Lightfield Is More Than A Wipeout-Style Throwback

There are a lot of racing games which aim to ape Wipeout, but it’s hard to embrace their neon-lit futuristic worlds when they’re so tightly embracing a game from the mid-’90s. Lightfield [official site] is a future racer involving arrow-shaped vehicles and excellent electronic music, but it’s got enough ideas about it to feel like more than a throwback. For one, it’s an “omnidirectional racer”, meaning your car flies and floats by default. There’s a trailer below.

I’ve played a build of this and the way it works is that your vehicle flies till you press a button which causes you to cling to the nearest surface. This allows tracks to become these impossible spaces, full of not just twists and turns around abstract architecture, but routes that require you drive vertically up and across that architecture, as well as, for example, vast atriums full of red spheres that you need to skim your way across.

“Skimming” is the best way to think of it, too. Your vehicle is slow when not clinging to a surface, so in certain spaces you need to keep hopping, flying and sliding in quick succession to maintain speed. It’s a little like throwing some Mirror’s Edge-style wallrunning into the midst of your Wipeout.

As mentioned above, the music is great, too. Every future racer must by law have an electronic soundtrack, but most of them opt for dull, derivative bleep-bloops. The Lightfield soundtrack, by Zanshin, is weird and jagged. You can find some representative music on Zanshin’s album Rain Are In Clouds on Bandcamp.

Lightfield is due for release early 2017.


  1. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    This reminds me of Distance (still in early access). I hope I don’t have to control the rotation towards other surfaces. In Distance (and its predecessor Nitronic Rush) those controls are very finicky, although they’re still being worked on and have improved slightly… It’s just not something a human mind is used to handling, i feel.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      It is, it just needs the around 1000 hours of learning that most other things do.

      That and unlearning the other systems is harder than learning a new one from scratch.

      This is why different control schemes/more diverse games are so hard to get new users/players to play. Muscle memory literally wishes to override what you tell it. It takes effort to get it smooth (into the “zone” I guess).

      Though something like VR may improve how we take in the information and process it. :)

    • Foosnark says:

      I really wanted to love Distance. Instead I just got to a certain point where I could not pull off the right combination of jumping, ducking, turning and not getting thrown around by the wind, and gave up.

      Pretty much how I was with SUPERHOT. Got to the elevator, tried again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and watched videos of people doing it and tried some more and finally said “I have better things to do with my time”.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Yeah, the elevator is super tricky. One of the problems with SUPERHOT was it’s inconsistency. It was so hard to tell whether something was going to hit you or not and the small space of the elevator just meant “YUP! probably!”

  2. Just Endless says:

    anybody know if there are any wipeout-alikes that have implemented the weapon component of the wipeouts? i’m looking at Redout but i feel it’ll be missing something with just racing mechanics; timing your item use was like half the fun for me in wipeout pure/hd.

    • Akakabuto says:

      Have you tried BallisticNG? Wipeout-like is mild way to describe the game.

      Another awesome combat racer (though not anti-gravity, more ROllcage-inspired) is GRIP which I have been enjoying very much, now they have implemented even online MP.

  3. gwop_the_derailer says:

    This looks like my jam!