PAX Prime Hands-On: SkyDrift
One of the more surprising titles for me this PAX was SkyDrift. It seems as if Digital Reality has plans to fill the airplane racing game void that I’ve felt ever since playing Diddy Kong Racing back on the N64. We’ve got some offscreen footage of Chris playing a race right here, so check it out! Make sure you watch (or skip to) the end, because it really heats up in during the final lap.
If you skipped the video (shame on you), one of the cool features of the game is that the expansive, graphically impressive environments start crumbling around you as you race through them. Various weather effects and different locales mix up the scenery, too. There are at least 5 different powerups that float in place, waiting to get picked up and used to give you the racer’s edge (not to be confused with the Razor’s Edge). The powerups I saw were a chaingun, homing missiles, a repair tool, a shield, and a mine. If you’re holding a powerup and fly into one of the same type, it gets more powerful. Sound familiar? Of course, there is no hub world or mission selecting or multi-vehicular capabilities, but the joy I had sky-racing around tracks hasn’t been felt since the days of old. A nice feature is that you can hold more than one powerup at once and scroll through them. You can also burn a powerup to add to your boost meter. The game looks great, as I made mention of earlier, and I didn’t notice any slowdown. After Chris played, I got my hands on it and really enjoyed it. It features online multiplayer for up to 8-player races. For me, what was once buried somewhere in the mountain of mediocre PSN releases is now sitting atop it. Look for SkyDrift September 6th.