I have a real love /hate relationship with Disney Speedstorm and let me tell you right off the bat, the hate is winning! I like Disney and have enjoyed Disney games since the days of the NES. Some people might like to joke, but there are far more good Disney games than bad ones. When I saw the trailer for Disney Speedstorm I thought it looked like a fun Mario Kart knock off style racer and I was excited to check it out and as it started its free to play for all players recently after being in an early access/founders pass type of state earlier in the summer. I have put a decent amount of time into it and I have a few things I want to get off my chest.
I will start with the good. This is a fun and well made arcade style “kart” racer, I say kart even though people are in cars, but you know what I mean. It controls great, the drifting is fun, characters have their own special moves. and it looks like a million bucks. There is a level based on Steamboat Willy where you start in a movie theatre and crash through the screen and it goes all black and white, it is awesome! There are a ton of characters in the game (more on that later) the soundtrack is fun and it all performs (I am playing on Xbox Series) great. As an actual game, Disney Speedstorm is fantastic.
This is a game that I would happily have paid £50 for as it is so well made and so much fun. It feels like a combination of Mario Kart 8 and Team Sonic Racing. However, the free to play stuff in here is some of the most disgusting and predatory that I have seen in a game in quite some time. Look, that is the free to play model, I get it. But the way that this game has its hand out all of the time is crazy. The rate at which you unlock things is so painfully slow that you never feel like you are getting anywhere. Plus, there is so much stuff to unlock! Most notably the characters, who feel near impossible unless you pay, crew members that give you perks, and there are various upgrades, skins, colors for your car, and more! Of course, there is more than one kind of currency at play here too which just adds to the confusion and frustration.
I played through all three of the chapters which were based on classic Disney icons, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck , and Goofy. That then gives you access to the Season Pass. The first one is based on Aladdin and these change as the game progresses. The game does have many Disney franchises represented such as Toy Story, Monsters Inc, and Pirates of the Caribbean to name a few. There is free to play stuff here, but they want you to buy the season pass which as it is a free to play game is fair. Yet, this is a game where it is 100 percent pay to win. You need to spend money to be able to beat the AI at higher levels and if you are racing with other players that are invested and spending a lot of money at some point you simply cannot compete!
As I said, I legit would have paid full price for this game had all of the free to play BS not been a part of it. Disney Speedstorm is a fun arcade style racer, but I think that I have pretty much had my fill of it which kind of sucks as I legit do enjoy the actual racing and the presentation of the game!