Cybernetic Walrus/Iceberg Interactive
Zero G racers weren’t ever really a huge thing, but they certainly had their very own subgenre (of the racing genre) firmly in place back in the 90s. Chief among those were F-Zero and the WipeOut series. Personally, I preferred WipeOut as I thought it was more immersive, had better visuals, and really conveyed the hyper-fast sense of speed that these types of games are supposed to project.
Since then, there’s been a veritable drought when it comes to Zero-G racers. The only one that comes to mind in recent times is Redout, a game produced by Italian developers 34BigThings back in 2016. Redout is a pretty good racer and reminds me of a combination of WipeOut and F-Zero, although the polygon backgrounds leave a lot to be desired.
Then, out of nowhere indie game developer Cybernetic Walrus (don’t you just love that name?) suddenly drops a new Zero-G racer on us called Antigraviator. I excitedly grabbed a copy as soon as I could. Upon checking out the main menu screens which showed several of the racing tracks I was immediately reminded of Wipeout. There are twelve in all to choose from—everything from desert environments, urban cityscapes, industrial wastelands, volcanic badlands, space stations, icy tundra and tropical forests. It really looked good on my GTX 970 4G gaming card I purchased from CyberpowerPC.
The gravs themselves are also very detailed and sleek looking, just like in WipeOut. Their angular shapes and overall aesthetics looked almost like a cut paste job from that now hallowed racer from the 90s. However, when I heard the music I was a little put off. Whereas Redout has a seriously pumpin’ mix of Italalo disco and 90s techno, Antigraviator has sort of a watered down dance music thing going on that reminded me of working out at a 24 Hour Fitness. I seriously felt like dropping the controller, getting up, and busting out a few dumbbell reps.
I began a standard race on an icy polar track. I was really impressed by the attention to detail that the developers gave to the backdrop (actually all of them). There were little minute touches here and there that shows that they know what they’re doing when it comes to both track and environmental design.
I kicked off my race against some AI challengers and lurched forward in my beginner level grav. The sense of speed was definitely there—the sides of the track twist and warp as I propelled my grav faster and faster. Then I hit a pretty steep turn and noticed that all I had was an air brake control. Being someone who has been spoiled with drifting around corners at high speeds this was somewhat of a letdown.
Antigraviator’s main gimmick seems to be the fact that you can trigger different sorts of traps at certain junctures of a race track. These can range from activating a trap which releases giant boulders that rumble out onto the tracks, to triggering a missile launch which seeks out your enemies (and sometimes you if you’re not careful).
What I noticed about the trap feature is that they can only be activated by whoever is leading a particular race. In other words if you’re lagging a bit behind and think you’re going to be able to get a little payback on whoever is in front of you by hitting one of the traps and throw a monkey wrench into their program—it isn’t going to happen here.
Being someone who was completely spoiled by Black Rock Studio’s Split/Second racer, where you could trigger gigantic Michael Bay-esque catastrophes throughout each map—no matter what place you were in—kinda put a damper on Antigraviator. What it basically means is that whoever is in front gets all the marbles to play with and that’s that. No dramatic comebacks.
All in all, Antigraviator is a decent Zero G racer that will probably appeal to diehard fans of the genre. However, those seeking more depth, more features, and more…well, just about everything, will probably tire of it and move on after a short time.
Antigraviator features outstanding graphics that make its Zero G gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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