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Video Game / SkyDrift

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SkyDrift is an airborne Vehicular Combat racing game developed by Digital Reality. It was self-published by them for the PC (November 21, 2011) and Play Station 3 (September 6, 2011) while Namco Bandai Partners handled the Xbox 360 release. (September 7, 2011)

There isn't a plot to speak of, but that isn't really an issue here. The premise is a brutal, over-the-top series of races involving a variety of colorful, fast, and very well-armed aircraft, pretty-looking environments and lots of Power Ups. Improbable Piloting Skills are a must. There are no achivements for second place.

The game consists of a single-player tournament and various online options, with quick, player and custom matches available. The tournament has a linear series of stages, where completing a certain number of events in a stage will unlock the next one, though you need not finish them all (though doing so unlocks new liveries for the planes).

Game modes include:

Online play also includes (With Downloadable Content Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch.

SkyDrift provides examples of:

  • Mighty Glacier: The aptly-named twin-engine Titan boasts the highest armor of any plane. It's also slow and turns like a semi, though it possesses very strong boost. The PV Warbird is a lesser example, having slightly less armor but much greater maneuverability.
  • Nitro Boost: Every plane is equipped with a boost meter that is filled by performing stunts, "burning" Power Ups or damaging other planes. Planes with low top speed often have high boost power to compensate, like the Spark and Triwing Vintage.
  • More Dakka: The Cannon Power-Up. Against long range targets, it's actually more effective then the homing rockets, which can be fooled into hitting walls rather easily. And it can't be intercepted by shockwaves.
  • Power-Up: Pickups include Cannon, Rockets, Shields, Mines, Shockwaves, and Repairs. Each can be upgraded by grabbing another of the same type. You can have two different ones at once, and can "burn" them to generate boost instead of using them.
  • Scenery Porn: All over the place. A stated goal of the developers was to create striking real-world environments for the tracks.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Well, not a stomp really. The Shockwave Power-Up lets out an EMP blast that damages and slows nearby planes, and can destroy mines and incoming rockets.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The planes explode rather spectacularly when destroyed or crashed, and certain objects in the environment explode and fall on the racers when it would be dramatically appropriate- like on the last lap.