How do you get your game noticed in a crowded genre where innovation is hard to come by? Easy, make it three times as crazy as the rest!
I love driving games. I like “serious” simulation games on real-world tracks, and I love arcadey racing games where I earn points for well-taken corners and clean sectors. So when I saw “Drive!Drive!Drive!” I thought it was just another arcade racer, a bit like Trackmania, where I race to beat other players’ times, easy! I was wrong. Drive!Drive!Drive! has you racing three, yes three, tracks all at the same time.
So how on earth does that work? Well, you start one race as normal. It’s only one lap long. You boost through the pack and get to the front, meanwhile the other two races have also started, and you need to get to the front on those too. With a simple press of the D-pad up or down you can switch to the other races and take control, leaving the AI to continue the other races. And this is where the strategy really comes into play, so do you spend time on one race trying to build boost (through drifting and smashing the other cars) and get to the front, meanwhile your car in the other races is falling further behind? Or do you quickly switch between each track, moving up one place at a time before switching again? All the time you can see what position your other cars are in on the other tracks, so you can quickly switch to the car sat in 8th to try and move them up.
The AI on the opposition cars, and yours is terrible, but this is as designed, apparently. They all smash into each other, the walls and your car, so it’s down to you to quickly switch between the races to keep your car out of trouble and working your way through the pack. It’s manic. It’s crazy, but I loved it. It brings a whole new dimension to racing games. I wanted to get first in all of the races but soon learnt that this is extremely difficult. The objective of each race is to beat a total number of places, for example. Over three tracks beat a total position of 12th. Sure, that may sound like a walk in the park kind of thing. However, that means you need to finish in the top 4 on each race, good luck!
Furthermore, it’s not just races that you compete in. The game mixes things up with different objectives. Early on your trying to beat a total position, other races you build up a score through drifting, jumping and smashing, there are the usual time trial races to beat a specific time and finally, there’s one race type where you have to collect giant diamonds spread over the track. Each mode means that you have to adjust your style accordingly, keeping things fresh as you work your way through the game.
The track designs and varied and feature lots of huge jumps, holes (watch out for falling cars from above!), loops and tight turns. The crazy racing is backed up by a Tron-like soundtrack, making the whole game feel futuristic and computer-generated rather than realistic.
There is a built-in, capable track designer. I had a quick go and created some suitably crazy tracks, but with such a low population of players online, I didn’t really get to try my tracks out all that much. I found it very hard to get a full multiplayer game online, most of the time just racing 1 v 1, worrying for a game that’s already been out a few weeks now. Nevertheless, “DriveDriveDrive!” is still worthy of your time and money despite its current flaws.
+ Great idea for a twist on driving games
+ Plenty of strategy involved on when to switch tracks
+ Thumping soundtrack
+ Capable track designer
– AI are just TOO stupid too much of the time
– Different track worlds tend to blend into each other, not much difference between them
– Lack of people online making multiplayer games difficult to find
Replay value: 3/5
In overall, “Drive! Drive! Drive!” offers a great alternative driving game. It mixes in some strategy, deciding when to switch tracks, and this keeps the tension high. However, it’s far from perfect. The AI plays such a massive part in the game, and while at times it can work, most of the time it is so utterly stupid that you find yourself becoming increasingly frustrated and having to restart races time and time again, or, like I did, putting the controller down before I threw it at something! Still, I’d recommend playing Drive! Drive! Drive! especially if you’re looking for a driving game that’s a bit different to the rest.
Title: Drive! Drive! Drive!
Developer: Different Cloth
Release date: 2016-12-13
Spent time: 18 Hours
Average grade internationally: 61% Opencritic.com
PEGI age rating: 3+
Price: £15.99 (PS4) / £14.99 (PC)
Install Size: 500MB
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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