To many here in the UK the name KartRider may not seem familiar, and you could not be blamed for thinking that it was a new IP, but let me assure you, Nexon have been making KartRider games for years, we just haven’t had them. Now, in a huge turn of events, they are gracing us with KartRider: Drift on Xbox.
If you were not tuned in to the Inside Xbox show at X019 I would highly recommend checking out all the announcements and trailers released, including KartRider; you will not be disappointed.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend X019 in London and have a chat to one of the great minds behind KartRider: Drift while we tried it out.
On the surface, it seems like a cute Mario Kart Esque racer, and there are similarities in the two titles, but KartRider definitely took me by surprise. For example, in China and Korea, where KartRider has been a long-running franchise, it’s actually the more popular title. Who would have thought there is a game out there that could pop the tires on Mario’s wheels!
KartRider: Drift has a lot to offer the Western market, in its home regions not only does it have a huge player base but its own Esports league. It may seem cute but this drift fest has a massive competitive scene behind it, and a loyal fan base to match.
So what sets KartRider apart from Mario and the rest of the Kart games out there?
For one, though all of the kart games we have seen so far are quite simple and easy to pick up, KartRider is hard to master. Sure, it’s easy enough to go round a track and have some fun, but if you want to see your name at the top of the leaderboard it’s going to take more than just some luck and a bullet bill.
To master Kart Rider requires more than just quick reactions; you need to master drifting, and it’s not as easy as it seems. The drifting in KartRider is of the utmost importance to win, and the mechanics themselves are not as easy as they may look. Watching competitive players, you will notice that they spend almost all their time drifting to max out their boost event to the point of pulling off full 360 degree spins just to keep the drift going.
Now that’s not all that it’s going to take – in addition to mastering your kart, you must also master the tracks. Every map has a few little short-cuts, and these are instrumental in winning. If you can master the track and the control of your kart, you are in for a wicked time.
If this sounds right up your alley you will be pleased to know that Nexon have big plans for KartRider: Drift regarding content and its competitive scene. I have it on good authority that they have a battle pass system planned, with both a free and paid version so that you can get your hands on loads of awesome karts and skins to make you stand out and look unique.
As for the competitive side of things, I am to understand that there are competitive and ranked systems in the making which will hopefully be launching with the game, and if not, they will follow soon after. Details are limited in this regard, but there are enough to get me excited.
The cherry on top of the cake that is KartRider, though, is that the game will be free to play. That’s right, all the content will be there for you to download and play for free!
If you can’t wait until release and you are as excited as I am, there will be a beta starting on 6th December, and I would definitely advise everyone to jump on over to their website and sign up!