Distance Within Touching Distance, Public Beta In Autumn

As forlorn lovers of future racers know, there’s not nearly enough opportunity in videogames to speed coolly down neon streets to a propulsive, electronic soundtrack. That’s why Distance was such an enticing proposition when it launched on Kickstarter back in 2012, swiftly securing more than it asked for. That’s also why Distance is such an enticing proposition now, two years later, as it sits on the verge of launching on Steam Early Access. Let the trailer below try to convince you.

Then let the developers try to convince you:

Distance fuses the intense action of arcade racing with the exploration of a mysterious world. You control a unique car that allows you to boost, jump, rotate, and even fly through a chaotic city. The private beta currently features a short single player campaign, as well as additional split-screen and online multiplayer modes such as Sprint, Reverse Tag, Stunt, and Soccer. It also includes a powerful level editor which is connected to Steam Workshop.

That already-included Steam Workshop support has led to over 100 user-created levels already being made, meaning there should be a pretty haul to play come its eventually release. That should happen in Steam Early Access form this autumn, though there’s no specific release date just yet.

In case you were wondering, the best bit in this trailer is still the moment when your car gets sliced in half but you’re able to continue driving until the missing chunk re-materializes. Just as “Loneliness of the (Cut Down The) Middle Distance Runner” is one of the best tags I’ve ever used at RPS.

25 Comments

  1. Tritagonist says:

    DethKarz is an old favourite, so this will be interesting to see come into its own. It certainly looks quite slick. I do wonder though, from that video it seems the cars handle very well and sharp at high speeds. That seems to cheapen the experience a little, as it takes away one of the big differences between driving at low and high speeds. TrackMania is one of the games that handles this gradual transition really well in my opinion.

    • theodacourt says:

      I’ve played maybe an hour of the private beta and it does feel quite like trackmania (2 at least) to me. It’s all about not letting go of the accelerator and the boost button! I’m so glad I backed it, it’s awesome.

      • Tritagonist says:

        That’s good to hear! Thank you for sharing your experience from the beta version.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Not played this version, but had a go at the concept prototype. It allowed you to do some really tight turns, but at the expense of your heat (boost) meeter and only with advanced controls (always on/avaliable but really hard to master).

      So while some of the time you can pull off an amazing hair pin turn by using down/back/right thrust and /jump/wallgrind/gravityswap… you’ll not pull it off every time, unless you are awesome. :D

  2. El Spidro says:

    Nitronic Rush anyone? Same devs, right?

    • Ansob says:

      Same devs indeed. The backer beta has been pretty great so far – game runs well, is gorgeous, and is really fun. It just needs more tracks (read: I need to go dive into the workshop). It’s definitely worth a gander if you were a fan of Burnout for the drive-fast-dodge-things-or-die gameplay.

    • Lim-Dul says:

      Yup, at least SOME of the devs of Nitronic Rush (I don’t believe the whole team stayed together). After the positive response to the initial project they decided to make a fully fledged game.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yep. I backed this pretty much to pay for Nitronic Rush.

      Excitedexcitedexcitedexcitedexcited.

  3. tumbleworld says:

    Shameless TRON nod.

    Sold.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      Distance is Tron Legacy (but better). It’s Nitronic Rush that’s Tron. If you haven’t played it yet, google it and download it right now, as it’s completely free (it’s a DigiPen university students’ project).

  4. Premium User Badge

    heretic says:

    they need to remake ballistics, nothing like going past the sound barrier in that game (and I only played the demo…)

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Or Extreme G. They had everything go silent when you reached the sound barrier. Though I’m not sure it works like that in real life. :P

  5. RARARA says:

    I loved the bit where the laser cut the car in half, and the car regenerated. Is it alive?

    • Mr. Mister says:

      I don’t know, but I once was down to a single tire. And a front one, to notch it up, so I had no traction. I had to navigate a small sea of saws until the next checkpoint by using only the thruster and steering mid-air with what little I had of one wing.

  6. GeneJacket says:

    I’m still waiting on someone to pick up the reigns from Psygnosis/Studio Liverpool and make something as addicting to play and gorgeous as Wipeout.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      Have you played Nitronic Rush? Seriously, I didn’t even think I liked racing games, but I played Nitronic Rush so goddamn hard that I woke up with the tendons in my left trigger finger locked up from squeezing the boost. Every morning for three weeks. It’s the most engrossing game I’ve played in years.

      I’m a little worried that Distance looks to have lost a bit of Nitronic’s joyful color and energy (and the announcer, who somehow never got old), but I’m still pretty much wet for it, so.

  7. The First Door says:

    I have to say, I adore this game. Was playing the beta a couple of weeks ago and just go so hooked by the Adventure Mode. There are a few really lovely surprises in it!

    What surprised me though is just how fun the multiplayer can be. If you get three friends who can play the game without getting too confused then Reverse Tag is such a good giggle. Trying to find people and then realising they are on the other side of the road you are driving along is something I’ve not experienced since Fatal Racing/Whiplash.

  8. LaKriz says:

    This one does NOT get me excited at all.

  9. Megakoresh says:

    This is a very unique game. Where most racers will never let you off a beaten track (or at least will force you to go through ALL checkpoints), this game allows a level of emergent gameplay that was never seen before in this genre. You don’t have to choose a track to turn to. Or avoid obstacles. You aren’t limited to one of several paths that the track shows you.

    You can simply jump off the track, onto a skyscraper, turn on the booster, and after a while of blind driving on walls, roofs, underside of the track and some flying, if you are lucky (or knowledgeable), you will end up back on track 5 checkpoints ahead (or behind), and just… continue going. Same as you can have you car cut into tiny pieces and as long as there is at least one wheel, you can try to drag it to the next checkpoint to regenerate the rest of it.

    The game has many other cool well-fleshed-out mechanics, but that particular one, that freedom, has never existed in this genre before, and it is awesome.

  10. Flit says:

    Oh wow, I didn’t realize the kickstarter beta was out, thank you, thank you!

  11. HumpX says:

    Needs some “Pew Pew”…