|Release Date||December 13, 2016|
Review code provided
Drive!Drive!Drive! is a racing game with a very quirky twist. In each race you compete in you’ll be taking control of multiple cars on different tracks. Each level will see you competing on at least two tracks. Your job is to complete a specific goal across all tracks over a single lap, switching between your cars across these tracks, in what can quickly becoming a brain melting exercise in metaphorical plate spinning.
It’s a very novel idea, putting you behind the wheel of not one but two, three, four or more cars and tasking you with winning races or completing challenges be managing your performance in several races simultaneously. When you’re not controlling a car the AI takes over and drives for you. In Drive!Drive!Drive! however, AI stands for “Artificial Idiocy” – which is about right. If you want to have a hope of actually completing races you can’t rely on the AI to drive your cars for you, because the AI is a moron.
It’s about micromanagement as much as it’s about actually racing. Every lap you’ll ever race on Drive!Drive!Drive! is the final lap. Once a lap is completed the track will dissolve and you’ll need to finish up on any other tracks that are still going, littering lower tracks with cars from higher up. In fact, tracks can frequently cross over one another, a point I was made painfully aware of when I hit a jump at max speed and t-boned my other car, sending both into the aether.
Drive!Drive!Drive! is very much an arcade racer, with as much emphasis on stunts and smashes as pure racing. This is reflected in the variety of different modes you’ll encounter along the way, some of which don’t even focus on you actually winning races. Take Arcade mode – here your goal is to reach a points total to progress to the next track. While your track position does have an impact on your final score, you can gain points from drifting, jumping and smashing into other cars.
A sound strategy I found in this mode was to simply keep my cars in the middle of the pack and bouncing off my opponents like a pinball for huge multiplier bonuses. Other modes require you to juggle your cars quickly and effectively, such as the gem collection challenge, which tasks you with driving through gems littered across the various tracks. The only way you’re going to actually scoop up these neon glowing gems is by being in the lead. It becomes less about you actually picking these gems up yourself and more about quickly swapping between cars to ensure that you have the lead in all the races.
Things can get intense in Drive!Drive!Drive! as situations can generally get better or worse in an instant. You can be cruising along well ahead of your target in a Purist race, which sees you needing to have your cars collectively finish in a certain position, and suddenly see one or two of your racers’ positions begin to drop dramatically. The races in Drive!Drive!Drive! are generally over in a couple of minutes at most, so every bit of drama is amplified by extreme time constraints. You generally don’t have very long to turn things to your favour.
Drive!Drive!Drive!’s controls are generally pretty fluid. The game is designed for a controller, even on PC where keyboard and mouse isn’t supported. It’s here where everything is kept thankfully simple. Switching between tracks is accomplished with the d-pad and it’s easy to see where you are and where you’re switching to. Swapping between cars can be risky, however, as there have been more than a few times that I’ve switched to another car only to have the accompanying momentary drop in momentum absolutely screw me over.
But it’s all part of the crazy, chaotic fun of Drive!Drive!Drive! And Drive!Drive!Drive! is certainly all three of those things. Racing on a single track here can get crazy in its own right. Throw in your need to constantly switch between up to four mirrored tracks and you’ve got a brain-meltingly good time. Take the game online for a spot of multiplayer and all hell can break loose, as those AI drivers you’ve been facing in single-player are sometimes other Humans.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Drive!Drive!Drive!’s track editor. It’s a very user friendly, easy to use mode that lets you go wild creating whatever you can imagine, then mirror it a few times for some truly spectacular tracks. Even at launch there are already a few mind-bending community tracks available. Though Drive!Drive!Drive! cleverly includes the caveat that you must be able to complete a lap of all your tracks before you can save and upload one to torture your friends (and random strangers on the Internet).
The game also looks incredible. There are 100 tracks spread across a variety of different worlds, each with their own aesthetic style that means you’ll frequently be racing through very different environments. All of which are baked in neon glows and trippy retro/futuristic stylings that look great (when you get the chance to actually appreciate them anyway).
Drive!Drive!Drive! is as crazy a racing game as its novel premise suggests. The act of balancing multiple races at the same time is as hectic as it is fun. Drive!Drive!Drive! smartly doesn’t rely on pure racing, instead constantly mixing up its rules with a variety of different challenges that forces you to take different approaches to victory. Taking the chaos online and coming up against actual Human players only increases the mayhem and taking in some of the community tracks will leave your brain frazzled. While I sometimes struggled to wrap my head around what I needed to do to win, I was always having fun while trying to figure it out.
You can check out the Words About Games review policy, which includes our score guide, by clicking here.