Since Kim Swift and the rest of the Narbacular Drop team graduated Digipen and went on to create Portal at Valve, the school has gained a lot of notoriety for putting out some very skilled developers. One such game, Nitronic Rush, created so much of a media buzz that it even crashed their download servers (a feat that even Narbacular Drop can’t claim). Refract is a studio made up of the talented graduates who created Nitronic Rush. Their new game, Distance, is somewhat of a spiritual successor, but is in many ways a completely different experience, seamlessly merging concepts from arcade racing with survival horror to create a new genre: “Survival Racing.”
I first learned of Distance from their kickstarter campaign (to which I donated). I hadn’t played Nitronic Rush (and in fact still haven’t), but I had read a lot about it, and I was intrigued. You see, I’m a big arcade racer fan, and some of my favourite games include F-Zero GX, Extreme-G, and San Francisco Rush 2049, and Nitronic Rush really seemed like it scratched that itch. But, I’m also a big survival horror fan, in particular one of my favourite games is Dead Space, and Distance seemed to combine some elements of Dead Space into its design, most notably the HUD being seamlessly integrated into the character models.
Well, with that kind of introduction, I hope you’re as excited about this game as I am. The good news is: you can already buy it on Steam in early access! And let me tell you this much: there’s more content here than in most “complete” games, along with an extensive online community creating tons of creative maps and playing matches, and even a random track generator. Check out our interview with Jordan from Refract here to learn more:
As always, thanks for watching, and thanks for reading.
Jake Carewick is a Contributing Editor to aybonline.com.