We don't want to make too many comparisons to its clear inspiration, but rest assured that if you like WipEout, you'll probably enjoy Pacer. Having said that, it definitely puts its own stamp on this racing sub-genre that gives it a unique identity.
The on-track action is where it really shines. Familiar controls mean you're air-braking with the triggers as you smoothly careen through curvy courses — or bash into the sides for taking corners too fast. The handling feels tight and responsive, though your ship's stats will have some bearing on how it drives.
One aspect unique to Pacer is the ability to create loadouts for performance, weapons, and aesthetics. You can spend credits earned from events on various parts to tinker with your vehicle's speed, defence, and more. The currency also buys you upgrades that enhance whichever duo of weapons you decide to take into races. You can swap between performance and weapon loadouts to suit the upcoming event. The system is perhaps more complex than it needs to be, but it lends an ounce of strategy outside of the action.
There are plenty of modes, too. Most of them are familiar — including the Zones-style Flowmentum — but the battle royale-esque Storm confines racers inside a shrinking safe area, with the last remaining ship taking the win. Each of the tracks have reverse and mirrored variants, and with four speed classes to master, there's a good amount of content to keep you going.
The game doesn't get everything right. Menus and UI are a little clumsy, and you're unlikely to feel attached to any of the teams in the career mode. However, it has it where it counts — fun, speedy racing, lots to do, and a CoLD SToRAGE soundtrack. WipEout fans looking for a new entry: this is as close as you'll find.