Developer Cybernetic Walrus’ Antigraviator is another take on the futuristic racing genre similar to the F-Zero and WipEout series. I got to go hands-on with the game recently and was very pleased with the gameplay; but, I’m unsure if Antigraviator does enough visually to set itself apart from a genre with many titles already like it.
Antigraviator takes place in the year 2210 after breakthroughs in terraforming and science lead to a new racing tournament. On the gameplay side of things, Antigraviator does a fantastic job of capturing the speed and fluidity that games in this genre are known for.
Each course lacks a visual map on the UI, so you’ll have to learn each track with each passing lap. I do like when games in this genre do this because it can provide an edge to players who learn each track by memory. Once you start sailing through turns and going over huge hills with ease, it’s easy to get into the flow of Antigraviator.
Players can also activate traps along each course that’ll stop your opponents — almost akin to Mario Kart‘s items. In addition to hindering the competition, they can trigger a slew of other abilities that aren’t too intrusive to the gameplay, making them feel a bit fairer compared to other games in the genre. I didn’t get to experience too much of these special powers, traps, and abilities in my demo, but I’ll be interested in seeing how they affect each map when the game releases. Like I said though; if you’re focused on the race, they’re not all too intrusive, but they offer a small competitive advantage to those who master them.
The game also contains little power-ups you can grab on the map that’ll let you boost your speed — if you’ve played Fast RMX on Nintendo Switch, it’s a similar mechanic to that game. Outside of those two things, Antigraviator is all about the race, and I actually like it sometimes when games offer fewer options in the form of things that can hamper your opponents. The fact that players have to learn each map and their multitude of varying paths means each race feels more about the skills behind a driver, and not about the things that can make these sort of games feel unfair at times.
Visually, each map is incredibly beautiful, so they’re a joy to play through over and over again from the levels I experienced. Maps range from a variety of different locations and each looks great, even while you’re zooming past them. There’s a great sense of scale on specific maps: you’ll be going so fast over a huge hill and see this vast canyon incoming and then, suddenly, you’re there. It’s all great and makes the maps feel epic.
My biggest concern with the game is what it does aesthetically. I like the fact that the UI doesn’t take too much of the screen up; most of the things, you need to see are located on the car itself, so it’s easy to focus on nothing but the race. But, the game does look a little too similar to others in the genre, more specifically games like WipEout, Fast RMX, and F-Zero. Now, if those games are your cup of tea, I think it’s safe to say you’ll find a lot of enjoyment out of Antigraviator. I just wish it did a little bit more to set itself apart from those games, visually.
Antigraviator will offer a split-screen mode as well as a slew of online modes for players to compete in. Ranking up will provide you with new skins for your vehicles. Players can also customize their vehicles to make them better in some categories, but specific upgrades might hamper you in other categories on your ship. These are all things I didn’t get to look into too much so I’m not exactly sure what can be changed just yet, but as always I’ll be interested in checking out online when the game finally releases.
If you’re interested in checking out Antigraviator for yourself, the game will be released on Steam on June 6, and is coming to PS4 and Xbox One sometime this year as well.