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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.

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Graham Smith

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