Off The Grid: Distance Available 9th Dec

derezzed in the crematorium

French electronic music duo Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter often wear large shiny helmets to make up the sound of Daft Punk, headgear that often remind me of French firefighter Gallet F1-SF helmets. I like to think that they are not in fact firefighters in the future, but CYBERRACING CAR drivers just taking a break to chill in the club and create some sweet beats for assorted dancingpeople.

Distance is the sort of arcade racing game you imagine Daft Punk procured their snazzy helmets from – the developers claim it’s Trials Evolution + Rush 2049 + Halo + Tron: Legacy, and it’s out on Steam Early Access on the 9th of December on Windows, Mac and Linux.

The ‘experimental’ arcade racer Distance is the brainchild of Refract, a company formed of former classmates who created arcade racer Nitronic Rush at DigiPen Institute of Technology, which was super popular with us games-playing types. This is what Nitronic Rush looks like:

Using boost, wings, and jump mechanics, the idea was to avoid obstacles that the city throws at you. You can actually still download and play the game for free over here if you’d like a taste of Distance’s predecessor. The soundtrack is also available, which does a good job setting the cyberpunkesque atmosphere.

Then the team Kickstarted Distance, a fully fledged spiritual successor to Nitronic Rush. As before, it’s about boosting, flying, twisting and jumping through various atmospheric city obstacles. The developers also explain that the adventure mode is about uncovering the world’s mysterious history, and as you explore you’ll be able to uncover pieces of its past.

But obviously a singleplayer mode where you play a lonely neon car-detective is not entirely what we’re here for. The multiplayer side offers LAN, online, and split-screen across modes like capture the flag, stunting, and plain old racing. A Jordan (aka TORCHT) dynamic soundtrack will also be supplied.

I’m into it, if only so I can utilise this damn Netrunner cyberpunk playlist I made, because I was damned if I was bringing a Netrunner deck around the world with me on my weird world travels.

Incidentally doesn’t this French firefighter’s helmet look a bit Daft Punk? Are Daft Punk meant to be firefighters that got lost in a club? I don’t even understand France any more.


  1. LionsPhil says:

    But obviously a singleplayer mode where you play a lonely neon car-detective is not entirely what we’re here for.

    Speak for yourself; I backed this to get more of Nitronic Rush’s singleplayer (and to express thanks for it via the powerful language of money).

    • B.rake says:

      I love the idea of an immersive singleplayer story mode. If Speed Racer can have a story why can’t racing games?

      Plus I could really use a racer to jump over the massive pile of unplayed games straight into my heart. Was considering Burnout Paradise, but this looks to be more in my lane (once it’s out of early access, at least… for now, back to F-Zero GX I guess).

      • SlimShanks says:

        I’m just going to warn you now, the longer you wait before playing Burnout Paradise, the more you will hate yourself.

        • B.rake says:

          Taken into consideration! Good price in the Steam Fall Sale currently, but I’m on severely restricted rural data plan ATM… hopefully by the next sale I’ll have burned through enough of my backlog to jump at it.

        • Tacroy says:

          Burnout Paradise is kind of… meh.

          Granted, it has a giant open world, but there’s not much to do in there; there’s about three different classes of event (stunt, race, battle), and they’ve put a ton of them in the game, but they’re all pretty much the same except they happen over different parts of the map.

          There’s a couple of different things to discover, but really you’ll have seen everything “new” that the game can do in an our or two.

          Also, the game has a bunch of incredibly irritating habits like the announcer always saying the same goddamn thing every time you start an event that make it infuriating to play.

          • Eukatheude says:

            Oh, finally. I thought I was the only one who got bored by it.

          • SlimShanks says:

            Well, to each their own. I am curious though as to what arcade racer you would prefer, and why?

          • Kempston Wiggler says:

            Another vote for Meh. I loved the earlier Burnout games. This one came breathlessly recommended by RPS but just failed to excite, and tbh I don’t know why.

  2. GrosData says:

    Pumped up for this. Will be one of the few worthwile Early Access games.

    • Timbrelaine says:

      Yeah, this will be the first early-access game I try. There’s something starcrossed about music, neon landscapes and racing.

    • Glen Moyes says:

      I backed it and have been playing the Beta. It’s a ton of fun! The music is awesome, the narrative that is in the single player campaign is interesting so far. The thruster mechanics take some getting used to (it was frustrating the first few times I tried it), but once I got the hang of it the game is just loads of fun to play. It’s more fun than Nitronic Rush. I would definitely give this a thumbs up for people who want to get on the early access. And they already have community content for it.

  3. SlimShanks says:

    /grumpon Being half British, and born in Canada, I never understood any French people anywhere. Never liked Daft Punk either… /grumpoff
    This game sure looks snazzy though. We could really do with more properly fun and creative arcade racing games. I love games like Driver san fran and Grid, but those are arcade games that are about having cars actually drive somewhat like cars, which can limit their scope.
    WTF happened to Burnout?

  4. TechnicalBen says:

    This is so going to be my new “relax, zone out” game. :)

  5. The First Door says:

    I’m really looking forward to trying the new levels! I loved the Adventure mode I tried a bit back muchly. Having said that, it always makes a really fun local party play game, as Reverse Tag is a really good giggle!