Pacific Drive Preview
In what has to be one of the more clever twists on the survival game premise, Ironwood Studios and Kepler Interactive have announced Pacific Drive. The developers call it a “driving survival game and runner.” Well, driver. There are some environmental and other puzzles layered on top. While Pacific Drive isn’t a classic endless runner game, the player must keep going. To stop for too long is to fail.
The game takes place in a sci-fi/post-apocalyptic version of the Pacific Northwest ravaged by a contamination filled with monsters and desperate human survivors. Your task is to escape to the exclusion zone and safety. However, you can’t survive just by hoofing it, so you hit the busted roads and drive. While your (human) health is a factor, more critical is the health of your car, which essentially functions as an exoskeleton. Just like our squishy human bodies, cars are prone to breaking down in several ways. There are over 20 important car parts to monitor, repair or replace. You can probably guess what at least some of them are: tires, fuel pump, battery, radio, and headlights. The important task is to keep your car on the road and pushing forward.
Pacific Drive’s version of the Pacific Northwest is appropriately dark, moody, and rain-drenched. There is constantly changing weather and a 24-hour day and night cycle. Do you think bad things happen at night? As a resident of Oregon, I can tell you that Pacific Drive’s Twin Peaks-esque vibe is not too far off the mark.
Though not slated for release until 2024. the game’s first-person view and stylized art, various biomes like forests and swamps all come together for what looks to be a compelling and creative synthesis of game mechanics and visuals. Pacific Drive was just one of several games recently showcased at a special event. Stay tuned for more!
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