Liftoff – Preview
Follow Genre: FPV racing game, drone simulator
Developer: LuGus Studios
Publisher: LuGus Studios
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Liftoff – Preview

Good: Innovative and creative game development
Bad: Early access is very limited
User Score
(12 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.7/10 (12 votes cast)

In an attempt to bring the rush of drone racing to the virtual world, Belgian developer LuGus Studios joined forces with drone manufacturers ImmersionRC and Fat Shark. Their creative offspring was aptly named Liftoff. The game offers the chance to fly state of the art drones in a virtual environment, either in races or in free flight mode. Currently in early access, this game might turn more than a few heads when it gets a full release.


While the early access version of the game is rather limited, it does show promise. Liftoff has an immersive free flight mode that does make for a rather enjoyable experience. Environments are beautiful, especially from high up in the sky. It’s a bit unfortunate that crashes quite literally rub your nose in the aesthetically less pleasing parts of the game, as close-ups of the ground don’t really do the otherwise beautiful environments justice. That being said, as a simulator, Liftoff more than keeps up with the comparative graphics of others in its class. Additionally, the game offers the chance to play in typical drone racing environments, such as an empty field, a forest, and an underground parking lot. These practice fields might prove to be more than useful for existing pilots. Newcomers might want to stick to the open field or forest though, as the parking lot with its low ceilings and many pillars proved to be quite the challenge at times.

Liftoff Graphics

Presumably because of its early access status, some of the sound effects in the game can be quite dodgy. The background tracks are great though, and add to the futuristic and cool atmosphere the rest of the game carries out. Additionally, the game does provide the option to disable certain noises and to control music and sound effects separately. We expect further updates on this as the game reaches further stages of development.

Liftoff does support a variety of game controllers, and aims to support numerous drone controllers as well. As a newcomer to the drone racing scene, it took me a while to get used to the controls, and while the game does offer a tutorial section, it is rather confusing and unnecessarily complicated for its purpose. Luckily, some practice in free flight mode was enough to keep my drone up in the sky for long enough to enjoy some of the sights. Gaming controllers work well enough, but to truly capture the magic of flight, a drone controller might be necessary.

Liftoff Track

Built in tracks help finetune your piloting skills even further, as you navigate your drone through an obstacle course. You can even design your own tracks. The drones feel responsive and the whole experience feels pretty realistic. Horizontal movement is extremely responsive to controller input, and vertical movement manages to capture the idea of flying a drone quite well. While playing, you genuinely get the idea that you are “lifting” the drone “off” the ground (hence the title, we assume). After some practice, playing around with drone movement became very fun. This gives high hopes for the racing aspect of the game. Additionally, LuGus Studios is focusing on VR support, which is a fantastic idea for a simulator such as this one. A gamepad or controller is necessary to play this game, but it’s unlikely anyone would tackle a drone simulator armed with just a keyboard anyway.

As a pilot, you’re also in control of your own drone. You choose which parts to use, and through careful consideration and different combinations, can come up with different devices every time. The in-game editor allows you to think about different antennas, different cameras, motors and propellers. This is a feature that will no doubt be popular with real life pilots as it gives them the option to play around without having to spend the large amounts of money that some of these parts can cost them. A handy screen provides players with information about the costs and specs of each part. This provides them with the opportunity to truly customise the drone.

Liftoff Workbench


Liftoff has only just begun to unfold its proverbial wings, but the game already shows a lot of promise. Belgian developer LuGus Studios is creating a comprehensive simulator that doesn’t only look great, but handles quite well too. There’s still quite a bit of work to be done, but this first look at the game makes us rather excited for what the future holds! Existing pilots might appreciate the training opportunities that this game offers on rainy days, while newcomers might find this a pleasant introduction to the world of drones. With enough practice, this FPV racing game/drone simulator might help people warm up to the idea of flying actual drones!

Check out this video to see the drones in action:

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Rating: 7.7/10 (12 votes cast)
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Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Liftoff - Preview, 7.7 out of 10 based on 12 ratings

I'm a 24 year old gamer with a passion for RPG's, and the gaming community as a whole. When I'm not gaming, I can be found cooking, reading, or with my partner and pets. Currently on: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, PC and 3DS.

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