Absolute Drift: Zen Edition Review.

Absolute Drift is about as straightforward of a title that could ever exist. The bare bones explanation of this game is to drift, and drift it real good. This game is available for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. (Disclaimer, this review was based on the Xbox One edition, although I had also played on the PC where it was originally released) The simplistic game mechanics mixed with minimalistic graphics truly make you understand why it’s labelled as the Zen Edition.

Gameplay

Let’s get into the real nitty-gritty, shall we? The game begins with a Bhuddist figure proclaiming how, by the end of your journey, you will be a drift master. That just about wraps up the story. This game really comes with features, and leaves the story to the people who aren’t going sideways. There are four different game modes that are put into Absolute Drift, after you beat the general tutorial. Every mode comes with 5 objectives to be completed to fully finish the game.

  1. Drift Track, a multi-lap track where precision speed and cornering are king.
  2. DriftKhana, where doing donuts and hitting on-track obstacles bring in the most points
  3. Mountain Drift, a point to point course, with similar objectives to the Drift Track.
  4. And finally, Midnight Drift, very similar to Mountain Drift, just the course goes dark and the tracks are generally a bit harder.

Those 4 game types are all of what Absolute Drift is about, and each track progressing with difficulty and learning the finesse of your vehicle to be the aforementioned Drift Master. All of these game types can be played individually, or wrapped into the Free Roam world, where miniature missions are scattered around the world to fine-tune the skills you need.

The only other thing to bring up that hasn’t already been mentioned are the vehicles. The game takes real vehicles and gives them their own cutesy and copyright friendly names. You begin your journey with a Toyota AE86 (Or the Corolla in America), called The Original, since the vehicle has been a drifting icon for years now. You unlock 5 other vehicles throughout the game, each with their own speed and turning abilities, which makes it interesting to find which one suits your style the most. All vehicles also come with three preset decal options, and 8 colors to choose from, giving you some freedom to make your drift whip the dream come true.

The DriftKhana mode is pictured here, one of four modes in the game.

Aesthetics

This is where Absolute Drift truly shines. As seen from the pictures above, the game focuses primarily on three colors. Every track is mostly Black and White, with Red and a few other accent colors. If you’ve ever played Mirror’s Edge, the visuals are very similar, where white and red pop beautifully throughout the game.

Along with the beautiful visuals, C41 and NYTE bring a wonderful ambiance with the music in the game. An electronic feel that has a smooth flow really exemplifies the atmosphere of the game, and that is a huge selling point for me personally. The only downside aesthetically for me, is that on the console edition I’ve had a lot of frame drops, which do take me out of the vibes of the game. I do have a slightly older Xbox One though, so that fault could be none but my own.

Pros and Cons

Here is where I’ll get a little finicky, and pick out three things that I loved about the game, and three things that could either use some work, or I just outright didn’t enjoy about the game. Let’s get out the good news first.

Pros

  • Visuals and music pair wonderfully, as said above, and I adore that.
  • The game is easy to learn, and hard to master. It brings difficulty that is manageable, but not so easy that you can breeze through it.
  • Nothing ever feels stale in the game. They make sure every track is different enough to feel fresh every go around.

Cons

  • The game is very short. I beat the entire thing within three hours, and completed every side challenge in a few more hours time. Not discouraging, just wanting more.
  • DriftKhana felt very clunky and strange at first, but learning how it worked made it much better.
  • Certain obstacles, like the “Clipping Poles” require you to nail the turn perfectly and as close to the pole as possible to earn points from it, and they were just frustrating as all hell to learn to hit correctly.
Pictured here is the “Hooniwagon” vehicle, going through a Mountain Drift course, and going into a Clipping Point.

Final Verdict

I absolutely loved Absolute Drift, and I would recommend it to anybody who wants to try something new, especially if you already love the art of Drifting as much as I do. Plus, at the bargain price of 11.99 USD on consoles, you really can’t go wrong.

All in all, I give Absolute Drift an absolute score of 8.5 of 10. It has it’s quirks and kinks, but they can easily be brushed over by how beautiful the game is, and by how fun it feels to throw your car into a corner as fast as you can, and feel the slide run perfectly through the turn, getting you those sweet, sweet points and becoming the Drift Master. If you’ve played the game, or are planning on picking it up, I’d love to hear feedback on your thoughts of Absolute Drift.

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