This driving horror game still looks wonderfully awful

I was reminded this morning of Driving Survival, the upcoming driving horror game where our car careens through sodium-orange murk pursued by murderous drivers. The bits we’ve seen before made me so uneasy that, naturally, I went looking for more. Turns out creator Ondřej Švadlena has shared a few more video clips since we last looked and yep, it still seems wonderfully malevolent. Everyday things–a supermarket car park, a small town, light pollution–seem terrible when you’re watching the headlights of a clapped-out murdercar draw nearer in your rear-view mirror.

Here’s a video, labelled a test, from August 2017:

Whatever it’s testing, I like the outcome. I’m really into the thick fog and diffused glow of the streetlights making everything a little dreamy. And how enemy headlights cut through the fog as a threat visible long before the car is.

Here’a test of night and day in the same area, also from last August:

So day’s not much friendlier, then.

From July 2017, a test of ambient sounds from Guillaume Blondeau:

Going further back, to January 2017, chasing through a forest after a car carrying… children? Those might be children.

Well, maybe children.

I adore this. Driving a car in a game usually makes me feel powerful but here the driver seems so helpless, or at least no more powerful than enemies – who don’t seem nearly as interested in self-preservation. Early footage showed the almost-people hopping out of their cars to batter yours with bats, though I don’t know how much of that is still in the game. This is all early days, all of these videos are months old, and I don’t think even the game’s name is settled yet, so everything may yet change. But I believe ŠvadlenaX’s plans for the game include pootling, exploring, fleeing, and hiding, and I’m up for all of that.

Whatever it ends up as, I have hugely enjoyed watching (and rewatching) these bits this morning. You can follow development on the game’s TIG Forums thread.

21 Comments

  1. Troubletcat says:

    It LOOKS absolutely gorgeous, and it’s a really interesting concept – a genre mashup I dunno if we’ve ever really seen before in games, but I really hope the car sounds are placeholder.

  2. DThor says:

    I’m still holding out for a horror toenail clipping mashup.

    This looks about as much fun as making spelt muffins and equally as misguided.

    • Nelyeth says:

      “This looks about as much fun as making spelt muffins”

      You could have said “as fun as me”, would have been shorter and more explicit.

    • maninahat says:

      Wow, another person who has that!

    • mike69 says:

      Eh, opinions, assholes, everyone has one, etc.

      I think this looks amazing – now right at the top of my (very long) wishlist.

    • UncleLou says:

      It’s basically a car chase game in a horror setting. Hardly “toenail clipping” material, but a (surprisingly) rare* combination of two pillars of gaming. Looks absolutely wonderful to me, just watching the videos gives me goose-bumps.

      *In gaming. But there’s Steven Spielberg’s best film, and Stephen King had a few similar ideas.

  3. maninahat says:

    It looks very impressive, but unlike any other driving game I’ve seen recently, it is doing a swell job of filling my head with intrusive, post car crash related memories I’d rather not have.

  4. Ross Angus says:

    Oh God. Those endlessly yawning child-beasts in the last video.

    • dare says:

      Also, the chase was somehow really intense. I kept hoping that the car coming after me would go the other way. So yeah, interest: piqued.

  5. Zach Fett says:

    There haven’t been any posts on the forum or new videos on his channel since August 2017… I hope he’s still around… Was really looking forward to this game.

    • April March says:

      Eh, six months in nothing in game dev time. We never know, but my money is that development continues.

  6. Fitzmogwai says:

    I hope ŠvadlenaX bears these words of wisdom from 1976 in mind:

    “Never get out of the car, man. Never get out of the car.”

  7. kleptonin says:

    Reminder in case anyone missed it at the time (in 2016 (a thousand years ago)) that Chris Priestman interviewed Ondřej Švadlena about the game and its inspiration based on his childhood growing up in communist Czechoslovakia for an article in the Guardian.

    • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

      Huh, I knew my gut feel about that “forest chase” looking like bunch of hillbillies from a post-soviet country got bored shitless one night and went on to re-enact Need for Speed Carbon chase / Silent Hill on wheels among the midland woods was somewhat right.

  8. davebo says:

    I would love for this to have really accurate driving physics and to play it with a racing wheel. I love racing games where you have to drive normal cars at their physical limit instead of amazingly set up race cars. So much more nail-biting to drive some mediocre jalopy with skinny tires.

  9. master thief says:

    I remember this having rabbits and/or bears, and there was menacing electronic music. Still, looking good!

  10. GomezTheChimp says:

    I played the first 20 seconds of the last video full screen and had to turn it off.
    Whatever they are in the back of the car are about as creepy a thing as I`ve seen in a horror game.

  11. April March says:

    I bought Dead End Road on the Steam winter sale but I must admit, every time I play it I think of this game.

  12. literarylottie says:

    Oh God, it’s every driving anxiety dream I’ve ever had x1000. Intriguing, but something I’ll maybe wait to play when I *don’t* have an evening commute that takes me through the backwoods at night.

  13. Alien says:

    This is art! Absolutely wonderful… (only the sound design could be better).

    Is it possible to get out of the car to search gas stations or warehouses?