So this was the first game that I saw at EGX:Rezzed which had caught my attention with its sleek yellow stand and futuristic logos and atop in bold-named PACER but what truly caught my attention and locked me it was the music and the sight of R8 Games new game named Pacer which looked remarkably like a very well known game of similar stature that you may have heard of called Wipeout.
I then got to speak to Michael Love from R8 Games, where I got the chance to ask a few questions.
Firstly I asked him why they wanted to make a game like this and what drew them to it?
“We were a fan of the HE Racing Model of Wipeout and F-Zero and we wanted to make our own stamp on that genre”
Honestly their vision for this style of genre and game felt really nice and played way faster, that might have been because of how smooth the game was when I admittedly excitedly sat down to play, as when I wasn’t crashing or trying my hardest to not run the wall like a stabilizer it felt like I was going at Mach 10 despite it most likely being slower however the sense of speed was incredible.
So compared to well-established games Pacer handles quite differently, as such I wanted to know why they decided to choose their signature style of handling, which is a sort of braking/sharper turn mechanic as this made it feel different to previously mentioned games and added an extra layer of difficulty at times.
“That was an evolution of the gameplay as we were working on it trying to find out what was the most fun but what we found fun.”
I was curious as to how they managed to make it feel so perfect and solid while also graphically looking incredible and so I asked how many people were working on the game, I was told that they have a relatively small team of 5 programmers and 5 artists give or take with a similar size team for QA. What is surprising but reassuring to know is that they have a team dedicated to QA as a lot of smaller game companies tend to forget about that aspect or leave it till later. Having a team for QA throughout the development shows when played as it’s smooth, responsive and fluid and even when I died it felt good.
When I sat down to play this game the futuristic styling coupled with the graphics capability of unreal engine 4 make this game look and feel amazing. It also sounded amazing which can easily be something forgotten about but it brought me back to how I felt when I played older similar titles as it immersed me the same way it did back then with how in sync every aspect of the game felt, although honestly the turning mechanic was jarring at first due to not knowing about it when I first played but when I learnt about it and then practised with it, it started to feel like an extension of myself and the vehicle which felt natural and made sense and even when I crashed, scraped and blew up it felt fun.
And that’s the big thing about it is while it may be a niche the biggest factor is how fun it is and it is a lot of fun and could quite happily of sat there and played the game all day.
When asked how long this has been in development I was told that they had properly restarted it about 6 months ago, which reminded me that this game had in-fact originally been called Formula Fusion which was an early access game that has now transformed into Pacer.
I had heard of Formula Fusion before this and was interested being a Wipeout fan but after playing this game I am now interested and a fan of Pacer the game has a release date which is being aimed for the end of June on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on Steam.
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