Drome Racers, the second racegame under the lego-flag after “Lego Racers”, which was a small success. Drome Racers should prove to be an innovating, new and exciting racegame.
The year is 2015. We live in a fast world and everybody is looking for new forms of entertainment, the crazier, the better. The people in Lego-empire came up with the idea of “Drome”, a new kind of game. The best raceteams in the world compete each other in the most daring an extreme races ever. You can follow it live on TV or Internet, or participate in it yourself. Offcourse, in this game, you participate in it yourself.
You are Max Axel, and you are in a raceteam called Nitro-Team. Once you start in Career Mode, you get some help to get you started from Shicane, Slot and Rocket, not really very original names, but hey, the game is for kids anyway.
Shicane is your mechanic. She is responsible for all the cars in your garage en she makes sure they are ready to race when they’re needed. Slot is the systems analyst of the Nitro-Team. He keeps track of all the results and you can save and load a game if you ask him nicely. Last but not least, there’s Rocket. He’s some kind of mysterious race-guru who hangs out at your garage. He gives a lot of usefull tips and can give you access to training-tracks and duels.
The interface of the menu in your garage is nicely done, everything fits together into the big picture. It’s also nice that Shicane, Slot and Rocket talk to you as if you’re really there. Especially Rocket is a cool dude, during his lessons, he sometimes tells a joke. The main menu of the game however is poor and simple. There’s a cool kind of simple, but there’s also a “too simple” kind of simple, if you catch my drift :).
Now let’s talk business… You could compare Drome Racers with a mix of Rollcage and Wipe-out, which were very cool games, but this just seems to be some sort of “legolised” ripoff. There are arrows on the road that make you accelerate, you can pickup powerups and shoot down your enemies, everything is allowed and nothing is prohibited. But I get a “been there, done that” feeling, which isn’t good. Perhaps those lego-fans that have never heard of the real thing might find this game to be exciting or cool. Lego even made it so that the “lego-feeling” has gone completely. I played Lego Racers for quite some time, and it had a special atmosphere, being a lego-game. This one doesn’t have that feeling, not even a little.
Graphics are pretty nice though, but nothing special. Just your standard OpenGL flower power 3D-effects. Sound is pretty standard too. Gameplay is also just standard. Nothing to say much really.
It’s very clear that this game was intented to be released on PS2, and at the last moment some guy said “Hey, let’s release it for PC too”. That would explain the crappy menu (a bit), how you have to enter your 3 initials if you score a record, the typical console-movie you get to see at the start of career-mode, the lack of multiple controls, limited career-mode slots, limited choice in tracks/cars, etc.
So, if you’re a minor, like lego, and haven’t heard of Wipe-out or Rollcage, and you seriously need a game for your PS2, I would suggest you buy this, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone that owns a PC and not a PS2.