One of my favorite surprises from last year’s Brazilian game show was Pacer. It was a clear love letter for games like F-Zero and Wipeout and was even developed by former developers of the latter. I didn’t expect much from this then unknown game, but I was greeted by a well-stocked demo that showed a brutally complex but spicy racing game that certainly scratched my futuristic and fearless racing game. Later, the game was postponed countless times, but in the end it arrived and I was finally able to handle the full version. It was worth the wait.

Evaluate the species while you still can. Before you even blink, you’re on the other side of the track.

In terms of gameplay, Pacer was exactly what I expected. In fact, it’s an even more complex version of Wipeout that focuses on building the cargo on your ship and getting it in place for the race. It allows you to develop your own strategy. You don’t pick up different weapons during a race. There is only one type of weapon, which serves as ammunition for the right or left weapon and is assigned to the R1 or L1 hits, which are distributed on the rails. You can also mount armoured pick-ups, because you will of course be constantly touched by other drivers.

Apart from these two mechanisms and the possibility of converting the braking force into an additional impulse, as in a Formula 1 car, it is in fact a racing game in short. A simple runner, a bit like in an arcade game, but at the same time stupid, usually in a quick scene change. There are a few drops here and there, but they are rare and do not affect gameplay that much. The overall graphics are pretty good, even though the overall speed of the game does not allow you to pay so much attention to the world around you. What’s more, the soundtrack is what you’d expect from a Wipeou-like game: strong, abrasive and dynamic electronic music.

Their boats have a KERS booster, like a Formula 1 car.

There aren’t too many monstrous problems with the Pacer. In the beginning I had problems with the control circuit because the throttle was put on the X-button instead of the R2 trigger as expected, but in the end I got used to it. Using the R2 and L2 triggers for tight turns seems just as intuitive, to be honest. However, the only major problem I encountered with Pacer was the progressive system.

It is a difficult game that blocks the vast majority of Quick Play routes and ships for the game currency to be earned by winning cups and tournaments in Career Mode. It is something that can end up frustrating players who are just looking for a little fun at the arcade, only to discover that they have to hang around quite a bit to unlock more than the three titles that are initially available outside the career mode. With this in mind, you should know what to expect from a game like Pacer. Like its sources of inspiration, it is a cruel ordeal, so beginners should be careful.

They’re not exactly friendly neighbors.

A pacemaker is not something that reinvents the wheel, but it is an excellent addition to the criminally missing subgenus. It is a game with a long career, crazy tracks, a brutal complexity curve and smooth performance; in a futuristic racing game like this there is almost everything you could wish for. Is it better than F-Zero or Wipeout? No, I didn’t mean to. Is this a good alternative for PS4 and Xbox owners who do not have access to Fast RMX? It’s useless. It will certainly satisfy the hunger of any fan of futuristic racing for a while.

The courses are detailed and varied, even if you don’t always have time to follow them, given the speed at which this game takes place. The frame is fixed with oil, smoothing out 60 frames per second. Fast, fluid and fast. That’s all a game like this needs, but it has a very mysterious arrangement of buttons that will confuse the players at the beginning.
Following in Wipeout’s footsteps, Pacer’s soundtrack is made up of a ton of fast electronic beats that are perfectly adapted to the game’s environment. Although these are not the most memorable songs. Exactly what you would expect from Wipeout’s spiritual successor: well thought-out tracks, tons of tuning possibilities, exciting speeds and brutal complexity that borders on success. However, the system of progression is questionable.
Phrase: 8.0

The Pacer is now available for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Monitored on PS4.

A copy of Pacer has been made available by the publisher.

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