DriftCE Cover Art

DriftCE: Become The Drift King – PS5 Review

In my mind, I held the belief that I possessed a fair amount of skill in drifting and car knowledge, thanks to my time spent playing Need for Speed and Forza. With this confidence, I ventured into ECC Games’ DriftCE, anticipating a triumphant experience in my drifting journey. Regrettably, this endeavor served as a stark realization that such a game was meticulously crafted for avid racing enthusiasts.

The tutorial offered in DriftCE left much to be desired. I yearned for additional knowledge and the ability to revisit and review the lessons. However, beyond the tutorial and my initial race, I found myself grappling with unanswered questions. The hints section accessible through the pause menu only provided ambiguous clues instead of genuinely helpful advice.

As someone lacking a comprehensive understanding of car components and mechanics, this became a significant obstacle. The true essence of the game’s experience lies in constructing the engine and car in their entirety to enable personalized drifting. While it did highlight missing elements, the process seemed more streamlined for individuals well-versed in car parts and adept at fine-tuning.

DriftCE Cockpit View
Cockpit View In-Game Screenshot

DriftCE Provides Players With Plenty of Content

DriftCE offers a collection of four distinct modes, featuring an assortment of 13 cars and 14 tracks. Although the numbers may not appear overwhelmingly extensive, I discovered an abundance of content to explore and enjoy. ECC Games has done an impressive job in curating the car selection and designing track layouts, catering specifically to drift enthusiasts.

The tracks themselves present various challenges, introducing goals to strive for during each race. These challenges span across Time Attacks, Solo Runs, and Gymkhana, providing a diverse and engaging experience. Adding to the excitement, the game includes the delightful surprise of featuring the iconic Toyota AE86, renowned for its prominence in Initial D, a beloved franchise among drifting fans.

To embark on your DriftCE journey, I recommend starting with quick races using drift-ready cars. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the game’s challenging physics, which can be quite demanding for newcomers.

I discovered that playing from the cockpit view provided a heightened sense of control compared to an external perspective. However, despite making adjustments to the car, I encountered issues where I would slide off the track, suggesting a possible mismatch between the car’s tuning and performance. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to rectify this issue through further learning or adjustments. Once you’ve gained some experience through a few rounds of quick races, transitioning to the career mode might be a more suitable option for your progression.

Garage In-Game
Garage In-Game

DriftCE Doesn’t Have A Narrative

DriftCE‘s Career Mode unfolds as you gradually conquer individual tracks along with the accompanying challenges: Time Attack, Solo Run, and Gymkhana. Unfortunately, I discovered that the game lacked any semblance of a narrative to follow, leaving me somewhat disappointed. Even a simple storyline involving a budding racer venturing into the realm of drifting would have added a meaningful touch. Instead, the game primarily revolves around advancing through various tracks and acquiring new cars, devoid of any narrative elements.

Furthermore, I found it frustrating that there was no provision to sell previously purchased cars to fund future endeavors. Therefore, as a buyer, you’ll need to exercise caution when deciding on your next car acquisition. If that doesn’t align with your preferences, the Sandbox mode allows you to relinquish financial constraints altogether.

Sandbox mode grants you the freedom to purchase any car and fully customize and tune it according to your preferences. In my opinion, Sandbox mode is a great option for getting accustomed to the game. You can experiment with car tuning and determine what adjustments are necessary. Additionally, you can practice on any track in the game, which is convenient. This feature enables you to prepare for track challenges by familiarizing yourself with the layout beforehand.

In-Game Screenshot

DriftCE Offers Extensive Customization

The final mode at your disposal is the cross-platform online multiplayer component. Within this section, matchmaking takes place through a server browser, a method I personally prefer due to the transparency it offers regarding the type of match you’re about to join. When selecting a race, you have the choice between a standard or drift-ready version of a car. Furthermore, the unique feature of customizing your car through sandbox mode and utilizing it in multiplayer adds an extra layer of personalization.

In a multiplayer match, you have the freedom to drive around at will or participate in various events through voting. These events encompass Free For All, Drift Run, Laps, and Tandem, presenting abundant opportunities to enhance enjoyment alongside friends and fellow gamers. The servers can accommodate up to four players, and the option to set a password ensures the possibility of private matches, offering a significant advantage.

DriftCE shines in its customization and garage segments. Each part of the engine, let alone the car can mean something to the physics of your drifting. You can have a vehicle that sticks to the pavement and barely slides or a fishtailing machine, it just depends on how it’s tuned. It can even be overwhelming with the number of parts available. As well as matching up the correct parts to the correct engine and which gearbox to use to ensure the car runs right. Something I believe those knowledgeable about cars will definitely enjoy.

DriftCE Customization
Missing Parts Mode for Customization, In-Game Screenshot

“DriftCE is a welcomed and intriguing addition to the ever-expanding car simulator community.”

In DriftCE, I discovered that practice truly leads to perfection. The complete experience of building a car from scratch and gradually mastering the art of navigating turns brought immense satisfaction. It was gratifying to outfit the car with carefully chosen parts and then take it for a spin on the track, knowing that I had tailored it to suit my abilities.

I found that every aspect of the game, from the garage to practicing on the track, seamlessly flowed together, and I derived more enjoyment from this process than simply jumping into a preconfigured drift-ready car. It became evident that sometimes opting for the easy route isn’t necessarily the most fulfilling path to take.

While DriftCE may not cater to casual racers, it provides ample tools for learning and growth. Whether you’re a first-time simulation player or a seasoned veteran, the game offers options to suit your needs. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, with practice and a willingness to learn, you can gradually grasp the mechanics and develop your drifting skills.

From my perspective, DriftCE is a welcomed and intriguing addition to the ever-expanding car simulator community. Considering the wealth of content it offers, I believe the price of US$29.99/ £24.99/ AU$44.99 is justified. Both casual and experienced racing enthusiasts can find enjoyment in the game. Furthermore, the inclusion of various single-player modes and the option to engage in multiplayer with friends and host personalized drift nights contribute to its longevity.

*Disclaimer: Reviewed on PlayStation 5, code was provided by the Publisher.

DriftCE Cover Art
DriftCE Review
DriftCE is a game designed for racing enthusiasts, offering a challenging experience with extensive customization options. It features four modes, 13 cars, and 14 tracks, catering specifically to drift lovers. While lacking a narrative, the game emphasizes practice and customization, providing a rewarding journey for players.
Great Selection of Cars
Car Physics & Customization
Multiple Modes
Vague Tutorial
Poor Hints Section
No Narrative

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