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Take a rogue-trip in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. meets Stranger Things survival game Pacific Drive

The car’s the star

If you’ve ever thought you spotted something weird while driving through creepy woodland at night then you’ll probably be up for Ironwood Studios’ debut Pacific Drive, due out in 2023. It’s a first-person “road-lite” survival game that puts you behind the wheel of a customisable station wagon deep in a locked-down military test zone full of mad science. Gaze at that homely wood-panelling as you watch the trailer below.

Cover image for YouTube videoPacific Drive | Trailer 2023
Pacific Drive is Ironwood Studios' first game, and looks rather spooky.

Devs Ironwood seem to be going for something in the ballpark of Tales From The Loop and Stranger Things. It feels like there’s a bit of the bad-ass concept of Escape From New York in there too, and the team credit S.T.A.L.K.E.R. among their influences. Pacific Drive is set in the abandoned Olympic Exclusion Zone, an area of the Pacific Northwest that was used for weird scientific experiments by the US government starting in 1955. That’s now an abandoned minefield of preternatural oddities that you’ve become trapped in after going to investigate, you nosey parker.

You’ll have to zhuzh up a handily unoccupied station wagon at your garage base as though you’re an off-brand Egon Spengler, driving it on runs around the Exclusion Zone’s various biomes while avoiding radiation and strange anomalies. Ironwood say that each storm that passes through shifts the landscape around though, so every run should be different. They recommend being aware of the area’s reputation for “old tales” and “urban legends” too.

Pacific Drive was revealed during yesterday’s Sony State Of Play livestream, along with a few other things coming to PCs in the near future. Team Ninja are developing a – surprise! – samurai game called Rise Of The Ronin, set in an open-world Japan just after the country opened up to the West. That’s console-exclusive to PlayStation, so we’ll probably see it on PC at some point. Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio are definitely bringing Yakuza spin-off Like A Dragon: Ishin! to PC in 2023 though, which is another game set in Japan’s past.

I’m intrigued by this one. Ironwood say that you can “form a unique bond with a fully customizable car that develops its own quirks and personality”. I get very attached to my cars in real-life, not that I name them Christine or anything. I can totally dig the idea of a supernatural road trip where you’ll need to rely on your motor for survival, tinkering with it back at your garage along the way. Just no beaded seat covers, please.

You can take Pacific Drive for a spin on PC in 2023. Store pages aren't up yet, folks. There’s more info on the game at the official site here.

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About the Author
CJ Wheeler avatar

CJ Wheeler

Former News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.