Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Skydrift PC Review

You may know of Skydrift, it is that arcadey looking plane racing game that previously came out on PSN and XBLA in September. Earlier in November it came out for PC and I was lucky enough to get a review code from the publisher, Reverb Publishing. I wrote briefly about the console version before saying that I generally liked the game and it was surprisingly enjoyable with it's high speed racing mixed with Mario Kart power ups. When I dove into the PC version I was very concerned about how it would control after playing Renegade Ops on PC, which has abysmal PC controls and controlled very well on the consoles, thankfully Skydrift controls quite well on PC. More importantly though it still contains the same amount of fun and excitement that the console version showcased. Now onto the review in which I will show you the good and the bad of Skydrift.

Before I go over anything, check out this video to get an idea of what the game looks and plays like. In it you can see the three game modes, many of the maps and sweet moving environments.

The Bad 
-A fairly small amount of levels
-Only three game modes; power race, survivor and speed race
-Multiplayer for PC is fairly dead (had to wait thirty minutes to do one race) 
-Not a lot to do after you go through every stage (not counting the DLC)

The Good
-Great moving race environments
-PC Settings Customization (controls, video, sound) 
-Feels like an enjoyable arcade racing game
-Power-ups are very useful
-Many different planes to unlock
-Each plane has unique stats and feel
-Seven stages to conquer
-Pretty good graphics in general 
-Fitting sound effects 
-Good price for value 
-Respawn system works well
-Achievements and medals to earn

To explain the bad, one of my major points of contention with Skydrift is multiplayer. Most of the people who still play online have already moved onto the new Gladiator Pack DLC that adds new multiplayer modes and maps, so there are very few people playing the original game on PC. My other problem with that is how they designed the multiplayer to extend the life of the game, so without that you have a fairly short four hour single player campaign. The three game modes are fun and do change up the pace of the game a bit, but one or two game modes on top of that would have likely made it very easy to go from race to race without any fatigue wearing in. A few more maps would have also helped extend the longevity of the game.

To explain the good, possibly my favorite thing about the game is the maps. There aren't too many maps but each of them looks fantastic, whether your flying across the ocean, through a glacier or over lava. Not only do they generally look very good but they also having moving parts, there are bridges that fall, tunnels that collapse, walls the crumble and plenty of other events. Thankfully these events aren't just for show, if you hit a piece of the falling bridge, or any other moving object, you are gone. The respawn system works quite well, only knocking you out of the race for a very short period of time. It's not one of those racing games where you get destroyed and you have to restart because there is no longer anyway to win, that is not this game, in this you can go from last to first. I've been in races where every plane was seconds from each other throughout the whole race and others where the first place plane was twenty seconds ahead of everyone, it all depends on how crazy it gets in the beginning. There are many planes to unlock and they all have different stats for speed, armor, maneuverability, boost speed and acceleration. You can also unlock fancy skins for each plan, which don't do anything other than look special.

I would like to keep praising the good aspects of the game, and while there are many good things about it I must say that the bad things draw it down quite a bit. A couple extra levels and modes would have gone a long way to making the game feel more whole, but as it is right now it is still a good game, especially for $10.  If you feel like playing a racing game that will instantly remind you of mario kart and an old classic arcade game, then check this out, especially now that they have two additional DLC available. For all the information head on over to the steam page and check that out.

Violent Score: 8 (out of 10)

Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle


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