Review: CarX Drift Racing Online
Platform: Xbox One S.
The game doesn't really feature an introduction, it just starts without any sort of intro or tutorial, really, which is fine. As soon as it starts, I am free to explore the game's [very good] menu - one that's simple, straight-to-the-point and well organized.
Visuals & performance
CarX Drift Racing Online has surprised me in more ways than I was expecting, and only in positive ways, mostly.
I was expecting a mess, to be honest, as similar "unknown" games haven't been the best, but this one is special for sure; awesome graphics, a high resolution that's at least close to 1080p, terrific smoke effects, highly detailed & realistic cars, and tracks that are equally as well designed. I'm more than satisfied with the visuals, and once I saw those smoke effects, I knew this would be good.
It might be a bit buggy, however, as crashing into a pole would see my car get stuck in it, as an example. Performance is decent, but does come with an inconsistent framerate from time to time, but fortunately, it doesn't affect gameplay much at all. I'm not sure if it's running at 30 or 60 fps, though.
While there's nothing wrong with the sound design, you're not getting as authentic audio as, say, Forza, but that's a given, seeing as this game is "just" $30. The bottom line is that with CarX Drift Racing Online, drifting is as beautiful as it can get, while offering some decent performance, even though it could've been a bit better.
Ah, gameplay, the heavy-hitter part of CarX Drift Racing Online, where it's all about drifting, and scoring points during it, accompanied by the use of some very cool vehicles.
For singleplayer, the game consists of three modes: career, tandem drift, and time attack, but the developers have also managed to cram multiplayer support into the game, and even cross-play with the PC version, which is kind of surreal for being an indie game. Typically (unless I'm playing time attack), my main objective in an event is to rack up as many points as possible by drifting with my car, an act that is done by turning it so that it's at an angle, whilst continuing to accelerate, but also keeping control of my speed by slightly tapping the accelerator when it's needed.
There's only a handful similar games available on the Xbox One, and while the other ones aren't bad, CarX Drift Racing Online shines severely brighter than the others. That's partly due to some really well implemented drift gameplay, with the amount of fun & quality features offered serving as the reason, too; Forza-like customization including body-kit upgrades, color options, vinyl/decal support & more, a ton of different missions and tracks, way more cars than I expected, and just generally a lot of content.
Once I enter a career mission, I have to make my way to the finish line, rack up points that increase even faster the more I stay on my current drift (without crashing or going reverse), and even though this is a simple concept, I've never had as much fun drifting as in CarX Drift Racing Online, in any other drift-focused game. The feeling of gathering insane amounts of points is like no other, and that feeling is ultimately shown as well as experienced in its best way only in CarX Drift Racing Online.
If the game would have 2-player offline multiplayer, I'd call it one of the best racing games out there, but it unfortunately does not include that. The customization found in this game is close to being as good as in the Forza games, it's just really awesome; I was able to swap each individual part with a different one, put decals/vinyls wherever I wanted to, paint the car, and even modify the car with unique drift mods. It all works splendid, too, and only makes the experience all more worth it.
All in all
CarX Drift Racing Online offers THE most ultimate & defined drift racing experience out there as of right now, at least as far as Xbox goes. With its exceptional drift gameplay, great amount of content for the price, deep customization system, it delivers some of the most fun to be had in a drift racing game right now, at least when it comes to indie ones. While doing all this, it also aesthetically looks phenomenal - high-resolution textures, some of the best smoke effects I've seen, very detailed cars and parts, more than decent level design, with a resolution that's definitely not too shabby, as well as a framerate that holds up, though that could've been better. Bug-wise? Well, definitely could've been better there as well, but it won't break the game. The most important part, however, is that the game is very, very fun, and perfect for both car & drift enthusiasts. I've enjoyed every second spent in the game, and I can see myself coming back to it occasionally.
CarX Drift Racing Online is available digitally on the Microsoft Store for the Xbox One, with a price tag of $30. Are you interested in buying it? That can be done here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/carx-drift-racing-online/9n6ftc4qjmwn
This review is written by Jesper Ingemansson and is based on his honest opinion about the game.
A review code was provided by CarX Technologies for review purposes.