CarX Drift Racing Online review

CarX Drift Racing Online is a racing drift simulator where the goal is to reach the targeted scores in order to earn Gold, Silver or Bronze medals. As you complete drifting events, you are rewarded with in-game money which can be used to either purchase new circuits or pimp your ride; style and performance-wise.

As the name implies, the game focuses on drifting. The best way to drift is The act of drifting is to intentionally oversteers, with slight loss of traction all the while controlling the vehicle through a corner. As you enter a corner, you need to use the handbrake button in order to start a drift while maintaining control of the car with the joystick and avoiding obstacles that surround the circuit. Some tracks will require players to follow green arrow markers, but if you accidently go off track and manage to find your way back, the game “disqualifies” you without telling and stops counting your score meaning you have to quit and restart.

Considering that drifting is all about style, players can also drift around in stylish rides. The game will allow players to upgrade and tweak their cars. You can choose from over 100 body kits, customize said bodykit with over 1000 parts and create your own unique vinyls. The game also features a decent variety of vehicles across 4 different tiers: Stock, Turbo, Racing, Drift, Ultimate.

Along with the standard drifting events, players can try to tandem drifting with a friend or tackle the Time Attack mode. The latter is simply you racing against the clock for the best lap time. It’s fine, but it ties in with a control problem detailed down below. While I fully understand that the game is about drifting, I don’t think that a simple racing/drifting mode solo, or with friends, would’ve hurt. Online multiplayer allows up to 16 players.

The main problem with this game is that it’s a one-trick pony marketed to a specific group of gamers. The game lives and dies on drifting so if you’re looking for a fun racing sim experience, this ain’t it chief. I’ve played my share of racing simulators and even the driving here feels sketchy at best; even slowing down to take certain turns, it’s nigh impossible to steer like a normal vehicle.

Another nuisance is, unless you’re a virtual drifting expert, you will have to grind and replay the same courses over and over to get as much money as possible. Aside from the initial circuit, subsequent circuits need to be unlocked based on your player level and purchased. But the cost goes up quickly; the second purchasable circuit is 20 000$, so if you’re struggling and averaging 3000-4000$ per drifting event, you’ll have to grind in order to earn more. Thankfully, even if you don’t reach the Gold, Silver or Bronze target, you’ll still earn money.

While the game looks like it has a decent variety of tracks, it confirms that looks can be deceiving. You can have reversed variant of the circuits, but the problem is they are unlocked/accessible from early on, meaning you’ll have to race around the same circuits twice in a row (or more) in order to unlock actual new circuits. Reverse variants should’ve been the last things to unlock. You can obviously buy them in another order as long as your player level permits it, but you still have to amass enough money. It also feels like a lazy way to increase circuit quantity.

Visually speaking, the game looks fine; barebone if you will. It could’ve easily been released on the 7th generation of gaming consoles. Vehicles aren’t that detailed, environments are pretty simplistic and straight-forward. The worst being the snow level; if you compare it to Forza Horizon 3’s Mountain Blizzard add-on, it’s night and day. The game does have a few technical issues where it’d freeze for a second or two before and after races. As you’d expect, this game’s soundtrack is generic, typical techno style music; you’d be better putting the TV on mute.

While I wasn’t expecting an F1 2020 type of experience, I definitely wasn’t expecting such a shallow and limited experience. For a game that sells itself as a simulator, the driving feels offs, very limited content, lack of any tutorial (gamers not familiar with drifting could benefit from this), and near mandatory grinding on the same circuits over and over creates a boring, very limited experience. Unless you spend your time drifting in the Forza Horizon series and want something different, this is an easy pass.

Overall
  • 40%
    CX Score - 40%
40%

Summary

Pros

  • Surprisingly deep customization options

Cons

  • Controls feels off
  • Limited appeal
  • Very thin on content

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