Review cover Pacer (Computer)
Official GBAtemp Review

Product Information:

  • Release Date (NA): October 29, 2020
  • Release Date (EU): October 29, 2020
  • Release Date (JP): October 29, 2020
  • Publisher: R8 Games Limited
  • Developer: R8 Games Limited
  • Genres: Racing
  • Also For: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Game Features:

Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative
Pacer is presented as a spiritual successor to fast-paced racing games such as Wipeout and F-Zero, with modern day graphics and online multiplayer. But can it succeed?

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Racing games have gotten a bit stale lately. I'm not saying there aren't any good racing games, in fact, quite the contrary - franchises such as Forza, Project Cars, Gran Turismo get regular releases, often with great reviews. Even Need for Speed has made a comeback with NFS Heat being decent. All current AAA racing franchises, with Mario Kart being an exception, are based in realistic environments with real cars. This is great for people who are interested in arcade racing with realistic elements. However, many gamers crave anti-grav arcade racing at ridiculous speeds. Franchises such as Wipeout and F-Zero have been on a hiatus for quite some time, with the former having its last release back in 2017. Thankfully, R8 Games comes in to revive the genre with Pacer (formerly known as Formula Fusion).

Gameplay

Pacer picks up where Wipeout left off in terms of gameplay. You still have fast moving futuristic anti-grav vehicles traveling at ridiculously high speeds (often over 500km/h), along with weapons you can equip to eliminate opponents. The game offers a variety of modes, including the standard three lap races against ten opponents, time trials, elimination, along with some more original and interesting modes. My favorite one is 'Flowmentum', a mode where you just travel through the map as fast as you can, while becoming even faster. Pacer also includes a career mode, which starts off with a tutorial that teaches you the basics of racing, abilities and vehicle customization.

The core gameplay is fun. Controls are responsive, handling is decent depending on your setup. Getting first place isn't the only objective you should be striving for, something you'd want to look out on is your health and shields. Be it from your own poor driving or your enemies attacking you with their weapons, you might lose shields, and after that - your health, which, unlike the former, cannot be replenished by pick-ups. Unlike it's spiritual predecessor Wipeout, weapons aren't pickups in Pacer. Instead, they are equipped in the customization tab, along with available modifications to them. This adds a layer of strategy to the race. You have weapons that deal damage at a long rage, with modifiers that make them into homing missiles, machine guns, and there's even the ability to drain shields from your opponents.

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Review imageReview image

In Pacer, hindsight is key. When you're traveling at speeds over 500km/h regularly, you sometimes need to make a turn earlier than you'd think. This is exacerbated even more when playing on higher difficulties, of which there are four - F3000, F2000, F1000 and "Elite". Like Wipeout, Pacer is a difficult game to get into. However, once you get the hang of it, making difficult turns flawlessly is going to be quite satisfying. 

R8 Games promises to continue adding more cosmetics and maps, vowing to never add pay-2-win mechanisms in the game. Everything, ranging from tracks to specific vehicle modifications, can be bought through credits which can be obtained by completing races.

Multiplayer is something I'd love to talk about if I could get it running. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, I could not get into a single online match. Pacer offers matchmaking, along with community lobbies you could just join in to. However, as I previously mentioned, I couldn't get into either due to server issues. I do not know if this is an issue on my end, since there seem to be players in the lobbies I attempt to join in, but I don't have the time frankly to figure it out. If R8 Games fixes the issue, I will update the review accordingly.

Graphics & Sound

Running on Unreal Engine 4, Pacer is full of pleasant visuals. It's nothing fancy, with no ray-tracing to be seen, however, it's a definite upgrade to all previous entries in the genre. Running on the recommended specs, I get over 60fps regularly, ranging from 80-100fps at almost highest settings. Environments are rich and full of detail, including the vehicles themselves along with the different effects weapon systems create. 

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Alongside the visuals, Pacer is backed by a great soundtrack done by Tim 'CoLD SToRAGE' Wright, who worked on the Wipeout games. If you like high BPM electronic tracks, you should definitely check out Pacer's soundtrack. A lot of good gems here. Sound effects are crisp and clean, though in some instances I encountered a bug where some sound effects wouldn't play. Pacer also does this neat thing where the background music becomes more pronounced the faster you go.

Overall Thoughts 

Fans of Wipeout and F-Zero should rejoice as they have finally a modern installment to their beloved genre. Pacer delivers on what it promised - being a high quality anti-grav racing game, albeit not AAA-level, nor does it really need to be. There's no overtly dramatic story mode with motion captured actors, but this game doesn't really need it. Here's hoping the success of this game will reignite the anti-grav racing genre and bring back some of the abandoned franchises (I'm looking at you, F-Zero!).

 

 

Be sure to check out the official video review of Pacer

Verdict

What We Liked ...
  • Great Gameplay
  • Decent Graphics
  • Large Variety of Tracks
  • Great Music
What We Didn't Like ...
  • Poor Online Multiplayer
  • Limited Customization Options
7.5
out of 10

Overall

Loving the video review!! I hope we can see more of this in the future!

As for the game itself, I’m curious, but wary. I heard so much love for Fast RMX but I didn’t like it at all. I might check this one out on a sale
 
Franchises such as Wipeout and F-Zero have been on a hiatus for quite some time, with the former having its last release back in 2017.
unfortunately, Studio Liverpool has been closed so there is almost no chance to see a new game in the franchise.
I wish they would have released more DLC to Wipeout Omega to add more tracks from all older games, or a way to create/share new tracks.
I'm very glad they could add PSVR support to Omega in 2018 even though the studio was closed!

Someone made his own Wipeout remake in Dreams (with PSVR support) and 3 different tracks last I checked, which got even the attention of a former Wipeout producer who said he was willing to help him! (source: inside dreams' comment system)



I'm curious and willing to try Pacer now :)
No PSVR support or planed yet ?
Thank you for your review.
 
unfortunately, Studio Liverpool has been closed so there is almost no chance to see a new game in the franchise.
I wish they would have released more DLC to Wipeout Omega to add more tracks from all older games, or a way to create/share new tracks.
I'm very glad they could add PSVR support to Omega in 2018 even though the studio was closed!

Someone made his own Wipeout remake in Dreams (with PSVR support) and 3 different tracks last I checked, which got even the attention of a former Wipeout producer who said he was willing to help him! (source: inside dreams' comment system)



I'm curious and willing to try Pacer now :)
No PSVR support or planed yet ?
Thank you for your review.

So freaking blurry. Why the hell did the Devs think people would enjoy motion blur?
It's the worst "addition" to video games ever conceived.

I recently "acquired" this game, and it looks fun enough.
 
I had to Ctrl + F to find out what system this was for because I missed the only spot where it was mentioned. (and it wasn't even "PC")
 
I had to Ctrl + F to find out what system this was for because I missed the only spot where it was mentioned. (and it wasn't even "PC")
You realise it says in the title which system the review is for? "Official Review: Pacer (Computer)"

Then in the game info it lists the other platforms the game is available on, in this case PS4 and XB1. Pretty much every review we do is like this, there's no reason to explicitly specify the platform in the review when it's already written in big letters.
 
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N
It is (finally) out. It's great to see that there were still people waiting for a new game in the anti-gravity racing genre.
Will definitely get Pacer when I have more time, thanks for writing this review!
unfortunately, Studio Liverpool has been closed so there is almost no chance to see a new game in the franchise.
I wish they would have released more DLC to Wipeout Omega to add more tracks from all older games, or a way to create/share new tracks.
I'm very glad they could add PSVR support to Omega in 2018 even though the studio was closed!

Someone made his own Wipeout remake in Dreams (with PSVR support) and 3 different tracks last I checked, which got even the attention of a former Wipeout producer who said he was willing to help him! (source: inside dreams' comment system)



I'm curious and willing to try Pacer now :)
No PSVR support or planed yet ?
Thank you for your review.
Well for the tracks, they did look into it : https://www.reddit.com/r/PSVR/comme...and_epos_developers_of_wipeout_omega/dwsl4d7/
It's too bad they couldn't reuse the tracks without remaking them from scratch.
 
From the Video review you mentioned Mario Kart had a 250 cc difficulty option when comparing it to this game. Which game had this option as I thought Mario Kart only went up to 200 cc.
 
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You realise it says in the title which system the review is for? "Official Review: Pacer (Computer)"

Did you read what I said? Obviously, I found the only spot that it was written, and it's not the headline, mind you. I was just offering my experience. So instead of insinuating that I am stupid, maybe consider that mentioning the platform a game is for is pretty much a standard when it comes to reviews. For the amount of times you mention F-Zero in the article, I was hoping that maybe I could see it on Switch.
 
Redout is better in every way. Every single aspect. If you're on the fence about this, definitely go try the free Redout demo, you won't be disappointed!
 
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Apparently this is a game only for "Computer". @Scarlet insists that we do our own investigations into the matter and not "hassle" the reporters.
You say that, but you clearly didn't read when I said that it's available on PS4 and XB1, before pointing you to where that information is on every review. It's almost as if it is standard in every review to have it listed in the same place.
 
You say that, but you clearly didn't read when I said that it's available on PS4 and XB1, before pointing you to where that information is on every review. It's almost as if it is standard in every review to have it listed in the same place.
there's no reason to explicitly specify the platform in the review when it's already written in big letters.

(Computer)

So which is it? Either my concern had merit, or it did not. If you are insisting that I draw conclusions based on supplemental information that you provided in response to my post, then admit that you were being a jerk in response to my legitimate frustration.

AFAIK the review still doesn't have the release information provided.
 
there's no reason to explicitly specify the platform in the review when it's already written in big letters.

(Computer)

So which is it? Either my concern had merit, or it did not. If you are insisting that I draw conclusions based on supplemental information that you provided in response to my post, then admit that you were being a jerk in response to my legitimate frustration.

AFAIK the review still doesn't have the release information provided.
I don't understand what you're complaining about, it gives you the release information, as well as other platforms the game is on at the top of the review. At the top of every game review. The platform that's in big letters that you so diligently spotted is the version that was reviewed. The platforms listed under "other platforms" are the other platforms the game is available on.

I don't understand what you're missing here.
 
I don't understand what you're complaining about, it gives you the release information, as well as other platforms the game is on at the top of the review. At the top of every game review. The platform that's in big letters that you so diligently spotted is the version that was reviewed. The platforms listed under "other platforms" are the other platforms the game is available on.

I don't understand what you're missing here.

Doing a quick Ctrl + F for "other platforms" shows nothing on this page, other than what you are saying. My complaint should be very clear. It's not obvious, by this review, what platforms which I can, or should get this game.
 
Doing a quick Ctrl + F4 for "other platforms" shows nothing on this page, other than what you are saying. My complaint should be very clear. It's not obvious, by this review, what platforms which I can, or should get this game.
Oh fair enough, that one's my bad. It's shown under "also for", it's other platforms in the review editor. But like I said, it's right at the top. If you're on mobile, it is the first thing you see on opening the review. On desktop, it's in a pane just to the right.
 
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Oh fair enough, that one's my bad. It's shown under "also for", it's other platforms in the review editor. But like I said, it's right at the top. If you're on mobile, it is the first thing you see on opening the review. On desktop, it's in a pane just to the right.

I'm on desktop, but I wrote my initial comment via mobile. I still can't find this "also for" you are talking about. Maybe I don't understand what a review editor is. I can post a SS if my experience is confusing to you.
 
It's on the right side there. On mobile, the review opens onto that right side pane.

7DA7YGq.jpg


Anyways, I need to run to work, so I might not be able to reply, but hopefully you can at least gleam the information from the screenshot.
 
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It's on the right side there. On mobile, the review opens onto that right side pane.
Anyways, I need to run to work, so I might not be able to reply, but hopefully you can at least gleam the information from the screenshot.

Okay, I don't think I changed any defaults, but I didn't have the sidebar at all. I had to click the little arrow at the top right to see it. I never noticed that before. It was the first thing I was looking for, but I could finally find it. TBF, I might have noticed it before, but I thought it was related to directory structure (since it was right next to that), and may have dismissed it as being unrelated to the main content. Now I know, so thanks. FYI, all my comments are intended to be contributions. If I didn't like this site, you simply wouldn't hear anything from me. Please don't alienate the obvious niche audience that you have. Considering all of the (aggressive) advertising on this site, it's apparent that it needs viewers.
 
Nice to see video reviews on here, but the game itself is gash... someone said they acquired it, this is good thinking if anyone is on the fence about buying it - try it first! Or better still, grab an emu and play WipEout or F-Zero instead ;)
 
Review cover
Product Information:
  • Release Date (NA): October 29, 2020
  • Release Date (EU): October 29, 2020
  • Release Date (JP): October 29, 2020
  • Publisher: R8 Games Limited
  • Developer: R8 Games Limited
  • Genres: Racing
  • Also For: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Game Features:
Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative

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