Reviews from

in the past

My favorite part was just driving in the pacific northwest. There’s def a great game here, but it’s just not for me at the moment

no puedo aguantarlo más, la historia parecía buena pero explorar los mismos lugares una y otra vez me estaba rompiendo el orto

wish there was more of a focus on the relaxing part of driving

Probably one of the best survival games out there, owing mostly to the survival meters and aspects being localized to something external to the player character and therefore giving the impression that you're doing maintenance that makes sense instead of having to drink water every forty-five seconds. A lot of the elements such as the fuel and battery gauge are also fairly forgiving if you're not just leaving your car running with the headlights on. The world and design is interesting but the story feels a bit too esoteric and obscure in an attempt to compliment the eldritch science aesthetics. Feels like the story is trying to be more mysterious than it needs to be but the actual character content picks up that slack and does deliver and interesting supernatural story to be the basis of one far more grounded in survivors guilt and mourning.

I think I'm definitely a fan of these fantasy everyday games. Games where you do some sort of job or task that would be rudimentary and then apply some extra twist to it. Hardspace Shipbreaker was repairing spaceships, Mortuary Assistant pretty self explanatory, and now Pacific Drive where you repair and drive a car in a collapsing alternate dimension.

That's the basic loop of the game after all. You drive around in first person through areas that have been abandoned due to strange happenings in the story. Sections of "the pacific" that have been quarantined off due to a paranormal catastrophe. You find yourself stuck there and try to get yourself out with the help of some experts on "The Zone" who have stayed behind to study it.

That's the real meat of the narrative anyway, the characters who talk at you. As you go through the game, this ragtag few nerds reveal a bit about themselves through triumphs and troubles. It's fairly compelling learning more about them and how they interact and why they're there at all. More than can be said for you yourself. Your character and circumstances are, pardon the pun, along for the ride and a vehicle to move the story along to find out more about these folk. There's some vague intrigue about the space you're in and how everything got fucked up but they don't go into it too much.

As I say though, the game consists of setting out on a route, driving around the weird environment of pillars rising from the ground, exploding mannequins, and radiation everywhere. You usually have some sort of thing you're looking for to switch on or collect and bring back to the "home base". As you're out though, you can also scavenge the abandoned areas and collect various materials. Then when you do go back to base, you can make new things for the car.

Maintaining and upgrading the car so you can have a better time driving around is the fun of the game I think. As you drive through places you might wreck the car hitting things or getting flat tires or something in the environment electrocutes you or a storm passes by and messes with the car's systems. Fortunately, you probably scavenged when you were out and now back at the base you get to craft replacement doors and panels and tires for the car. Eventually you gain upgrades and improve the parts or even the engine and can add things like more space or a hand break. It's not like super in depth mechanic stuff but it's enough to make you feel accomplished.

The upgrades, by the way, are what make the game extra exciting. To acquire blueprints for car/garage upgrades, you need to collect energy from out in The Zone. The tricky thing is, you get this energy from points on the map that keep the area you're in stable. So you remove these stability cores for upgrades but then reality starts to collapse around you. After you get enough cores, you can summon a portal to get back to base but you have to FLOOR IT to outrun the Fortnite-esque circle storm closing around the map and deteriorating everything it passes. It's really quite thrilling and hectic when you get into it and you're like missing a door or two and have a flat tire and you just PRAY you get to the pillar of light representing your way back to safety. Good stuff.

That said, there's a lot of accessibility options to counter how hard you want it for yourself. The game has almost survival game levels of things to worry about. You have your own health, the car parts health, the car's battery and fuel. Even watching out for radiation depending on how much damage your car takes or if your car skids on wet roads. The accessibility options can balance these things out. Maybe you just want to focus on driving around and some upgrades for the car as you do the story?

That's what I did towards the end. I put some of them on to make it less tedious to get through the rest. I enjoyed the game but I got to a point where I just wanted to finish it up. I didn't go as far as making myself or the car invulnerable but having things like keeping yourself safe while in the car or not having to worry about fuel saves some time. I do enjoy little things like upkeep and siphoning fuel on the road to keep it going.

That's the one thing about this game. It's not really something to be rushed. Played it in bits over the last two months or so. As you explore deeper into the zone your routes have you stopping in more and more areas. If you try to just rush through without any accessibility stuff on you get a severely damaged car and no parts to repair or replace. There's a "friendly dumpster" that will dispense some materials after each run but it's not something to be dependent on. The game really has you play by its rules and pacing and it's most enjoyable when you just give in and go with it.

That said, I'm done with it for now. I finally got to the end of the story and rolled credits. Due to different circumstances of the story, only the least interesting character is left to talk in my ear as I drive around exploring and documenting the weird things in The Zone. Just not something I wanna do right now. I could definitely see coming back to it at some point for a cozy supernatural hellscape drive but after a couple months I've just had my fill.

It's definitely a great game but would only recommend to people who like doing the more mundane type tasks in games with a slight twist. The fun characters make the story fun and you get as much out of it as you put in. Check it out if that sounds like your thing!

For a couple of weeks, the core loop of this game had me hooked. I wasn't even trying to progress the main story, I would just go out on runs, scavenge a couple materials, repair the car, rinse, repeat. And really, it's diagnosing the quirks and performing repairs that kept me playing. It's tedious, it can be boring at times, but I got some serious satisfaction out of fixing every little problem. It scratches the same itch as something like Powerwash Simulator.

I can see people easily bouncing off of this game if they don't gel with that loop, because everything else is fine at best. The controls are wonky, navigating the menus takes some adjusting, the story is average. Look up gameplay (you always should), and pick this up if you think restoring the car looks like something you'd enjoy.

Absolutely incredible idea with the car-centric gameplay and cryptid spotting, but the story, the constant retreading of old ground, the painfully obtuse 'quirk' system holds these two brilliant ideas back from reaching their potential.

It's not all bad, but I do feel that this score might be too generous, but the first half of the game garnered a lot of goodwill from me.

With a lot of survival/looter games I tend to find myself drawn in by the concept before being turned away by the execution and Pacific Drive does just that for me. There are aspects of the game I like, and with a tweak here and an addition there I feel like I would really enjoy this game, but at the moment it just comes across flat. (Get it? like a tire)

Like all games of this genre there's the gameplay loop: go out into the world, gather resources, return home, upgrade yourself/things, venture out further into the world. Pacific Drive is the same. You fix up your car, head out into "The Zone" (no really), gather supplies to fix your car with, come back, fix your car, and head out again. The problem with Pacific Drive is it feels like it's a true loop. As in, I feel like i'm in the exact same spot once i've exhausted my resources as I was before I went out to get them in the first place. There's no real survival aspect, there's no base building or expanding to do that I came across. The resources you gather are mainly to repair the damage caused by going out on your latest run. You drive car, you fix car, you repeat. Now driving the car, gathering up stuff and exploring IS fun, I just wish it felt rewarding to do it.

Now you might remember how I said earlier that part of the "traditional loop" of these sorts of game involves venturing out further and further on each run. This brings me to my next issue with Pacific Drive which is that venturing out further consists of leaving the garage, hitting a loading screen, and the game putting you into a small map and telling you that you have gone further into The Zone (No... really). The game takes away the anticipation that should be building with passing familiar areas on your way to unexplored territory, by just putting you out there. And after you've picked up your supplies how do you think you get back the garage? Why it's another loading screen, once again taking away tension that should build with having your supplies and now needing to be able to make it back home with them.

I hate to sound like i'm just hating on this game. I do like the idea, I like the environment, I like the car, I liked playing the game up until the point where i felt like I had experienced most, if not all, of what the game had to offer. I feel like the addition of something else to put your supplies towards would serve the game well, like NPCs who need them to survive, bringing a choice of "do I give these to other people and leave my car lacking for the next run, or potentially harm others so my car is in top shape?" For the time being I think i'm done with Pacific Drive, but i'm hoping as time goes on there will be a reason to come back to it.

I was immediately hooked when I started playing! the core gameplay loop is immensely satisfying and it took a while for the thrill of looting and building up my car to wear off. the radio soundtrack is amazing! I also loved that you get a bunch of different pride flags to put on your car right away.

the story end up feeling a little boring, and the pacing of the game feels off. by the end of the game some of the story missions felt tedious to me and made the game end on a bit of a low note. overall I enjoyed my time with this really unique game!

I was pretty hesitant coming back to this game, mostly cause from trailers and a friends synopsis it sounded like a straightforward 4-7 hour long game about driving in anomalous areas and solving mysteries, similar to Oxenfree but on wheels and while the description isn't that far off, the length and style of game i wasn't expecting.

This game plays like a survival crafting/roguelike and while im not super opposed to those styles, they tire me out pretty quickly. Adding on the fact it has a semi-linear story that requires you to have the necessary resources to continue, and to get those resources you need to do side drives just to scavenge areas which if you are unlucky could make you waste more than you gather. It feels like the game stretches what could have been a concise experience into a 35+ hour slog and it bored me to tears at times.

All that aside this game looks and plays beautifully, I loved driving the car it controls wonderfully and having the game throw hazards at you and you needing to swerve and adapt makes you feel like you're living out some dystopian Baby Driver. The environments also had me hooked, there are key moments that are stunning and even the small drives from junction to junction could give off immaculate feels with its atmosphere.

Im at least happy with myself to see the game all the way through, cause I felt like i would've missed a tight knit vision executed well, even if that vision suffers being stretched out between boring gameplay loops

I wanted to like this game more than I did. Visuals were great, concept was great, it just didn't hit the way I wanted it to. I would recommend this game to others because I just think it wasn't meant for me but when I discussed it with my friends they all had the same response.

Pretty interesting and well made game. I love games that have scp, anomaly, control type of lore and entities. I drove with no doors to make the process more streamlined and maybe that wasn’t the best thing for radiation, but it was sick.

Starts out amazing, oozing with atmosphere, with a great soundtrack and so much to look forward. After a dozen good hours it falls flat; not enough tracks to listen to, gameplay loop gets tedious, and obtaining upgrades irrelevant.

It's an interesting take on the survival gathering game. Your car is your lifeline and your mobile base. Early on it's interesting but there was a certain lack of variety in the gameplay. And just some friction.

Partly why I stopped playing is that I needed to complete a mission, but you can't just go from your base to the mission, you have to go from map to map. For this one I had to go 3 maps deep and I ultimately end up failing the mission due to something popping out of the ground I couldn't avoid. Ultimately wrecking my car and losing quite a bit of stuff I had spent the last 90 minutes collecting. And the game wasn't grabbing me enough to do it again.

A toolbelt would have also helped, half my inventory was just tools.

The concept is neat but it could use some iteration to keep it interesting after the first few hours. The story has been done before and the concept of voices over the radio explaining everything isn't particularly compelling.

Really fun and entertaining, but the tutorial detracts from the fun. I think we as a society should evolve past mid tutorials. Music bangs tho

Played the beginning; good premise, fantastic atmosphere, banger OST and fun enough gameplay.
Currently though, I'm just not feeling it, and I feel like I've played a bit of the game to not feel like I'm missing out and to not feel compelled to play more.

I really like a lot of the things that this game does. I like the concept, style, voice acting, music, ambiance, and plenty more. The gameplay is fine, though very repetitive. I usually don't mind games that cap at 30 fps, but for a game that can be very fast-paced it is definitely held back.
However, the biggest reason why I dropped this game is it actually makes me motion-sick. This is no fault of the game, I just get motion-sick very easily so I just can't keep going. It's quite unfortunate because I do like the progression system of researching to improve your garage.

So, even though I'm abandoning this game after 20 or so hours, I am quite impressed with Ironwood Studios' debut game and I will certainly be watching their future projects. I feel as if they are a studio that does a lot of things right, and I'm definitely a fan. I just hope their future projects don't involve driving as much.

Unsure if Shelved or Abandoned. Probably Abandoned but you gotta believe in yourself. I think this is a game I would have really enjoyed a few years ago, but I think I've grown tired of anything survival-crafting adjacent.

The world building is neat and I liked the cast of characters. I enjoyed taking care of the car, but found harvesting materials to be a bit too tedious given the durability of the tools. Gathering resources so you can build tools to gather resources is just not very compelling to me nowadays.

Good for fans of survival crafting, road trips, and mysterious alternate realities.

played for around 8 hours and I still do not have a clue how this game expects to be played. collecting resources is mind numbing and boring, I don’t feel like there’s any real stakes, all upgrades seem to just lessen the effect of frustrating mechanics instead of making the game more fun, and the cool ”being chased by a weird laws-of-physics-defying storm and driving into a pillar of fire” thing has not really materialized at all as it’s been really easy so far.

massively disappointed, but the vibes are really cool :)

I think this is the first survival-crafting game I've played, so there may have been a learning curve here for me that other players could have skipped. It took me a few runs to see the loop of looting and repairing your car fully set in, but once I fully understood it I think that was the point where I began to lose interest with the game. I never really felt much sense of satisfaction when I completed a run, and I was especially annoyed when I would screw up the ending of a run after the rest of it had gone smoothly. I get the sense that these mechanics are intrinsic to a game like this though, so I'm not sure if I was ever going to play this to completion.

That said, there are a lot of things I do like quite a bit about this. I actually really like methodically getting the car ready for the next run, even though it is literally just working through a checklist. Driving and interacting with/via the car itself also felt novel in a game of this type, and though the ends of runs where I failed were frustrating, the ones where I succeeding were almost always exhilarating (a tough line to walk). Expanding on that, the atmosphere surrounding everything in Pacific Drive is what hooked me initially, and kept me playing for the 10 or so hours that I did stick with it.

Pacific Drive: An interesting world and a monotonous gameplay loop makes for wasted potential you can steer clear of.
Pacific Drive's world is a lot like a S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-lite. You're basically in The Zone only things don't want to kill you quite as much, though they'll still try. You'll see goofy and inexplicable shit, most of which will start as charmingly quirky but will end as a frequent annoyance on your journey to gather some painfully infrequent resource (I wanna say a big “Fuck you” to ThermoSap Crystals).

I think, like most, I found the art style and world alluring. The game had a good look to it and who doesn't love whacky, radioactive nonsense?
Well, quickly you're introduced to your three radio pals (as you'll never be speaking), and I found all three of them obnoxious. The developers seemed to know players would find their chatter annoying, too, as many conversations are optional, letting the player hold 'Tab' if they want to hear a bit more about the world. Trust me: you don't. Your car kind of talks to you through a screen and tells you it “hearts” you; that's by far the best interacting you'll be doing.
The world isn't very appealing, either. That S.T.A.L.K.E.R. vibe goes away rather quickly when you realize the world is less out to kill you and more so out to pester you. Anomalies are usually right in the middle of the road, so you only have to veer off and possibly let your car hit a thin tree to avoid them. Some, like my least favorite, are near-impossible to see until they're activated. I despised these pileups that spawn electrifying posts all around your car when you get near them, forcing you to take damage until you're out of it. Driving from A to B is like half of this game and I found it to be an unamusing chore.
There's a 'Quirks' system where your car will do things like whenever you reverse, your passenger door opens. You have to assess what causes the issue correctly back at the garage to cure it. I cannot describe how horrible of an idea I think this was and while I want to thank the devs for letting the players turn it off, I want them to explain why they thought that sounded “fun” to begin with.

The story isn't great, but I didn't finish it, so I cannot speak to its end. I'd be fucking mystified if it managed to redeem itself (I Googled it: it doesn't). My biggest issue was since I got stuck in the mid-Zone looking for ThermoSap Crystals, the story took a huge stall. If I couldn't find any of those Crystals in the mid-Zone, it was a wasted run and wasted time. It really pissed me off.
Now I could have been farming them from occasional rust buckets on the side of the road, getting like three at a time when I needed dozens, but I didn't know that until I was many hours in. That s'pisses me off, too.

I do not recommend this bore of a game. Pacific Drive really tested my patience and I guess it won: congratulations.

Pacific Drive is a game that on paper seems fairly straight forward, you drive a car across some maps and collect resources as you go which allow you to upgrade your car and progress further into the map. This is true, but it undersells just how much work goes into turning your car from a pile of shit into something that can turn rain into fuel and within radiation damage and give you a gravity boost etc.

That really is the high level overview of the game, along with an interesting aesthetic, Pacific Drive is a fun game to do a run or two in a session since a run can be anywhere from 20-45 minutes but its not a roguelite you can binge through say like Hades, as it can be quite taxing and a grind at times, especially near the endgame, if you are looking for specific resources, because while all the info is available to you in game, its not going to hold you hand either.

That also extends to the actual maintenance and upgrading of your car. If you run out of fuel for example, you don't just press the fill fuel button, you have to grab the gas pump and put it into the fuel tank and wait for it to fill and then put the pump back. If something is wrong with a door or wheel you have to inspect it and if needs sealant or replacing you have to manually get the sealing kit or replacement part and disassemble the old part and put in the new part and then breakdown the old part for scrap because nothing should go to waste when you need resources. It can take a while to get used to all the bits and bobs that go into taking care of your car and unlocking new components and even gear for you to wear while outside of the car but once you get into the swing of things it does all play like a well oiled machine and you really do start to bond with the car, bond as in you will feel miserable if it gets destroyed on a run and you have to remake shit on the car all over again lol

It's probably my fault for over-hyping this game, thinking it was gonna be a new instant classic along the lines of Outer Wilds and Inscryption. Sadly, I've played maybe 7 hours on the week of its release and have been hesitant to open it since then.

Outside of its gorgeous presentation and intriguing atmosphere, I found the experience extremely tedious. The selling point of the game and its core mechanic, the car, ended up feeling like a burden instead of being a tool of experimentation and freedom. The reason being that you need to get out of your car every minute to pick up items and to explore buildings. The "drive 30 seconds, park, loot, drive 30 seconds" loop gets tired real fast.

It might still click for some enjoyers of looter/exploration game! I'll give it props for trying something new at least.

Fun relaxing for the first leg of the journey, but gets to be tedious and repetitive in the 2nd half, and the ending is not very satisfying.

Good game! The constant drive (hehe) to make my car better definitely pushed me through this one. Funnily it took me right to the end of the game to finally upgrade my engine and realise how handicapped I had been for the 19 hours prior. But still I loved the journey of every trip, coming back and adding a new gadget or piece of bodywork to my car which eventually made it into an acceptable vehicle. I will say it definitely felt like it dragged towards the end, the gameplay loop of going on longer and longer routes was getting tiresome and I felt myself just speeding through later routes to get to the objective but overall still a very fun game that I recommend.

in 45 minutes i got everything the game was going for. The grind was not that appealing.
Dropped it mostly cause of the absolutely abysmal optimization, with the type of graphics the game boasts having 30 fps is a little cringe.

Joguei em torno de 4 horas e posso afirmar que, de início, é no mínimo interessante. Mas, infelizmente, não posso continuar a jogar. Meu PC não aguenta rodar o game de forma decente durante as missões, e colocar todas as configurações no "Low" faz o jogo parecer uma massinha de modelar, horrível. Isso tira toda a ambientação do local, que é super importante pro jogo, pelo que deu a entender na história e no contexto geral do que aconteceu e do que tá rolando na Península Olímpica. Quando eu tiver um PC que tanke mais, talvez eu volte para jogar, mas por ora realmente não tem como ter uma experiência boa com esse péssimo desempenho.

On paper, this game was made for me. Setting, sound design, mechanics, all very much in my wheelhouse. But most of my 20 hours of play were spent on the line between challenging and tedious, with too much time spent dipping into tedium. I know you can adjust the settings extensively, but even with many of the offending mechanics turned off I still found the majority of the gameplay to be just fine, at best.