RealSport101 Decal

Motorsport

29 Oct 2020

Pacer Review: Stunning setting, intuitive racing, and awesome customization

Pacer is a futuristic racing game set in 2075, with a host of awesome racing features and more to boot!

This game rediscovers the magic of Wipeout and other anti-gravity racers that were so beloved.

Now that same style is back with a bang, and Wipeout/F-Zero fans will be pleased to know it’s an absolute blast.

Locations to Die For (Sometimes literally)

I’ve put setting at the top of my review as, coupled with the brilliant 4K graphics, they really do help with the game’s immersion.

Pacer locations
RACE ANYWHERE: The game has a plethora of settings

The tracks are global, with races taking place in the US, India, Germany, Australia, Russia, South Africa and South America.

This coupled with the futuristic setting has allowed the developers to go to town with the visuals and stylistic setting.

Many of the cities featured are overgrown, with ruined building littering the track and great vines spiralling upwards.

This is then starkly contrasted with the coastal setting of Uma V, home track of the Izulu Dynamics team in South Africa.

This variety in the game’s locations really makes it a standout title for me, much like Wipeout was.

A Craft for Every Occasion

The vehicles are all extremely fun to use, and each truly does feel different.

With the beginner’s Vixen you get a good chance to learn the ropes, some of the more in-depth controls were a little hard to master.

Pacer craft
RACE HOW YOU WANT: Each Craft is fully customisable

Once we’d got the hang of things however, we jumped into the Voxel, known for its weak defences but incredible acceleration and high top-speed.

The craft felt light years faster than its vixen counterpart, but we did have to be careful when taking fire from opponents.

Epic Nose-to-Nose Racing

As per most racing games, there are a variety of race modes, from the standard ‘Quick Race’ to ‘Flowmentum’, unique to Pacer.

The races were incredibly fun, with the AI proving to be a good challenge in each difficulty level.

Pacer racing min 1
CRAFT TO CRAFT: The racing was incredibly enjoyable, and close!

Once we had the hang of things, we gave Elite a go, the highest difficulty level on the game, and promptly regretted it.

Every game needs to give players a challenge and promote a skill-gap to upper levels of AI. Pacer does just that.

A Career Mode that Shines

Career mode is an incredible experience.

Rising through the ranks as rookie, hopping from team to team as the craft become ever more difficult to control.

Each team has a logo, name, and home city, adding an element of back story to each craft you face.

Pacer career
A GLOBAL AUDIENCE: Career mode takes you around the world

Starting out in the F3000 category, you must make sure to master each craft before advancing with different teams offering you contracts when they deem you ready.

The career also has a nice feeling of progression.

The races gradually become more difficult and introduce you to ever more aggressive and faster opponents.

A Party on the Racetrack

The music, whilst often not overly considered in most games, adds another level of immersion in the game.

With the level of the music rising and falling with your speed, the high tempo electronic music is an awesome touch.

Pacer Music
IT'S A VIBE: The music helps add to the often neon aesthetic

The developers even went to the effort of getting artists to create songs exclusively for the game.

This means that many of the tunes are tailored to the futuristic aesthetic of Pacer.

The Verdict

Fans of the Wipeout series will love this title, that’s just a given! But what about everyone else?

The game is all round arcade-y fun, with the music and setting helping to create an immersive racing experience.

The craft all feel different, which is difficult to achieve through a controller for many games, and each has its own genuine strengths and weaknesses. That makes strategy a factor in racing as well as pure speed, which is always a good thing.

Pacer is everything you'd want in a futuristic racer.

We hope to see some DLC, potentially adding new craft or career expansions, but its early days for the game.

RealSport Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)