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Get behind the wheel of the world’s baddest station wagon in Pacific Drive

Time to pick up the cryptids from soccer practice...

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Pacific Drive, Ironwood Studios’ road trip deep into the heart of the paranormal, got an extensive gameplay trailer on Thursday that gives further insight into how players will build, modify, and maintain their Griswold station wagon and use it to survive the horrors of the Olympic Exclusion Zone.

Announced at PlayStation’s State of Play online event in September, Pacific Drive looks like an extraction-style survival-horror driving game, which is to say, like nothing else we’ve seen before. Players start out in a garage, tuning and repairing their vehicle, then venture out on a Pacific Northwest highway, where some extremely paranormal B.S. is going on.

Players can exit the car to collect supplies and resources that build up their ride; of course, there’s a big risk in doing that. The safest place to be is behind the wheel of this wood-paneled grocery-getter, even if there are weird extradimensional things zipping around, lightning arcing everywhere, and road hazards tearing up your steel-belted radials (or bias-plys).

As players progress, they’ll be able to customize the car with helpful mods like extra fuel tanks, wind power generators, armor, and other improvements to survive the next run.

And the next run is what Pacific Drive seems to be all about. “Your journeys will take you across challenging terrain, each area home to its own suite of nightmarish Anomalies,” Ironwood’s Blake Dove wrote in a PlayStation Blog post. They’ll encounter cryptids, “Zone Storms” that reshape the land and force players to make white-knuckle off-road drives through the trees, and the ever-present threat of radiation.

Pacific Drive looks like a challenge both spoopy and deadly, in other words. The game is coming to PlayStation 5 and Windows PC later this year. It’ll be the debut standalone title for Seattle-based Ironwood Studios, whose alumni have, in the past, worked on triple-A projects like BioShock Infinite, inFamous Second Son, and Resistance 3.

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