distance game, pax east 2017, adventure racing game, steam early access,

PAX East Preview: Distance

Distance is a really fun racing game from Refract Studios that is dubbed a “survival” racer. Take your good old fashioned arcade racer and then combine it with an exploration survival game. Using your car’s ability to jump, fly and rotate you will navigate a mysterious city that you’re traveling through. Be mindful of the things that try to destroy you. 

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The game is currently in Early Access on Steam and I had the opportunity to play through the first few levels in the single player story/adventure mode at PAX East. It’s a really unique experience because you don’t really have a whole lot of insight into what is going on around you, aside from traveling through a city on a track. As you’re going through, obstacles appear and disappear, the track goes away (thankfully your vehicle can jump AND fly), and there are some boost type power-ups as well. There’s also laser beams. Lots of laser beams.

The sections where you had to jump over obstacles felt pretty straight forward, but then it started to get a lot harder. Jumps became leaps of faith through laser beams, transitioned into areas where flying was your only way through, and also split second swerves to avoid walls in your way. Certain areas had multiple paths in which you could take, which I imagine will be more useful in a multiplayer mode to avoid your competitors.

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The music and atmosphere is really best if you can fully immerse yourself into the game, and there is going to be VR options for it as well (PSVR support is in the works, but may not launch with the PS4 version). According to the Distance website, “Full VR integration with support for Oculus Rift CV1 and HTC Vive” is also listed too. Based on my short time with the game, the VR experience is probably the best way to play this game. Looks really good, visuals are nice and sharp, and even at ridiculous speeds the game seemed to hold up well.

Everything about the game says “future,” and the music pairs with it so well. It’s a really great experience and if you watch the trailer above I think it’ll peak your interest. In addition to the adventure/story mode, you’ve got online races with up to 12 players, and you can also split screen 2-4 players too. Modes range from Sprint, Reverse tag, theres even a Stunt mode. The Steam version features a level editor to make custom levels, which I can only imagine what kind of crazy tracks will be created with that. 

As noted above, it’s currently on Steam Early Access (Windows, Mac, Linux) and also PS4 “when it’s ready.” It’s $20 and you can order it through the developer’s website here

tl:dr; A fun futuristic adventure/racing game that has a single player story-mode as well as a variety of online/co-op modes. Breakneck speeds, obstacle avoidances, and awesome music. VR is the way to go with this if you have a setup that can run it. 

For more info check out the Distance website.

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-Written by Andrew(@SoAfterISaid)