PS4/Xbox One Review: Pacer

Falcon Punch? No? Damn, wrong franchise…

2075: The PACER World Championship has become the new apex of anti-gravity motorsport delivering high-speed racing across the world’s most dangerous and challenging circuits. Corporations from all over the globe race against each other in a battle of technical and piloting prowess with the aim of winning the championship and achieving ultimate victory.

Pacer feels and looks like a mixture between the WipEout and F-Zero games. You get the visual style and super speed of both games, but with weapons that you would expect from the former on tracks that are really tough to navigate, but how does it handle?

Even at crazy speeds, you could always control the vehicles in both F-Zero and WipEout to a comfortable, yet uncomfortable degree. If you messed up, you’d know it was your fault somehow, but Pacer alas doesn’t have quite the same level of precision so screwing up is more common on the tougher tracks and can be frustrating overall. There’s a nice mixture of modes from the basic career to races that focus on survival or elimination and while it doesn’t do anything remotely new for anti-gravity racers, it’s still nice to see one since there a distinct lack of them of these days…

In terms of visuals, Pacer is a great looking game with decent looking tracks and runs at a solid framerate. The HUD is a bit in your face and the menus could do with some work, but the overall presentation is a good one. The soundtrack is also impressive and will impress those WipEout fans out there.

Update 09/03/2021: The game is now available on Xbox One and I have been playing it on Xbox One X to find it runs and looks identical to the PS4 version that launched last year.

The Verdict

Pacer may not have the precision or grace of its predecessors, but it does fill a void that has been left with both franchises left in the repair shop, maybe permanently. As far as spiritual successors go, you could do a lot worse than take Pacer out for a spin.

Score: 8.0