Ever wondered what you would get if you crossed Spiderman and Bayonetta? Well, Drifting: Weight of Feathers is certainly a good start.
Drifting: Weight of Feathers is an indie game I would class as easy to learn but difficult to master. You’re thrown straight into the deep end with an introductory cinematic showcasing our protagonist and the very little story plot that the game provides.
Faye, a wanted criminal, is trapped on planet Blue Star and you need to assist her in her escape using her acrobatic and expert fighting skills. As simple as that, you’re then thrown straight into a quick tutorial level where you learn how to wall run, glide, slide down walls and grapple your way around to avoid the chasms at the bottom of the level.
Faye’s movements NEED to be precise, which is the toughest thing to pick up on. If you’re even slightly off course when you try to grapple an enemy or slide down a wall, you’ll find yourself in the chasm faster than you can recover. Because of this perfectionism, the gameplay can tend to be quite clunky and irritating, especially since checkpoints can be sparse throughout each level.
Each level is unique in design and utilises all of Faye’s abilities to the max, often requiring you to learn the correct moments to switch from grappling to gliding to then dodging the odd enemy rocket and so on. Add in the factor of the chasms and puzzles that you need to complete to progress, it all adds up into a frustratingly fun time.
One excellent factor in Drifting: Weight of Feathers is graphic design. Whilst the levels themselves are rather simple and clinical in appearance, Faye herself has clearly had a lot of thought and effort put into her design and how she appears dynamically in the fast-paced environment. In terms of in-game collectable items, you have the opportunity to grab and find different hairstyles for Faye to equip by completing puzzles in certain levels, which is a nice addition—this potentially gives the scope for more collectable items in the future, like different outfits for Faye as well as skins for her weapons for example.
The parkour element of Drifting: Weight of Feathers is certainly one that is decent, but needs some further polishing. As I was trying to complete some of the earlier levels, I found myself scrambling to activate Faye’s abilities all at once in order to collect some items and replenish her energy bar, which resulted in me dying regardless of the order I did it in. Without a doubt, Drifting: Weight of Feathers has a very steep learning curve, and if you tend to be quite impatient or easy to frustrate with parkour games, especially ones that require such specific precision with movements, then you may find this game infuriating.
One thing that is enjoyable is the in-game leaderboard that you can toggle on and off. This gives you the ability to compete with your friends and other players for the best times on each level, which somewhat makes up for the lack of any main story plot.
Depending on how quickly you can learn the basic mechanics and apply them to your runs, Drifting: Weight of Feathers completion time could be anywhere from a few hours up to 10+ easily. Again, this is all dependent on your skills with parkour games as well as finding the best routes to complete each level.
Overall, Drifting: Weight of Feathers definitely does have its moments. The combination of grappling hooks, drifting, wall running and fighting was what intrigued me the most, and the mechanics were surprisingly well put together and they do work well if you know how to use them correctly. From personal experience, it was absolutely a case of easy to learn and hard to master, but if you enjoy the learning curve of parkour games then Drifting: Weight of Feathers will be right up your alley.