Though there is no real buzz around Off-Road Drive, it will still be released tomorrow. The main reason why players do not pay too much attention is probably that Off Road is not that popular in most of Europe. We received a review code of the game a couple of days ago so here are a few videos of the PC version.
One thing should be clear, Russian developer 1c Avalon did not want to make another Motorstorm game. Indeed, Off-Road Drive is to be considered as a true simulation and not an arcade racer at all. Here, everything is about using the tools at your disposal (winches, low gear, differential gear locking, GPS, clinometer, altimeter, tire air pressure control, etc) in order to pass the many obstacles in your way. Each of the 24 tracks will offer a different type of terrain and challenge and the 7 countries you will visit should guarantee enough variety to keep you interested.
If you're a sim racer, you will certainly choose the manual gear setting with the clutch and a good driving wheel to make the game even more realistic. The 360 controller is compatible but you will still need the keyboard to be able to use all the accessories of the SUVs and trucks. Contrary to what you might think looking at the keyboard control image, it takes a bit of time before being able to do things properly but the controls are a bit more user friendly than they look at first glance. The only problem is that sometimes, when you play with the 360 controller, the game will tell you to use LT to accelerate and RT to slow down when it is in fact the opposite.
Graphically speaking, the game looks pretty good, with nice dirt/mud/snow effects and colorful landscapes. The different vehicles are also well modeled as you will see if you play in external view. A cockpit view is also available but though it is certainly more immersive, it also makes the game a bit harder as your appreciation of the terrain is not the same than when you can see the whole car. Off-Road Drive runs smoothly at 60 fps but don't expect to reach high speeds as the game is above all about passing obstacles in the correct manner, which often implies taking the necessary time not to lose some later. Kind of a niche game to be fair, but it does not mean it is not accessible enough for players to give it a shot. As far as I'm concerned, I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
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