This past weekend we got hands on with the upcoming futuristic racing game, Pacer at the MCM Comic Con in London.
Developed by R8 Games and originally titled Formula Fusion, is under development for release on Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Pacer will be out later this year.
Immediately the first thing that is noticeable when playing Pacer is that it has clearly been inspired by Wipeout. A racing game series that I have fond memories off, in particularly Wipeout 64 on the Nintendo 64. That inspiration and tribute to the classic series was acknowledged by the development team and you can watch our full interview below:
An immediate positive when first playing Pacer is the wealth of customisation available for your vehicles. You can tweak almost every aspect until you find a build that fits your play style. With so many options this could feel over-whelming but for those just wanting to get on and play there are a number of balanced builds that you can just select and race with.
Visually each ship looked different, sleek and futuristic and each one certainly had a different kind of handling be it better acceleration, more responsive brakes or better handling. There’s a real Wipeout vibe to their designs and the moment I found myself using airbrakes I was transported back in time.
Feeling quite alien at first, once I got used to using airbrakes to take corners, it felt like the most natural thing in the world and a really satisfying way to keep the momentum going. Something that is really important as Pacer is all about the pace.
Fast and frantic, higher difficulty levels are incredibly fun but very challenging. Whereas on the easy setting I found myself dominating the race even though it was the first time playing, the higher difficulty levels saw me absolutely schooled by the AI. It didn’t frustrate though, it just made me want to get better.
As well as well designed ships, awesome gameplay and an interesting weapon system, Pacer boasts some great looking maps to race around. A really varied selection that ties into the futuristic world but doesn’t make it seem unrealistic.
All in all, Pacer proved to be a lot of fun that has some nostalgia value but still felt like its own thing. It showed a lot of potential and here’s hoping R8 Games can ensure this is the true successor to the Wipeout series.