Lightfield is an intense hyperfuturistic omnidirectional racing game made by developer Lost in the Garden that is sure to scratch your racer itch!
This racing game is jam packed with creative ideas and fast-paced gameplay. Travel the galaxy and challenge any racer who comes your way or even hunt down the secret treasures of each planet and more! Be sure to use your parkour-like abilities to your advantages to guarantee your success. Will you partake in this ultimate showdown?
Lightfield is available for purchase on the PlayStation Store (UK PS Store) for $19.99 US.
Lightfield has little to no story unfortunately but there are minor substitutes to one. The closest to a story we get is the tutorial which welcomes you to the setting of the hyper future and introduces you to the basic controls and mechanics. There are also descriptions that give a few details and hints here and there such as background information on levels but there really isn't much story other than that.
As Lightfield is a racing game, it has most mechanics that define the genre such as driving and races with laps. However, Lightfield puts quite a unique spin on the genre with tons of new unique features that greatly make up and enhance the gameplay. Not only do you have the task of racing around a large track but to succeed you'll also need to use the parkour elements and use the terrain to your advantage.
The controls for this game are pretty interesting with the player having to mainly only use the L2 and R2 buttons as well as either the face buttons or L1 and R1. L2 and R2 are your accelerate, and the face buttons/L1 and L2 are used for the in-game moved called "snapping". For control you can also use both the left and right analogue sticks to move around. All of these control options are well appreciated and can make learning this at first somewhat complicated game a bit easier to comprehend and adjust to by giving you a lot of freedom.
Speaking of tricks, there are plenty of them you can perform and master to help you ensure your victory in races as well as give you experience points when you successfully pull them off. I found a few but my personal favorite would have to be the barrel roll as it's a very easy and fun move to perform. Another big trick that's more of a main technique is jumping. When you stop snapping and lift up at the same time this is called a jump, and when you do it on the edge of any platform, it provides you with a nice speed boost. Most other tricks also help speed you up bit by bit plus they generally look cool and boost your experience. There are also tons of other techniques and tricks to use but I'll leave those for you to discover.
Combining all of these techniques makes the parkour part of this game really shine. Snapping from one surface to the next and going from being upside down on a ceiling to being on a left side wall while performing a plethora of tricks and techniques and speeding along at hundreds of thousands of miles an hour feels amazing and really is the shining part of this game that makes it a solid fun experience.
What the experience points you earn in this game do is mainly to unlock new race tracks. Once you obtain a specific amount of experience points you'll be able to race on a brand new track and play on it whenever you want.. Some ways to earn experience points include meeting certain Time Trial requirements, pulling off tricks, finishing Races, and collecting collectibles in Explore. Alternatively, you can actually play on the locked race tracks but only by overriding a lock which is basically just spamming the X button as fast as you can until it unlocks and you can play on it.
There are also quite a few race tracks in this game with a total of 7 regular tracks and 7 "nightrider" tracks. The nightrider tracks are pretty much reversed versions of stages with some more unique twists such as a different color scheme and more. The level design was very well done, with each level having its own awesome surprises and standout mechanics and areas. These race tracks are quite diverse with the location ranging from asteroid belts to an airborne structure over top a water planet, all based around its sci-fi space setting.
On the courses there are many different mechanics such as photon, photon bursts, speed hoops, object movers, and more. These mix up the gameplay in many ways and are great additions to the overall experience. Things like the object movers make random objects like walls and platforms shift to a different location, and other big mechanics like photon and photon bursts speed you up and give you experience and more. These mechanics and obstacles and such are great and are kind of the "power-up items" of this game.
In the menus you have the option to do things like pick the race track and difficulty, look at leaderboards, and more things of the like. The menu also has a section for tips and controls too just in case you need more aid which I found helpful. Alternatively there are also tips that appear on the loading screens too if you need a quick refresher now and then. There are also some other cool features like how you can change and manage the soundtrack and do things like skip music tracks which you can also do on your controller using the d-pad. One epic feature they also included in the menu is the ability to slow down or speed up your game! This was very fun to mess around with and if you prefer faster or slower paced gameplay definitely give this feature a try.
One slight issue I have with this game is that the game will stutter in framerate randomly every now and then which normally is quite frustrating as it makes pulling off techniques much more painful, especially if you're going for gold. The developers seem to be on the trail of this issue though thankfully and it seems to be less and less frequent but it still is there every now and then. Getting that out of the way though, the game does mostly run super clean and smooth which is great, just this little issue can be bothersome at times is all.
VISUALS AND SOUND
The visual style of this game is very stylistic and appealing for the most part and it really stands out. The only thing is a lot of things like backgrounds and some other out of the way objects can come off as quite bland but the objects and areas in the main pathways are usually quite stunning. If you just play the game for some fast-paced racing fun you probably won't notice it but when you slow down and do some of the other modes like treasure collecting in Exploration, you can really notice that a lot of the backgrounds and out of the way textures don't look the best. The menus were also very bright and eye catching which was a plus.
The neon lighting and futuristic visual effects are very well done and really shine and the lighting in general made the game look gorgeous. Definitely one of the most visually appealing things about the game. Even when you crash it looks incredible due to the exaggerated effects, lighting and all. The bright neon colors that fly in a trail behind the racers as you drive along as well as the bright neon lights in things like sci-fi architecture look beautiful too and really stand out to make the game look stunning.
The soundtrack for this game was mostly a blend of songs by real world artists and the tracks mostly had a techno vibe to them to match the theme of the futuristic setting this game has. Most of the tracks went along with the theme quite nicely but there were a select few that didn't quite match up the game that were skippable. As for actual quality it was a well put together soundtrack with good sound quality and I liked the included option in the game that lets you skip through the soundtrack as you please while in-game and during play.
The overall presentation of this game was just right in delivering on the game's theme and its overall quality was very high.
Lightfield is a very unique racing experience that you can't find anywhere else. The flow of the game is amazing and the high speed racing mixed with the parkour elements and all was quite the interesting blend and I'd say it works very well and was a fantastic addition. All of the included modes plus local and online multiplayer should be more than enough to justify a purchase.
With the recent resurgence of the futuristic racing genre, this game definitely adds to the list of the recent greats in the category. If you enjoy racers, I'd say you should definitely look into buying this one.
|+ Unique and well done racing gameplay mechanics||– Choppy frame rate and stuttering at times|
|+ Fast-paced fun||– Snap mechanic can sometimes be sloppy|
|+ Great track design|
|+ Diverse selection of modes|