Inertial Drift was originally launched in September 2020 to mixed reactions. Developer PQube is back with the Twilight Rivals Edition for Playstation 5 and Xbox Series S/X. The Twilight Rivals pack will also be available as DLC for owners of the previous version.
Tear up the driving rulebook
I actually missed Inertial Drift when it was released in 2020, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. One of the things that attracted me to it was the bright neon colours and drifting. For those new to drifting, itinvolves sliding your car sideways through corners while maintaining speed. Oversteering is required to achieve a prosperous ‘drift state’, breaking all the rules of ‘proper’ driving in the process.
I will be the first to admit, I really love racing games that can bring back that nostalgia for me. Games like Burnout, the early Need for Speed, and hell even Outrun on the arcade. Games that you can just pick up and play without that big learning curve.
This is where Inertial Drift has stepped up, as a ‘twin-stick’ racer. Your left analogue stick controls your direction, and the right controls the drift. The only other 2 controls you use are the left trigger to brake and the right trigger to accelerate. That is as complicated as it gets, if you can put your hands into that position on a controller then you can achieve great things.
The story mode was really short in the original Inertial Drift game, therefore it isn’t a surprise that Twilight Rivals contains a bigger story mode. You will be practicing around several tracks, whilst setting lap times or racing against an AI player or at times Ghost laps. You don’t need to worry about crashing into your opponent as it’s impossible to do so, whereas walls, dirt and sand will slow you down.
A lack of collision damage means there is no need for changes to cars. This doesn’t take anything away from the game for me, not every game out there needs hyperrealism. Once in a while, we need those titles that remind us that gaming at its core should be fun. Inertial Drift definitely ticks that box.
Alongside the standard Race mode, the additional options are:-
- Practice – To get a feel of the track, this will help in every mode.
- Ghost Battle – Race a ghost appearance of your opponent’s best run, and see how they manoeuvre around the track.
- Time Attack – The classic race against set times that rewards you with bronze, silver and gold times to beat.
- Duel – Score points for the distance between yourself and your opponent, fill your bar to win the race or complete the required laps with the highest score.
- Endurance – Your ability to stay in the race by hitting checkpoints.
- Style – Your first introduction to style may come from the story mode. Beat your opponent and set new track records.
Graphics & Audio
The Twilight Rivals Edition gives you 2 new options; 4k and 120fps mode, these are for the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series S/X. The cell-shaded art style works really well and blends everything together. The purples, pinks and oranges provide a great backdrop to the fast-paced racing, giving the appearance of the late 80s early 90s.
I did have a couple of graphical glitches whereby it looked like the car had clipped through a section of the wall when drifting close. It happened a couple of random times however when I deliberately attempted to reproduce it I wasn’t able to.
I wasn’t expecting to have 4k and 120fps as options in this mid-tier price range title, so developer PQube certainly has given a lot for the price (£24.99).
The sound of the cars has really been placed behind the superb music which is matched perfectly with the style of the game. The Twilight Rivals edition has given the OST a big makeover with a brand-new Eurobeat theme tune from Turbo.
If you are a gamer who simply wants to complete the story with one character then the original storyline is around 2.5 hrs, however, there is the option to complete both storylines across all characters for which you are looking at 20+hrs. It will be the different game modes that provide the most replayability and perhaps the most amount of fun.
In Inertial Drift, you don’t need to know the difference between a crankshaft and a camshaft! Getting into that perfect racing line and being able to weave in and out of traffic without getting a time penalty is of no use. I cannot understate just how much I enjoy playing Inertial Drift: Twilight Rivals Edition. I will definitely be continuing my playthrough using all of the characters to see how far up the leaderboards I can get. It is for this reason that Inertial Drift: Twilight Rivals Edition is awarded the Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.