Pacific Drive Review: A Riveting Vehicular Adventure


A new breed of odyssey awaits, not on foot but behind the weathered steering wheel of a station wagon. “Pacific Drive” beckons adventurers into its fold with the promise of a roguelike experience, where survival hinges on your ability in mastering the art of vehicular maintenance.

This game transforms the mundane task of car care into an art form, a meditative ritual that tests your resolve against a backdrop of supernatural phenomena and the unforgiving wilderness. Each component of your car demands attention, from the wipers that must be manually operated to the headlights that fend off the darkness. Your station wagon becomes your sanctuary, your comrade in arms against a world as beautiful as it is deadly.

Ironwood Studios has crafted a world that is both familiar and otherworldly, where the act of driving transcends mere transportation. The game’s procedural generation ensures that no two journeys are alike, with landslides, mysterious lights, and even spectral ships adding layers of unpredictability to your travels. Checking your fuel gauge or ensuring your car is properly parked becomes a tactical decision, a pause in the breathless anticipation of what lies around the next bend.

Yet, “Pacific Drive” is more than a survival game; it’s a love letter to the open road and the vehicles that traverse it. The attention to detail, from the tactile feel of the car’s controls to the ever-present threat of damage, imbues the game with a sense of realism that’s both grounding and immersive. Venturing out into the wilderness to gather resources, only to retreat to the safety of your garage for repairs and upgrades, establishes a gameplay loop that’s as soothing as addictive.

What sets “Pacific Drive” apart is its innovative fusion of driving and survival mechanics and its ability to evoke a profound connection to the car. This station wagon is not just a tool for survival but a character in its own right, a silent partner in your quest to unravel the mysteries of the Olympic Exclusion Zone. The game challenges players to rethink their relationship with their vehicles, transforming them from mere conveyances into lifelines against the encroaching darkness.

Despite its many virtues, “Pacific Drive’s” reliance on procedural generation can sometimes render its world feeling less handcrafted and more arbitrary, potentially detracting from the narrative depth that the setting promises. Moreover, while the survival mechanics are innovative, they may not resonate with all players, especially those seeking more traditional driving or action-oriented gameplay.

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“Pacific Drive” is a bold experiment in genre-blending, offering a fresh perspective on survival and driving mechanics. It’s a game that demands patience and rewards curiosity, one that will enchant you with its atmospheric world even as it tests your mettle with its challenges.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5.0.

Pacific Drive is available February 22nd, 2024 on PC and PlayStation 5.

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  • Luis

    Wish I could watch these movies everyone else gets to see but I'm too busy playing games 24/7. Thanks Dad for the trust fund!

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