KartRider: Drift is a physical manifestation of taking matters into one’s hands. The developer for this game got tired of waiting for another Mario Kart, so he decided to make one of his own. Even though KartRider: Drift is nearly a carbon copy of that IP, it does have its own voice. One element, in particular, that makes it stand above Mario Kart is the fact that it is free-to-play. News on development has been pretty silent for some time and there are now snippets of information starting to come into the limelight. Aesthetically, this game is very much a true spiritual successor to Mario Kart and also the underrated Donkey Kong Country Racing for the Nintendo 64. There is a lot of potential here and this game could easily become a nice alternative to the hijinx of wacky characters from the Mushroom Kingdom. With that said, there is much to discover with this game that many can miss at first glance.
Furthermore, KartRider: Drift will also be a cross-platform title which, by the way, will be the only one of its kind. This will certainly give this game some longevity and a hefty sense of competition. The Mario Kart genetic structure is very much present, here. The way the carts look, move, and operate is very similar. There will be a roster of characters to choose from, and each comes with its own look and handling. There has been a closed Beta recently that gives players worldwide a good look at what this game has to offer. There isn’t a solid release date established, yet. However, it is stipulated by the developers that it’s indeed releasing sometime this year. KartRider: Drift is being built with Unreal Engine 4, which no doubt will give it some visual appeal.
Kart with Art
Now, considering that KartRider: Drift will be a free-to-play title, one can bet that there will be a heavy emphasis on customization. Everything from dressing up the actual carts to the drivers, there will be a rather deep menu on how players can personalize their own avatars. The KartRider series has garnered over 300 million players from all over the world, and this newest installment is surely going to expand that. The developers are planning on nursing this game with patches, tweaks, and seasonal content until the wheels fall off. They are laying out the groundwork to have this game last forever. As one would guess, this game consists of driving around a variety of whimsical maps, trying to take the lead and be 1st after three laps. In that regard, KartRider: Drift is pretty much standard kart racing fare. However, there are some surprises that come with this game that really give it some zest.
Players will be able to snatch up power-ups which players can use to their benefit. Laying out traps, summoning force fields, and even launching projectiles can all be randomly generated after smashing through an icon that looks like a “crate” on the track. This game mechanic may sound familiar and it’s easy to pinpoint where that inspiration came from. Thusly, every kart comes with a balloon, which is there to assist players on where to go and what to do. It’s a nice little crutch for newcomers to the kart racing sphere. It is also worth pointing out that there are also all kinds of modes and challenges to indulge in, which isn’t seen too often with games of this genre. Even when the game launches later this year, players will find that there will be a myriad of things to try out that go far beyond just zooming around a track.
License to Skill
One type of game mode that players can try out will be the “License Challenges.” These can range from locking on certain targets to simply eliminating objects with water balloons. These types of challenges don’t really focus on racing, but rather on other gameplay features in KartRider: Drift. They are almost like carnival games. One in particular consists of sitting in one spot and hitting a required target with water balloons. Of course, completing these tasks rewards players with different customization options. This is solely dependent on how well players do, of course. There is a ‘star rating’ and if players garner three stars, they get a new skin for their kart. On the other hand, one star will only give them a new balloon. These challenges provide a nice distraction from the racing aspect of this title if players feel so inclined to it.
Additionally, there are also “boss battles” of sorts that players can try out. They aren’t anything too difficult or harrowing, but they can be a palette cleanser from the standard kart racing norms. There will even be an option to create a ‘custom race’ to share with your friends. With all the mechanics that KartRider: Drift has established, the sky is pretty much the limit on what players can create. Even though there are a couple of titans within this sub-genre of racing, this new title does have the potential to go a long way. The fact that it will be free is definitely a major feather in its cap. This game, of course, will come with a “battle pass” of sorts. It will be free in its standard form, but there will also be a ‘premium pass’ to which players can shell out some money for special perks and customizations.
Light The Tires
There is a lot to look forward to with this free-to-play kart racing game. Sure, it may not have the most recognizable characters within the gaming industry, but the gameplay mechanics seem to be on point. If someone is clamoring for a Mario Kart game of some kind, but can’t seem to find out where to look then, KartRider: Drift might be what they’re looking for. This game is scheduled to come out sometime later this year, but a true release date has yet to be determined by NEXON Korea. KartRider: Drift will be available for the Playstation and Xbox consoles along with PC.