Gameloft's free-to-play racing game Disney Speedstorm has already been compared to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe numerous times. With its character-focused racing and themed tracks, it was inevitable — especially on the Switch! But, in an interview with Nintendo Everything, the developer is keen to set out what makes this title stand out from Nintendo's juggernaut kart racer.
While Mario Kart 8 has different types of karts, stats, and even racer weights, Disney Speedstorm will have four different classes. When asked about what makes this game "stand out", Gameloft Barcelona's game manager — Aska Suzuki — put forward this unique element first:
"In Disney Speedstorm, characters aren’t just broken up by general types. We’ve given them one of four classes: Speedster, Brawler, Trickster, and Defender to support the strong combat racing element to this game. Boost management is really important, and each class builds extra boost in different ways, such as a brawler gaining more boost through stunning other racers, or a speedster gaining extra boost by going across boost pads. This provides the opportunity for very strategic racing if players wish to race that way."
The class doesn't just change how the character races, but it also affects how you get extra boosts, which adds an extra layer of strategy to the game! It sounds like a really interesting difference, especially with the focus on "combat" and confrontation. So we'll be racing against all of our least-favourite Disney characters so we can justify ramming into them on the race track, then!
But that's not the only unique element. Suzuki went on to explain what other differences classes bring to the table:
"Additionally, individual characters don’t just have special abilities, but they are pre-loaded with specific power-ups, so a trickster character will be more inclined to get items that negatively impact other racers, or a defender might get more defensive items. On top of that, each power-up can be charged in order to perform a different action! More than any other racing game I can think of, character choice in Disney Speedstorm is closer to picking a character in a MOBA game."
This element of the game is similar to Mario Kart Double Dash!!, but instead of just having unique abilities, they're also more likely to get items that fit their playstyles. What items and skills these are, we don't know yet, but it looks like character selection will be going beyond simply picking your favourite Disney and Pixar character.
Of course, Disney Speedstorm is a live service game with seasonal content, and Suzuki outlined a few things that will be added to the game once it's out:
"...players will have access to regular new content via updates and season passes. New Disney and Pixar racers will be added regularly to Disney Speedstorm, bringing special skills for you to master (or overcome) and unique tracks to pump fresh strategy into the mix. Support crew characters, environments, customization options, and collectibles will also drop in regularly, so there’s always more to experience."
This is certainly something that sets the game apart from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which many might be worried about. However, despite there being special events and Season Passes, Suzuki reiterated that "all characters can be unlocked through gameplay", while also finding items to help level up their chosen character.
There will be specific events focused on a single Disney or Pixar film, or other ones focused on certain characters. So Gameloft is planning to go all out on the game.
Disney Speedstorm is due out sometime this summer. We'll let you know as soon as we have an official release date. Have you decided on whether you'll be downloading the game? Do you think the combat racing elements will make this one stand out? Let us know down below!