Pacific Drive is a road trip through cryptid hell, two out in 2023

There are some great games that focus on taking several runs through an ever-evolving, adapting challenge, like Hades or Cult of the Lamb. But how many of those games put you behind the wheel of a car, and let you just take to the open road? Enter Pacific Drive, the first game from Ironwood Studios. The player has to take their car on a trip through a surreal and dangerous route in the Pacific Northwest that is actively collapsing into pockets of unreality around the player.

The car is the player’s lifeline; while they do have to get out from the driver’s seat from time to time to clear a path, check a reading, or investigate an area, they’re much less vulnerable behind the wheel. The primary player hub will be a garage, which helps you upgrade and repair your car in between runs through terrifying lighting storms, military zones, and terrifying churning rock worms.

The player’s goal is to make their way to the heart of the Olympic Exclusion Zone and unravel the mystery behind what, exactly, is happening. The game’s initial trailer, which debuted at Sony’s State of Play conference on Tuesday, makes that mystery quite appealing. There are very familiar influences from other horrific settings, like the small, haunted town of Silent Hill, or the overrun urban landscapes and military control of The Last of Us. The car and “road-like” elements, however, make for an appealing hook.

Pacific Drive is due out for PlayStation 5 and PC some time in 2023.