SkyDrift is a racing game, using Planes, developed and published by Digital Reality.
SkyDrift isn’t your typical racing game, although the way you race may make it seem like your typical racing game; there are parts of the game which make this game stand out from the others. The games overview is simple, there are 3 racing mode you can play in and a campaign mode in the game. The campaign mode consists of 7 stages and multiple races within each stage. The campaign has a refreshing take on the traditional racing game campaigns of win each race. It mixes in the other 2 race modes in the campaigns, which are survival and speed.
There are 3 game modes In SkyDrift, Power race, Survival and Speed Races. Power race is your standard SkyDrift race, a fast paced race with the use of 6 different power ups to choose from, to hinder your foes or assist yourself in winning the race. Survival Mode is where the play against a countdown, as well as the other players, in an eliminator style race and the Speed Race mode, with added speed boosts, for flying through rings targets. The controls for SkyDrift are simple using both the analogue sticks to move the plane, with the left stick steering the plane, with the right stick, allowing the plane to knife around the tricky corners in the maps of the game. The Y to change between power ups (as SkyDrift allows each player to have 2 power-ups at any one time) A to use the boost you gain doing tricks or killing other planes, X uses the current power-up in selection and using B allows the player to convert a power-up to a boost. The Right Trigger button is the go faster button and the Left Trigger button is the slow down.
The game play of SkyDrift is very good. There is a very useful tutorial mode in SkyDrift, which is optional as Stage One is available straight away. The tutorial is one of the best I’ve seen and played, as each part is talked through very clearly, whilst you play and get to grips with the controls and the first track. The tracks are varied and difficult, making the game great to play. And with 3 different game modes there is plenty to play. The multiplayer allows yourself and 7 friends on Live to battle it out in a fast and furious race. The feature that allows players to choose the difficulty setting is a very welcome feature. Players can choose to play against AI planes that are Easy, Medium or Hard.
Graphicaly SkyDrift has graphics that could rival full retail games. The environments are wonderfully presented and highly realistic, with a vibrant and eye catching colour system with all the textures. There are 8 different planes to collect with 32 unique skins to collect through completing different parts of the campaign. The 6 power up icons are designed really well, as they can be seen easily whilst flying, yet don’t get in the way of your vision, and each one is easily identifiable by the simple but effective icon on each one, and the colour for each. The planes look well-made and textured, giving the overall graphical look of the game that extra boost. The HUD also has to be commented on as all the necessary parts to been seen whilst playing are there in easy to see parts of the game screen.
The longevity of this game is another good factor. With 7 stages in the campaign and serveral races in each of the stages, the campaign mode is quite lengthy for an arcade game. The online multiplayer allows hours of extra gaming on SkyDrift, and there are numerous collectables to gain in the game, such as new planes and skins as well as 15 progressive badges (Bronze Silver and Gold, 26 medals and 12 achievements totalling 200g. There is also DLC for SkyDrift due out in the future, to include death matches and dog fight modes.
For me this game as plenty of excellent gameplay quality’s to it. An excellent tutorial, easy to use and natural feeling controls for the game, plenty of well-made and thought out tracks to race around, such as the Grand Canyon and Alaskan Terrain that provide a challenging race for the players. The power-ups add an extra element of fun to the racing element. Overall the gameplay for SkyDrift is excellent.
The presentation for this game is second to none, the graphics rival those of boxed AAA titles, with a brilliant high quality art style with vibrant and eye catching textures and add bits of animation as your flying. All the planes and there skins look excellent and the HUD of SkyDrift is well placed on the screen.
This is a game that has all the elements that will make an arcade game last and last. A multiplayer setting which can add hours on to a games lifespan, and plenty of collectables and achievements to gain in the game. The promise of DLC to this game just adds more on to it. A game well worth its 1200 point price tag.
SkyDrift is overall a must play game for fans of racing games or anyone after something a bit different on the Xbox. I’d give this game a 10 but the Digital Reality would have nothing to improve on in the next game they release. It is a well-balanced and thought game that can be played for hours on end.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.