DRIFT21 – Preview
Follow Genre: Racing, Simulation
Developer: ECC GAMES S.A.
Publisher: 505 Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

DRIFT21 – Preview

Good: Eat sleep drift repeat, Build your own vehicle
Bad: Only a few hours of gameplay at the moment
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Whenever a game spends too much time in development, the community reacts badly to it. DRIFT21 started its life as DRIFT19 and changed to DRIFT20 some time ago. Due to there not being any news, the fans grew even more outraged when the title changed again to DRIFT21. This was done as there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel after teaming up with 505 Games. For quite some time the community thought that this was another lost project that gave us false hope about having a drift life simulator. As soon as the game hit Early Access the fans responded very positively.

It all started with quite an elaborate concept, having a game where you can both fully build and race your machine is something quite rare. It feels like a Car Mechanic Simulator where you can enjoy your builds or a My Summer Car for drifters. Having carte-blanche is an idea that has been presented many times in history, yet was almost never truly worked out due to limitations. In DRIFT21 it is all a reality and one that feels really good. Although there are many options to go with, the game works as it should and the way it guides the player, it feels like you are working with a team.

At this moment there are three cars and two engines available. The vehicles are the classic Nissan S15, newcomer Subaru BRZ and the iconic Mazda MX5. For engines, you can either have an inline-four or inline-six petrol engine and build it atmospherically or turbo. During building, you will have to dyno test the power capabilities. On this screen, it will also tell you what part is the weakest link and will need to be swapped out for better performance. You can also build in stages, aided with a helpful checklist to officially get your car into Stage 1,2, or 3. Next to the engine you can also fully equip your vehicle with a nice looking body kit, paint and stickers to your heart’s content and tune the suspension for drift or track use.

The game starts with a small introduction, your first car, a Mazda MX5, a cheap drift favorite that is known by followers of the drift scene. You will have to drift spec it in order to modify it your way, this means removing the stock engine and changing the interior. There is the option to get a pre-built engine, or if you are adventurous you can even begin with the empty block and pick parts as you see fit. There is a handy ‘missing part’ function that shows what is missing and gives easy access to the parts available. Once you finished the engine, placed it in the car and placed the interior you can go out on the courses.

Testing your skill is done on one of the three tracks. You will need to get used to the complicated game engine as it proves that drifting isn’t as easy as some games like to imply. Controls are decent while using a controller and you will notice the influence of different parts on the behavior of the vehicle. On these tracks, you can either do a free run to hone your skills, do challenges to earn some extra money, or try your power in a time trial.

In a game where there is a lot of action going on and you can widely modify your vehicle, it is important that it all looks good. Overall the graphics and sounds are really well made. The visuals are smooth and you have various camera viewing angles. Sadly the music isn’t that ideal for drifting, so it’s advised to have your own soundtrack playing in the background. Engine sounds are realistic, yet it feels that high powered turbo engines miss a few sounds like backfire and turbo sounds.


It is great that DRIFT21 is finally in Early Access. You can completely build your vehicles to your liking from various parts and learn how an engine works internally. There is this certain pride to be building and upgrading your own vehicle and then crashing it into a wall while chaining many cool drifts together. There is a basic amount of content to keep you busy for a while, yet the developers have much more coming in the near future.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
DRIFT21 - Preview, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Drift 21 – Review
    July 22, 2021, 00:01

    […] 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 […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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