Drifting is something I’ve always done in racing games, not because I’m good at it but because I’m bad at taking turns optimally. Whenever there’s any kind of racing game put in front of me, you can bet that any time there’s a turn on the track, it’s the best place to pass me regardless how easy the turn actually is. When CarX Drift Racing Online came my way, I figured it would be the perfect game for me to get behind the wheel and maybe actually look half competent at such a racing title.
Little did I know that drifting is a lot harder than it sounds, to the point where simply maintaining control of your car through a drift takes a lot more practise and precise maneuvering. With that said, it is incredibly satisfying to finally start mastering those corners in CarX Drift Racing Online. Where, at the start I found myself unable to successfully drift the first corner, eventually my brain started to make sense of the science behind each subsequent turn.
I think that’s why I found myself enjoying this game quite a lot. You have a ton of tracks to unlock, dozens of vehicles to buy, and a whole lot of modifications you can do to each car. The developers did something I really like on top of all this. Not only does each car have its own “best time” recording, but there are certain mods that will change the car to handle completely different, and each one can also record its own times with each car. This means that the mileage you can get out of each vehicle in terms of time trials is significant.
Each track can be unlocked in a reverse mode as well as its regular style. I was actually surprised at how much different it felt going through the same tracks in reverse. It definitely added a different challenge to the game, because you get used to going around a track one way, using landmarks to help you go into drifts, and seeing them from different angles can challenge you if you are as slow as me.
However, being someone who likes to explore, there was actually quite a bit in this game for me. There are parts in some tracks that you can explore, which are outside of the actual track itself. You can drive around parking lots, different roads, and other areas that don’t even appear in other tracks, which, despite not being something that adds to the gameplay, definitely appealed to my weird sense of adventure.
The game does come with some things I found to be a little frustrating. For example, the car you get at the start of the game did feel like it only made enjoying the game a little difficult compared to even the second car I unlocked. I get that it shouldn’t give you an amazing car right off the bat, but without much of a tutorial to speak of, figuring out how to do well with the starting car is quite difficult. Some cars in the same class have a much easier time gliding around corners, too.
Cars of a higher class (Which you unlock access to a higher class every two levels you gain from simply playing the game) earn you more in-game cash to spend on upgrades, paint jobs, and unlocking more tracks, but overall, the game is relatively generous with the amount of cash you earn even from the start, meaning you’ll rarely feel like you’re too far away from moving on to the next unlock. Progress is very much at your own pace.
Multiplayer is quite fun to play in this one, and it seems to be alive and well (Especially in the European servers). You can do all sorts of races and competitions with other players, and it’s really cool to see a line of cars all perfectly drift around corners. That said, I only saw that a few times because while in awe I would smash into a barricade and get left behind, but that’s part of the fun of racing games, isn’t it?
Overall, CarX Drift Racing Online is a solid experience. In terms of racing games on the Switch, I haven’t played many that are more addictive. In fact, I started writing this review literally weeks before it was finished, because every time I would turn it on, I would be sucked in.
If you wanna drift around like a boss, especially if you wanna do it with friends, look no further. This game is for you.
A ton of content
Satisfying learning curve
Hard to get started
Not for players who prefer Mario Kart to a more realistic experience