Belgian Game Spotlight - Liftoff: Drone Racing
Welcome to a new Belgian Game Spotlight! Last month, we looked at Arisen, an upcoming narrative adventure in which you used cards to express your emotions. In our November spotlight, we're picking up the controller and piloting some blistering fast propeller-powered drones in Liftoff: Drone Racing.
Liftoff started its legacy on PC with Liftoff: FPV Drone Racing. It was intended to be the gateway to the quadcopter racing scene and achieved what it set out to do pretty well, growing to be the biggest community for virtual FPV racing! Now they're branching out to PS4 and Xbox One in an effort to also take the console market by storm.
The game is made by LuGus Studios, a small, yet motivated team from Hasselt that even managed to win the Belgian Game Award for Best Business in 2019!
Before we continue, perhaps it's wise to first check out their trailer, as to get a better idea of what kind of game we're dealing with:
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As you can see in the trailer, there is an entire single-player campaign to play through. It takes an interesting approach where you journey along with the evolution of drone-racing as a sport, first coming to grips with the controls as a hobbyist in 2015 and eventually growing to be a professional racer in tournaments and competing with the elite.
Controlling a drone is no easy feat and it has a steep learning curve. In fact, Liftoff has been a useful tool for professional drone operators everywhere (it's a lot more effective if you don't have to repair your crashed drone all the time). Luckily the game comes with an "assisted flight" mode which helps keep you on a steady height and makes the game feel more like an arcade racing game.
Once you're more accustomed to operating a drone, you can disable this setting and become a true drone-racing expert, performing tricks in freestyle mode and impressing your friends by doing near-miss flythroughs where obstacles come at you at blistering speeds. It's all up to you if this is the kind of experience you're looking for or if you prefer to keep the hand-holding active and focus on the story progression and playing versus your friends in the multiplayer options.
There is also an impressive amount of customisation possible, with real-life licensed drones and support from various manufacturers. If you're feeling up to it, you can kit out your own drone from scratch and start adding parts to best fit your personal playstyle as wel as aesthetic tastes.
From the looks of it, drone afficionados can probably spend hours on the workbench, tinkering with the optimal builds and proving themselves on the track afterwards.
Sounds like this is right up your alley? Then consider purchasing the game when it comes out on PS4 and Xbox One (available digitally as off November 10th, with physical PS4 copies arriving sometime later)
Buy Liftoff: Drone Racing on Xbox One
Want to keep up-to-date on the game and the studio? Here are a few places you can follow them:
We hope you've enjoyed this feature article and if you're a Belgian game developer yourself, don't be afraid to reach out and maybe we'll spotlight your game next month!