Going the distance
As surprising as it sounds, Distance is a high-speed, neon-flavored racing game that, quite frankly, scares me. Beneath the game's cyberpunk aesthetic lurks a callous, alien presence that is constantly toying with you, the player. I encountered its baleful influence near the end of my demo, manifesting as several seemingly random visual glitches. Around the same time I started being jarringly teleported back and forth between the familiar neon city race track and a ruined, desolate version of that same track.
This sudden change in style and tone suggests that there's something not quite right going on, and left me questioning which of the two realities was the 'real' one. Am I saying this is some bowels-voiding, P.T. demo-level of terror? No, but even so it still felt unsettling, and to see a developer attempt to mix these extremely disparate genres makes Distance worthy of your attention.
It doesn't hurt that the game also handles oh-so-smoothly. The sections I played were all single-player races (though there will be multiplayer too) that focused on survival. By utilizing my car's special abilities - we're talking flight mode, flaming booster engines, and Speed Racer-esque bounce pads - I had to avoid all manner of whirling saw blades and deadly laser grids. Of course, these powers couldn't save me against what came for me at the end, a glimpse of which you can catch at the end of the trailer below (it's that crazy orb-like entity).
Distance is available now through Steam Early Access, and you can click ahead through this gallery for more tidbits on the game.
Imagine all this complete with a pulsing, techno soundtrack.
If you clip a saw blade or laser beam it'll slice off part of your car, but you might be able to keep driving.
Gullwing doors make a big comeback in the far future, complete with rocket boosters.
The desolate city. As you can see, the vibe is very different here.