Drive!Drive!Drive! (D!3), by developer Different Cloth, is one of those games that only comes around every so often — and one of the few arcade racing games that I give a shit about. It doesn’t do anything new with actual the racing, and drifting isn’t some new fancy thing — you just press the brake like in countless other arcade racers. You shunt and smash people out the way, you jump, draft, and simply race. So then, why do I care about it?
You race the biggest morons, on multiple tracks at the same time
You read that right, you race on multiple tracks simultaneously. This makes D!3 special, and
a bit extremely bonkers. It takes a pretty standard arcade racer, and makes it something new.
Adding this dimension to racing makes every race more tense than The Rock after leg day. You are constantly on edge, as every time you leave your current track to get a leg up on another track, the AI driver who replaces you is a complete idiot. They can’t go in a straight line, even when there are no other cars around them without crashing, and insist on driving with the brakes on (I swear they do that) as they go slower than James ‘Capt. Slow’ May.
Yet, this is another thing that sets D!3 apart from the countless other arcade racers. Usually when racing against AI you feel like you are cheating, but because of the multi-track racing you are also the dumbest thing around. Even if you are ‘just’ racing on 2 tracks (at the same time) it’s a challenge. This is what D!3 boils down to — a challenge in racing the stupidest, lamest, most infuriatingly moronic AI known to man. Yet, it is one of the greatest things you will ever do in a racing game.
You stop caring about clean racing; you don’t have any morals with good passing. You crash, and you make them burn. You smash and you speed off laughing with glee. And you do all of this with one of the best soundtracks, and in a year of excellent soundtracks — 2016 having Doom, Abzu, and so many others — one that stands out is impressive.
ZOMBI crafted the soundtrack, and christ on a bicycle did they nail the atmosphere. Everything is one seamless block of musical smashing, tense racing, post-rock synth, electronic controlled prog.
This is where I stop gushing, and start being realistic with myself
I will stand by everything I said above, and the following will likely will not be the case with you. But I have a confession to make:
I stopped playing D!3 about 2 hours after I picked it up, and haven’t felt the need to go back.
This isn’t a fault with the game. It isn’t due to glitches, bad design, or bad controls. This isn’t because I can’t seem to come in first easily, or even that I’m actually pretty bad at the game. I think it’s time to admit to myself I have fallen out of love with arcade racing games that I cannot use my wheel to play. Ever since getting that thing, I’ve played Daytona and Sega Rally every few days, but the Force Feedback (FFB) I get from the aforementioned games has spoiled me. The lack of FFB is felt, and that is why I cannot go back to D!3. It’s nothing the game did, it’s something I did.
Having said the above, it shouldn’t stop anyone from getting Drive!Drive!Drive! It’s the closest an arcade racer has got to keeping me playing. It’s the longest I’ve played a controller based racing game in about 2 years. D!3 is the best arcade racer in years, ever since Split/Second back in 2010. D!3 sits along side Nitronic Rush (and Distance) as the most awesome arcade driving games (I don’t consider the latter two racers, but survival driving games).
There is far more to D!3 that I have not put in this review. From the multiple different cars you can unlock, to the beautiful simplistic interface, or the amazing polygonal art style and super long and interesting career mode, this isn’t a game I can express every facet of in one review. Just know that it is the best arcade racer out right now, and it’s something very new and super interesting.
If I have piqued your D!3 fancy, the game is out now on PS4 in the EU/UK and US, and available for PC on Steam. Of course, being an indie game, you won’t have to get a mortgage to experience this gem.
Note: Copy provided by developer, Different Cloth, for review.