Drift Reign had all the potential to be a standout indie drifting game but stumbles due to its horrible UI design, the gap between trailer and in-game graphics, and a lack of overall polish in the gameplay. The promise of an immersive experience is there, but it falls short in execution. For hardcore drifting enthusiasts, it might still offer some fun, but for the casual gamer, it’s hard to overlook its flaws.
Developer – PublishMe Agency Limited
Publisher – PublishMe Agency Limited
Platforms – PC (Reviewed)
Review copy given by Keymailer Campaign
Drift Reign, billed as the ultimate drifting simulator, certainly has all the ingredients to rev up any racing enthusiast’s engine. But beneath the flashy trailer graphics and promises of an immersive indie take on the classic Need for Speed formula lies a game that stumbles in some critical areas.
Let’s address the elephant in the room – The choice of the publishing company name, “PublishMe Agency Limited,” raises a significant concern. It gives the impression that they may be willing to publish anything for a fee without much scrutiny. With Drift Reign being their inaugural title on Steam, one can’t help but worry about the possibility of more games like it in the future. Drift Reign, with its underwhelming execution, feels uncomfortably close to shovelware, making one hope for more discerning curation in their future releases. The company’s name alone does little to inspire confidence in their selection process, leaving gamers with reservations about what might be on the horizon.
Next let’s move to the UI design. To put it bluntly, it’s horrible. the Speedometer and graphic overlays suck, and feel clunky . It’s as if the developers threw together a clunky interface in a hurry, and it detracts from the overall experience. With the immersive elements the game offers, a user-friendly and polished UI should have been a priority, but sadly, it’s far from that.
Speaking of the trailer graphics, they are indeed breathtaking. However, they set expectations sky-high, only for the in-game graphics to fall flat. It’s not that Drift Reign looks terrible, but the difference between what’s shown in the trailer and the actual gameplay is jarring. The promised “ultra-realistic and AAA-quality graphics” are nowhere to be seen, leaving players with a sense of disappointment.
Drift Reign aims to be an indie Need for Speed, and in some aspects, it succeeds. The racing environments and tracks are nicely designed and offer an enjoyable variety. But where it falls short is in the polish department. The physics of the cars, though striving for realism, often feel clunky, and the controls lack the finesse and responsiveness needed for precise drifting. It’s a struggle to maintain a smooth flow, which is essential in a drifting game.
The game’s features are undoubtedly impressive on paper. The support for steering wheels like Logitech and Thrustmaster adds a layer of authenticity, and the in-depth sponsor system, dynamic events, and fan engagement mechanics promise depth. Yet, they can’t fully compensate for the gameplay issues and unmet expectations.
On a positive note, the detailed customization system allows for tinkering with your car down to the last detail. This aspect of Drift Reign provides a sense of personalization and control that’s quite enjoyable.
The game does shine in terms of its racing environments. From gritty urban settings to scenic race tracks, the locations are rich and immersive. The visuals, while not living up to the trailer’s hype, do offer a decent level of detail, especially in the street and urban scenes.
In the end, Drift Reign had all the potential to be a standout indie drifting game but stumbles due to its horrible UI design, the gap between trailer and in-game graphics, and a lack of overall polish in the gameplay. The promise of an immersive experience is there, but it falls short in execution. For hardcore drifting enthusiasts, it might still offer some fun, but for the casual gamer, it’s hard to overlook its flaws.