Zordix recently sent out word that Aqua Moto Racing Utopia will be arriving on Steam Early Access starting July 13th. The game will be priced at $19.99 while goes through the Early Access process, but it won’t stay at that discounted rate forever, the developer has plans on bumping the final price up to $29.99 for the full release.
The news from Zordix was accompanied by a new trailer featuring the Mediterranean level, which looks a lot like a stage from Jet Moto, the popular series on the PSX. You can check out the video below.
The action looks pretty smooth here, with the dusk-ridden sunset setting the mood, and the ancient ruins dug deep under the Mediterranean sea give this particular level a kind of romantically chaotic aesthetic.
It reminds me a lot of the Macchu Picchu level from Jet Moto 3, just set more in the water as opposed to in the rolling mountains.
Now, full disclosure, I was given a key to access a pre-Early Access version of Aqua Moto Racing Utopia, and too the opportunity to mess around with it. Some footage can be viewed below, but keep in mind this is still a work in progress.
The reason it’s moving so weird is because the Steam Controller did not work with the game and I couldn’t get the Xbox 360 controller to work properly either. I didn’t try the Xbox One controller only because trying to re-pair it with the Xbox One after pairing it with a PC is a serious pain. I probably should have messed around with disabling one or the other to see if I could get them operating properly, but there was also some issues with the game not rendering to the second monitor, so it was tough navigating the menus. The other problem was that it was using the resolution of the second monitor, but incorrectly displaying at a much smaller resolution on the first monitor.
Anyway, hopefully the controller issue gets sorted out because I’ve become spoiled with the Steam Controller. Yes, the Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers are nice, but the Steam Controller just offers so much more.
But what about the actual gameplay? Well, while I had to struggle playing with the keyboard… from a technical standpoint the character animations and response timing is fairly on point (you really need to play this game with a controller, though). The handling on the jet skis are loose and very accommodating to the various water conditions of the stage. Pulling off stunts – even with the wonky keyboard setup – was smooth enough, and the machines had a decent sense of speed and weight, which is very important for a water racing game.
One thing I liked in particular was the transparency in the water effects. Being able to see the clear sea floor on some of the stages was great… there’s a very zen-like atmosphere to the stage designs, making them feel very comfortable and relaxing.
Zordix is aiming to rekindle the flames that burned bright during the age of the N64, and for the most part Aqua Moto Racing seems to accomplish that. Now hopefully the whole screen resolution and controller issue is fixed up nice and neat because I would love to put more time into the game without spending half the time troubleshooting it.
You can look for Aqua Moto Racing Utopia to launch next week into Steam Early Access on July 13th for $19.99. You can learn more about how long it will be in Early Access, what kind of content they plan to add and what the roadmap will be like by visiting the official website.