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Your car is your only companion in 'driving survival game' Pacific Drive

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The trailer for Pacific Drive starts with an average-looking station wagon slowly driving through a gloomy evening in the Pacific Northwest. Pretty quickly it becomes apparent this is no normal car, however. There's a futuristic display on the dashboard. There are various accessories, some glowing, bolted to the hood and side panels. And when it peels out, it's clear this car is secretly a beast, which is  important because the world around it appears to be pretty monstrous as well.

"Pacific Drive is a run-based, first-person driving survival game," says developer Ironwood Studios. "Your car is your only companion as you navigate a surreal and anomaly-filled reimagining of the Pacific Northwest." The trailer shows just how terrifying that world is, with driving rain, howling winds, toxic spore clouds, electrified tumbleweeds, rocky projections bursting through the ground, and a few glimpses of what could maybe, possibly, be zombies.

And you've gotta drive right through it all.

"Structured as a 'road-like', each excursion into the wilderness brings unique and strange challenges, as you restore and upgrade your car from an abandoned garage that acts as your home base," says Ironwood Studios.

I like just about everything I'm hearing. A driving survival game? Check. It takes place in the "Olympic Exclusion Zone" full of bizarre and dangerous anomalies? Check. A car you can cobble upgrades and gadgets onto? Check. 

Here's a feature list from the official website (opens in new tab), and all of those bullet points sound pretty darn compelling:

  • First person run based driving survival gameplay
  • Form a unique bond with a fully customizable car that develops its own quirks and personality
  • Tense driving from behind the wheel, with moments of vulnerability when you step out to gather resources and make repairs
  • From your upgradeable garage, each repeatable trip into the Zone is unique and randomized
  • Systems driven gameplay that allows for player freedom, creativity, and experimentation
  • Unravel a long-forgotten mystery of the Olympic Exclusion Zone as you explore a surreal and anomaly filled version of the Pacific Northwest
  • Original score by Wilbert Roget, II and featuring 15+ licensed songs

Pacific Drive is coming to PC in 2023. 

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.