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Gravity-defying cyber-racer Distance boosts out of early access in September

Distance has been driving a long, winding and sometimes non-euclidean road. Kickstarted back in 2012 and first released as early access in December 2014, this Tron-inspired “survival racing” game has been around for a while. I must admit that I’ve had some worries with how quiet developers Refract had been over the past few months, but today they announced that the final checkpoint is within sight. The game will be fully launching on September 18th, alongside a reworked and expanded single-player story mode, which you can see in an intense new trailer below.

Starting life as scrappy little freeware student project Nitronic Rush, Distance’s evolution is impressive. While the Adventure mode has been largely static for some time, Refract have been adding more features and improving its exceptionally powerful level editor for years. The quality of the levels being produced by Distance’s small but industrious community is pretty stunning these days, although Refract look like they might take the crown back soon, if the trailer below is any indication. It’s a far cry from the version Marsh Davies gave an early poke back in 2015.

Distance’s Adventure mode always gave the sense that you were being pursued by something powerful and reality-warping, but the new trailer really drives that home harder than ever before. Sci-fi racing horror? It seems like they might just nail it. Not that Adventure mode is where the real meat of the game is – it’s a moody introduction to a world of wall-riding, winged, rocket-boosted cyber-cars, but there’s plenty more to see. On top of a procedural track generator, there’s over 2500 user-made maps (many from regular community competitions) and online multiplayer.

As Distance will be launching as a somewhat beefier, more polished game, Refract reckon that it deserves a price-bump up to $25 soon, starting on August 15th. As someone who’s had the game since its early access debut, I reckon it’s worth getting in early, and you can find it on Steam and Humble for £15/€20/$20 for the next week. The game will officially launch on September 18th.

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Dominic Tarason

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