Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Watchlist: Distance

Title: Distance
Developer: Refract
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Releasing 2014
Distance is a survival racing game that combines the intense action of arcade racing with the exploration of an atmospheric world. You control a unique car that allows you to boost, jump, rotate, and even fly through a chaotic and mysterious city.
Facade introduced me to indies and PC gaming, but if there was one indie game that cemented that interest, it was Nitronic Rush. The DigiPen-made freeware game remains one of my favorite indie games three years later, thanks to its stylish neon visuals, fast agile arcade gameplay, wealth of content, and just overall polish. Take Nitronic Rush, make it bigger, better, faster, crazier...and you get its upcoming spiritual successor Distance.
Successfully Kickstarted in 2012 and Greenlit last year, Distance takes everything that made Nitronic Rush fun and turns it up to eleven. Refract has described the game as "survival racing", and no two words could fit the hectic hazard-filled game better. Distance isn't about realism; it's about barrel-rolling through a gauntlet of lasers. It's gliding between grinders, evading massive saw blades at breakneck speeds. It's weaving through a hailstorm of spikes, and maneuvering along tracks that twist and turn unfettered by gravity and physics. Similarly to Nitronic's numerous modes, Distance won't just offer races, but everything from online and split-screen multiplayer to Stunt, Challenge, and Hardcore modes, a story-focused Adventure Mode, and level editor. Better visuals, an atmospheric world, new and improved obstacles such as portals and lasers that can easily bisect your vehicle, Distance promises to surpass the high bar set by Nitronic Rush, and deliver an even more chaotic, more challenging, more content-packed game.
Distance is currently in private alpha, with a public beta on the horizon. Release is planned for sometime this year. You can learn more and preorder Distance on the official site, and download its predecessor Nitronic Rush here.

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