SkyDrift is an action packed aerial combat racer developed by Digital Reality.
If you've played games like Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing you will feel right at home with SkyDrift. You must race and collect Power-Ups to defend yourself and take down other opponents. From targeting missiles to a powerful machine gun. Each Power-Up feels very useful and fun to use. They can also be levelled up once for a better performance, like increased damage for example. There's also a boost ability given to each plane. You can gain boost in a variety of ways. From defeating enemies, performing stunts and defending yourself. Boost can also be collected by trading it for any Power-Ups you have.
The environments in SkyDrift are visually stunning and it's one of the best looking arcade titles I've played this year. There's a nice selection of tracks and each take you across different environments. For example, Avalanche takes you to the cold north, as you sweep through ice glaciers and caverns and Heatwave will have you flying above lava. Each environment has a different layout and it makes great use of the plane's manoeuvre abilities. Weaving around tight corners and flying between narrow structure might sound like a tricky task but with it's fluid controls you can perform them with ease. Simply moving the right analog stick will turn the plane into Knife edge position. It's extremely easy to get to grips with and I was sweeping through tunnels and narrow paths in no time.
The campaign is split up into seven stages. As you progress you will play through a variety of game modes. Power Race, Speed Race and Survivor. Power Race is your typical race mode where you must simply collect
Power-Ups as you fight to win the race. Speed Race is a more fast paced mode than the others. It's the same as Power Race but instead of Power-Ups you must fly through speedrings to gain extra speed. Finally, Survivor is all about elimination. Here you must make sure your not in last place when the counter reaches zero, or it's boom!
As you advance through each stages you will unlock new state of the art planes. There's only eight in total but they all have different strengths. Some have better manoeuvring, some have more speed and others have increase strength. It's great to experiment with them all as some will perform better on certain tracks.
Aswell as it's campaign mode you can take to the skies online with eight players. All three modes are available online and they should keep you playing for quite sometime. The only let down would be it does offer local multiplayer so if your wishing to play in splitscreen with a friend you won't find it here.
SkyDrift is extremely fun and for those who enjoy Mario Kart style gameplay will have a hard time putting it down.
Review by Gareth Smith