I'm not sure when I fell out of love with driving games. Sure, I'll still play Mario Kart multiplayer when the occasion calls for it, but somewhere between the various Gran Turismo, Forza and Need for Speed titles I got bored. Drive!Drive!Drive!, which arrived on Steam and the PlayStation Store this morning, got me interested again.
Drive!Drive!Drive! is... different. You're not just in command of one vehicle in a single race. No, you're in charge of two, three or sometimes even four cars, each racing on their own track against AI opponents.
In the bottom-right of the screen, you see all of the tracks currently in play (they typically overlap), together with the current position of each of your cars. When you're not actively controlling a car, the AI takes over, and it is awful, by design. Your job is to switch cars, and get them all across the finish line.
The AI being useless is a great mechanic. You can leave a car way ahead in first place, and within five seconds it's driven off the edge of a track and is dead-last. That means you have to always be switching, juggling your various cars to ensure that all of them end up in a respectable position. You can either switch between cars using the d-pad, or enter a kind of pause mode to choose a particular track to race on, which is helpful when things get really hectic.
The driving part of Drive!Drive!Drive! is well executed: You race across various sky-bound neon tracks controlling various cars that handle in various ways. You can drift, you can boost; it handles somewhat like a Burnout game, in so much as you're rewarded for aggression, for shunting, crashing and otherwise incapacitating your rivals. It all feels fun, if a little pedestrian. But that's all it had to be given the extra mechanic of car switching.
I first played Drive!Drive!Drive! back in September at a game show, and have been looking forward to its release ever since. The main campaign is filled with plenty of variety, and there's a robust level creation tool that should give plenty of longevity to proceedings. Today, it launches on Steam (for both Windows and Mac) and PlayStation 4, and for $19.99 (£15.99), it's a safe bet for some fun times.