It’s been less than six months since Disney Speedstorm was released into early access that can be accessed by purchasing a few founders packs, however, that access period is over, as September 28 marks the game’s full release and it’s now free. -play to all.
Kart racing games are often a difficult beast to tame, apart from Mario Kart and the reminder of Crash team racing, there is no other racing of this type that breaks it down or is enough to remove it from the cream of the crop. . Enter Gameloft and Disney hoping that their huge cast of beloved characters and experience in the Asphalt series can hit the track and push the kart racing scene.
On the Right Track
Kart racing has been a surprisingly full genre, with a number of different franchises and well-known characters taking a stab at it, be it Formula 1 drivers, Hello Kitty, Mario, or PlayStation’s Modnation Racers.
So it seems strange that it took so long for Disney to release a bunch of its beloved characters on the race track. As of writing, the game has 37 playable drivers from 10 different franchises that will be released in each new Season. There are popular favorites like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, to classic princesses like Belle and Jasmine, and some off-kilter options like Figment, the mascot of the Imagination! pavilion at Epcot theme park. The game has 12 tracks with several changing courses that all feel unique and different from each other thanks to the colorful Disney worlds.
While the Disney franchise is the food to draw you in, it’s the on-track racing where thankfully the game really shines. Speedstorm is more than just a skillful racer on the track, Gameloft applied their arcade racing experience to the Asphalt series, resulting in an exciting arcade racer on the track. All of the karts handle well, and the feel of cornering is delightful. It feels accessible to pick up, and there’s enough depth to get good at teaching racing classes and tracks to grow.
Get Up and Let Go
Aiming to add their creativity to the traditional kart racing formula, Speedstorm has applied a charging mechanic to their abilities – Taking Weapons – which opens up more combat options on the track. The way it works is that each skill will have a traditional use, or they can be charged to unleash a different attack. For example, if you take a shield, you can simply open it to provide a ring of protection around you, or, you can charge up an ability to surround yourself with a charged red ring that will stun any opponent you bump into, turning a traditional defensive ability into an offensive option. It’s a very efficient system and opens up a lot of thinking on the fly, deciding how you want to use your skills to propel yourself forward.
On top of the chargeable skill system, each runner will have a unique skill that unlocks when they are at Rank 2, this is a special skill for them and can be very useful if used correctly. The best example is Hercules’ Meg whose ability in traditional use gives a boost bar and expands to every runner he passes at the time, while he can charge it and leave a purple trail behind him which will give him a speed boost. any runner after crossing it. It’s a powerful skill that can be pulled out in a variety of situations to gain a pack or keep yourself ahead.
Besides the skill mechanics, Speedstorm also divides its drivers into one of four classes – Speedster, Trickster, Brawler, and Defender. Each character has a specific stat boost, such as Speedsters having bonus speed stats, while Defenders have increased combat and acceleration stats. On top of their stats, they also have a unique class ability granted to them, which helps them make the most of their special position. The game itself doesn’t explain the differences too much, but you’ll probably experiment with each character to see which style works best for you.
As you’d expect, like any free-to-play game content there’s limited play and there are purchasable items, loot boxes and season passes to check out. Characters and bonuses can be unlocked through gameplay, but it won’t be the fastest way. It’s not a very grinding story at all, thank you. The biggest problem Speedstorm has is how strong their mid-game economy is.
- Tokens – Automatic currency for unlocking items, booster packs and chests.
- Multiplayer Coins – used to open loot boxes for multiplayer content, purchase items.
- Box Credits – Used to open loot boxes instantly.
- Season Coins – Used to unlock seasonal loot boxes, items in the shop
There really isn’t a need for it to be such a jumble of currencies, and the layout of the store can feel awkward, making it feel like an explosion of things and options instead of a nice storefront to interact with — it’s all just a jumble of confusion. .
In addition to currency, there are certain character items that you need to unlock. Earlier, I mentioned that you need to be Rank 2 to be able to access your driver’s unique ability… each driver can be distinguished by collecting characters. From Level 1 to Level 5, each level increases the stats and slots available to party members (character token that boosts stats). On top of that, you can upgrade your character without Ranks which will permanently improve the driver’s stats. I can say that it is beneficial to level up your favorite character, but rating is how the difficulty is determined since there is no difficulty setting – you have a recommended Rank for the races and that’s just to measure how difficult the upcoming race will be.
Multiplayer is divided into three main modes, with your offline multiplayer that can be played together in bed on PlayStation 5 with up to four players sharing the screen. Most ranked players see you using your drivers and their current rank and team level up compared to other racers out there. Finally, there is Controlled multiplayer, which places everyone at an equal level of 30 except for the team members for more racing experience. I’ve played a few races online, and despite many races running smoothly, there have been times where races have started for some and not others or sometimes I’ve crossed the line first, but the platform may say otherwise. It’s very quick to get into games, and I’ve never waited more than 50 seconds for a race, which is great, but online racing is definitely the best way to experience the best Speedstorm action, even if it’s aggressive.
Overall, Disney Speedstorm is a great kart racer. The game’s overly complex economy and lack of Grand Prix or other modes outside of single races may push gamers away, and I wouldn’t blame them. At its core, this solid kart racer does enough to make it worth checking out, but it won’t be challenging a Mario or Crash title anytime soon.
You can download Disney Speedstorm on PSN here.