6 Things That Make Distance and Nitronic Rush so Great
It was recently announced that Distance is coming to Steam Early Access on December 6th, and with that excellent news I wanted to talk about why Nitronic Rush and Distance are awesome games. (An added bonus is that Nitronic Rush is free, so it's a win for everyone.)
Let's get to it - the 6 things that make Distance and Nitronic Rush so great.
1. You get a flying car
This speaks for itself right? Well yes, but let's dive in and explore it.
In both games, you can deploy wings which allow you to fly around. This in turn unlocks access to the world. Flying takes a while to get used to, but once you do, it's freeing and exhilarating. Soar like a bird through buildings, over roofs, or even just around the track. You can even fly underneath the track to see if you can complete the race from beneath (more on this mechanic later).
With all the fun you can have with driving, you have to watch out to make sure that your car doesn't overheat. Overheating causes you to stop flying, and you will plunge down to what ever fate awaits you.
Flying cars! They are real! Look at the back of the car, that is the heat bar.
2. You can boost, rotate, and jump your car.
This is one of the most fundamental parts of both games - it's what allows you to pull off some of the insane things you can do. Just a few examples are driving upside down, jumping giant gaps without using the wings, or just doing a bunch of tricks.
- Jump: one of the most commonly used tools in the game. Allows you to rotate mid-air, jump over obstacles or large gaps, among many other things.
- Boost: uses heat, just like using the wings. However, if you overheat it won't just shut off, you will explode. It's spectacular, yes, but not too good for getting the best score or time. Boosting also extends the length of a jump, so you can even use it to gain some altitude.
- Rotate: flipping the car by using built-in thrusters. Allows you to do all sorts of crazy things, like jump-rotate and stick to walls, then carry on driving. You can use the thrusters in midair to do tricks, making your engine call down if you land them. You can even use the thrusters to make sharper turns and help to dodge obstacles.
You see how linking the abilities together can get complicated?
3. Easy to pick up, hard to master.
Both games are very easy to pick up and learn: you jump, drive, rotate, boost or fly yourself to victory. Simple, right? Yes, but with a very simple toolset you can build complicated levels - some parts disable the use of some abilities, mostly flight. The hardcore and challenge maps are where true skill and patience come in.
This is a hardcore level, called Hardcore Death Machine. Not easy, as I'm sure you can tell.
4. You can cut your car into pieces and still drive.
This is the only feature that Nitronic Rush doesn't have. However, it's such a good feature that it's worth a mention.
Lasers are the easiest and safest way to get your car chopped up. But if you collide with stationary objects, they can sometimes take some parts off the car. The same goes for saw blades, but they often just outright destroy the car.
You can still drive with missing parts, and to repair you just have to make sure you get to the next green repair/cooldown point.
This shows how the damage and repair system works on Distance.
5. Controlling the car is just plain fun.
The features of each game are great, but the games would be total fodder if the cars did not feel good to drive. They are not too hard to learn, but difficult to master. The cars in Nitronic Rush and Distance are not the same, but they have very similar characteristics and behavior, so you can get used to the other games' car quickly. For example, if you move from Nitronic Rush to Distance, the cars will be different, but not so much that you feel like you are playing a completely different game. The physics in Distance is slightly different from that in Nitronic Rush, but again - if you picked one up, you can easily switch between them.
The cars do not float about; they feel very precise, yet controllable - that is until you jump and start using the thrusters for rotation. As you are in mid-air, the car does not have any friction to stop its spin. This means you have to manually get the car level with the track so that you land gracefully (or not, it's your choice).
6. The Music
It sounds as if the inspiration for the soundtracks to these games comes from a mix of multiple different electronic artists including (but not limited to): the Tron Legacy OST, Rob Swire, shemusic, Mord Fustang and Zedd. The soundtracks are all thanks to Torcht. Most of the tracks have thick, juicy beats, with dark backing melodies, and an atmophere that just fits the Tron-esque aesthetics perfectly. Just listen to the track from Nitronic Rush below, or at the top from the Distance Early Access trailer. Both are amazing and heart-pumping. I would just like to thank Torcht for making these games a little bit better than the rest. With amazing gameplay and music, you can't really go wrong.
You can download the Nitronic Rush soundtrack from here, for free of course.
This is a track from Nitronic Rush called End to a Violent Heart
Final note - these are best played with an Xbox 360 controller.