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Distance

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By Doubleplus02-02-2015
Distance

The Defence

Developer:
Refract
Publisher:
Refract
Genre:
Indie, Racing
Release Date:
TBA

The Prosecution

CPU:
Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz
AMD FX 4.0 GHz
VGA:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 560
AMD Radeon HD 7750
RAM:
4 GB
HDD:
5 GB
DirectX:
9.0c


Maybe this is just the opinion of a non-Racing Game plebeian, but there’s not a whole lot you can really do with Car racing within itself to make it interesting. Hence why games like Forza and Gran Turismo tend to not really have an audience outside, well, its own dedicated audience. At the same time, interesting things start to happen once you deviate from the formula. I mean it’s one thing when you are driving around a track, trying to be faster than the other people driving around a track, but take Trackmania, a game where you do insane stunts in order to drive around a track with loops, wall riding and all sorts of insanity needed to reach the goal.

In Distance, you play as a virtual car of some sort racing through a virtual city to explore an anomaly. At least, that’s what I think it is. The story is kind of barebones in its current state and doesn’t really beat you over the head with it. It’s fairly excusable though, considering racing games in general pretty much only need to set up a premise as to why it is you need to go fast, and then you do precisely that - go fast.

It’s just a chassis wound.

It’s just a chassis wound.

I’d have to say that Distance, the spiritual successor to the free game, Nitronic Rush, is more of a 3D action-platformer with the controls similar to that of a racing game. Though this is one of those games where you need a controller to really get the most out of it. It’s definitely playable with a keyboard, but you pretty much need those joysticks, especially when you are in the air and need to control your roll and yaw while in the air, especially when it requires you to flip upside down in less than a second so you can ride on the ceiling.

The music really deserves a special mention. Its upbeat electronic sound really matches the fast pace of the game and some of the levels do that “lights strobe to the beat of the music” thing I’m a sucker for. It’s got great level design and is really stylized and is nice looking, in general. The “glitch” levels were actually somewhat haunting and foreboding, really putting me on edge, which is rare in a game where you move around at ridiculous speeds. While it’s still in Early Acess, there’s a decent amount of content for you to play with. It also has what can only be described as the coolest “You’ve played all the levels we’ve made, check back later” messages I’ve ever seen in a game. That isn’t really to say there aren't a fairly decent amount of levels in the campaign mode already.

In its current state, it kinda shows the rough around the edges feeling of Early Access games in general, but not all that much. Really, all it needs to be a completely finished product is more campaign levels (I’d say it’s about halfway there in terms of content). Even then, the developers seem to be pretty active. Even then, there’s several other modes and workshop support to keep you occupied. So, unless you are like me and “Early Access” is an instant deal breaker, I’d recommend Distance as much as I can recommend an Early Access title.

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