five engine layouts and over 1800 parts, you will have near-endless possibilities. Building vehicles includes the complete drivetrain, suspension, bodywork, and interior, so you can change everything from A to Z. With the sandbox mode being pretty much self-explanatory, we will go more in-depth for the career mode.

In the career, you start as a new name in the drift community. With your trusty Mazda MX5, you begin to make a name for yourself, both as a builder and a driver. After completing the first few garage challenges and earning enough money through racing, you can finally start working on cars for other companies. Your services will be required to build different stage vehicles for your client’s team, which you can freely use and keep throughout the game. Building these cars can become boring over time, but as you’re still pretty much free to do as you like, you can still build something you fancy yourself.

When you are finally done building that sick drift car, you need to take it on the track and go for gold. The game comes with a large variety of tracks from different countries, such as Poland and Japan. Each track has its own challenges, from attaining a certain drift score to time-trial and gymkhana. You won’t have to worry about money, as the challenges will earn you enough cash to enjoy the game without it turning into a grind, and once you buy a car part, you can infinitely spawn it for free.

Probably the best upgrade since the Early Access build is the improved handling. Back in the early build, you needed a Stage 3 drift monster and even then it would be really hard to keep your car drifting. The handling felt like it was all over the place and it was generally annoying in the alpha. Now, every car handles well and with a bit of skill, you will pass the challenges with ease.

Conclusion

Drift 21 turned out to be a great game in the end. After years of development and a promising Early Access build, it felt like the game was almost there but it still needed some improvements. Now, the released version has improved on the things that were ‘wrong’ during the alpha, making the game a really enjoyable experience. There is a wide range of parts, vehicles and tracks available to give you endless possibilities on builds and eventually testing them out. Sadly, the career mode becomes a bit bland because each build is the same. The graphics and sounds are great, but a nice explosive soundtrack while racing would have made the game even better.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Drift 21 – Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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