Developer Lost in the Garden’s new game Lightfield introduces a potentially great twist to the racing genre but ultimately fails to deliver on its promise. Instead of limiting players to racing solely on the ground, Lightfield offers its players the opportunity to use parkour moves to race across walls and the sky. However, poor implementation relegates what could have been a great racing game to mediocrity.
Seven racetracks and three game modes constitute the entirety of the Lightfield’s content. The game feels downright lacking due to the paucity of options it provides players. This feeling of incompleteness is exacerbated by the fact that the race and time trial modes fail to possess distinct identities.
While there only are seven of them in the entire game, the tracks themselves do feel differentiated from each other. Lightfield’s level designs manage to be varied while still adhering to its futuristic, science-fiction theme. They can even feel like aesthetic masterpieces at first glance.
Lightfield actually allows and even encourages players to explore every facet of its levels through its exploration mode. Exploration mode provides a fun experience unlike that of a typical racing game, as the objective when engaging in it is to collect treasures. However, even this positive aspect of the game is not unscathed: after only some exploration, the levels themselves are revealed to be very barren. While the mode allows players room to create their own unique paths, it is neither thoroughly engaging nor something worthy to invest time in.
The game’s key draw, that players can select omnidirectional paths through levels, even possess a major drawback. The culmination of each level occurs when players reach one individual area. No matter what innovative pathways players take, they always must return to a specific orientation to complete the level. In this manner, Lightfield severely limits the options that they otherwise desire to open to players.
Moreover, the controls in Lightfield feel overly simplified. As players are not bound by gravity in the game, they do not need to concern themselves with using the PlayStation 4’s right joystick. Instead, they only need to make use of the left joystick to direct their vehicle and to use one button when they want to cling to a wall or the ground. Extra controls would have added more depth and strategic elements to the game.
The fact that the vehicle players control can fly in any direction belies the lack of weight that it should inherently possess. As the vehicles, which appear to be composed out of some sort of heavy material, can change directions immediately, they feel unrealistically weightless even in a science-fiction context.
Lightfield melds parkour and the racing genre, but fails to do so in an impactful manner. It is a thoroughly mediocre racing game, and none of its aspects truly shine. Lost in the Garden’s foray into the gaming industry ultimately falls flat, and their game’s rating can be no higher than a 5/10.
LIGHTFIELD Official Launch Trailer:
Lightfield is available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.