What are the best Steam Summer Sale deals? Each day for the duration of the sale, we’ll be offering our picks – based on price, what we like, and what we think more people should play. Read on for the five best deals from day 6 of the sale.
RPS Feature Six down, five to go.
RPS Feature From the Tron side of the track
Each week Marsh Davies revs his engines and tears off into the nightmarish neon digiscape of Early Access and returns with any stories he can find and/or skid marks. This week he speeds into the distance in, er, Distance – a hallucinatory “Survival Racing” game.
“Survival Racing” say the developers. It’s an ominous appellation that suggests players might have to rumble along the verges on wooden wheels, shunting rubber trees until they’ve shaken enough ingredients loose to build some tyres. Fear not – Distance isn’t that sort of survival game. It is, in fact, a time-attack obstacle course apparently set inside the cheese-dream of a Tron lightcycle. You play as some sort of car AI in some sort of collapsing simulation – the “story” of the story mode is just as deep as it needs to be – and you must speed through these pulsating landscapes of monolithic black shards and streaking neon, all while avoiding inexplicable laser hazards and performing rad stunts. Naturally, there is a throbbing electro soundtrack, too.
It’s already terrifically entertaining. Merely weaving through the stacks and overpasses of this world to the pulse of the music offers a baseline level of aesthetic scintillation, but the game builds and builds upon its core driving model until you are flipping between perpendicular roadways, flying, boosting, jumping with split-second precision as the rhythm pounds and the environment itself contorts and explodes. Cool.
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.
I eye all videogame documentaries with suspicion, because most of them are made by the developers themselves, or at least with their necessary involvement, which means that the likes of Free to Play, Looking For Group and the Football Manager Documentary all have marketing intent. That doesn’t meant that they can’t also be entertaining of course, which is what this Distance mini-documentary manages. It’s the first part of a video series looking at the creation of the futuristic racing game and its free predecessor Nitronic Rush, and it offers enough detail and footage from early prototypes to offers some insight into the game creation process.
Today in ‘games that desperately need to be out I mean come on already you kickstarted it in 2012 for goodness’ sake’: Distance. I’m not quite sure how this one slipped under my “rad neon games” radar (I have a lot of radars) but it’s probably for the best I wasn’t waiting for it all this time. From Refract Studios, formed by the team behind the ostensibly similar Nitronic Rush, it’s a flashy, fast and fantastic-looking arcade racer. You’re only sometimes trackbound, taking to the air at opportune moments to jump over obstacles or even reach full flight. It’s pretty much the game we all thought up as kids, only with slightly less plasma cannons. New trailer below.
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.