Absolute Drift: Zen Edition
Game review on PC
Zach McCoy-Davies / Fri 2nd Sep 2016
244 views / 2 bites
OVERVIEW Absolute Drift: Zen Edition is a top down racing game revolving around the art of drifting, all set within a minimalist, yet beautiful free-roam world.
The story driving the game is that of mastering sections and finding missions within the five free-roam hubs that you progressively unlock, along with six distinct drift cars. Though the game doesn't have a main story thread running through it, Absolute Drift more than makes up for this with 20+ missions in each HUB space and 34 tracks to conquer.
Within the tracks are 'event challenges', each providing the player with a goals to achieve. These event challenges are what drive the main tracks but you never seem to get bored, always wanting to beat your last race even by a few points.
'Driftkhana' gives you a timer and objectives to complete, spinning within squares and doing donuts around light poles leaving nothing but smoke in your rear view. For ultimate bragging rights, we are offered 'Midnight Events', Night themed tracks that will push any player to the brink and will have your palms sweating to try make it through the perfect run.
The game shines when you are left to find your own line throughout the open-world, cutting into corners and sliding out of them with precision, culminating in what looks like controlled chaos.
The tutorial pushes you into the game fairly quickly, starting from doing a 'simple' donut around a large circle to completing a full track. Don't let the art style fool you, the game make look simple but it is hard to master. You're rewarded for your patience because once you get the physics of your car, you will be sliding around corners in no time.
You gain more confidence with the car, as you glide around the world, all for it to come crashing down with the next challenge track. This in a way helps the game as it keeps your foot on the pedal, remaining fresh as you learn how to navigate each track for the best drifting line. You're offered clipping markers to boost your overall score on most corners and drifting lines to slide over for added bonuses which help on your way to mastering a section.
From the challenges to the open world, the gameplay is purely for driving game fans as it doesn't offer up much depth other than drifting, jumping and knocking down boxes. While the keyboard controls are serviceable be sure to bring a controller along for the drive for better handling and throttle control.
Absolute Drift's indie roots shine through the graphics with the top down camera and minimalist art design. While playing through all the challenges and missions I never experienced a dropped frame or crash, giving me a stable enjoyable run through.
The ship yard Japanese setting fits into the games drifting theme, as you slide between light poles and cargo holds while 'TOFU' factories can be seen off to the side. As you drift, the car leaves tread marks that remind you of Japanese line paintings with big curves and nice lines covering the white track.
The audio is typical of a driving game with screeching tires and the subtle sound of brakes being pushed. The squealing of the tires as you drift blend into the background and help you keep focus on your slide with the added help of the throttle. Being able to hear the sound as you back off the gas pedal is a great help for keeping your car under control.
Small bell chime queues let you know when you have progressed through missions and each of the six cars has a distinct sound, which adds to the world on display. I never once had an issue with audio during my play through, cars always revved and tires always burnt out right on queue.
Electronic and Drum & Bass music provided by C41 and Nyte helps give depth to what is on display as it fits the art style perfectly.Not only does it fit the game quite well but it helps sell the idea of drifting being an art form, pushing you through each corner and getting you into the game.
VERDICT Absolute Drift: Zen Edition adds to the core gameplay of drifting by adding a simplistic art design and great car physics making for a fun, yet hard to master experience. The game has enough content and replayability that you will want to come back to try beat your friends score and be the new Drift King. Some people may run out of things to do but the point chasing drift system is what will make people stay. Say goodbye to your free-time because once you master the art, you will be coming back for more.