The trailer gave us another glimpse of the self-styled “road-like,”, which mixes survival staples such as resource scavenging and crafting with an almost rogue-like, run-based structure. You’ll be journeying through a surrealist vision of the Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest of America, only the region here looks less like a hiker’s paradise and more akin to Alex Garland’s Annihilation thanks to a glut of physics-defying anomalies.
Apparently the US government’s become rather concerned about all the strange happenings that have popped up across the peninsula and seized control of the area. With everyone else evacuated, it’s your job to journey towards the center of the Olympic Exclusion Zone while outpacing an ever-encroaching supernatural storm. As you go, you'll slowly unravel the mystery of what sounds like a scientific experiment gone awry, with the trailer showing a bunch of bizarro aberrations to encounter: big levitating red globs, weird scientific apparatus, and lots of floating debris.
In between drives, you’ll need to repair your car so it’s fit for the next run, install a bunch of sci-fi equipment until it looks less like a station wagon and more like a time-travelling DeLorean, and swap out various parts of its chassis for customized upgrades. Given one first-person shot of the player walking down a corridor carrying a crowbar, it looks like you’ll also spend some time exploring the zone out of the driver's seat.
Pacific Drive was originally scheduled to release this year, but was delayed by developer IronWood Studios to allow the developer to prioritise the health of its team. It was one of 2023's survival games that PC Gamer's survival crafting fan Chris Livingston was looking forward to, but will be just as worth anticipating in 2024.