Do you like your open world driving games wet, neon-streaked, and positively drenched in the laid-back synthwave squelch of the 1980s? Then we should probably have a word about Transmission.
Transmission is the work of UK developer Sea Green Games and has, as far as I can tell, been in development since roughly February this year. It was originally unveiled to Twitter as “a ‘cosy’ game about driving on a motorway at night” (it quickly gained the delightful temporary title Cosy Taxi) and has since blossomed into a hyper-chilled open-world courier experience, unfolding on a “rainy summer night in 1986”.
Sea Green describes Transmission as a blend of Euro Truck Simulator and Jalopy, which would have been enough to sell me on the whole thing right there – but then I went and watched the trailer below and almost hammered Steam’s ‘wishlist’ button clean off the internet.
“As a small time courier, you’ll meet an cast of unusual characters, carry their packages across the region and learn their stories”, explains Sea Green Games on Steam, “Deliver packages through the night until the long shadows of dawn calls you back to your bed.”
This is the 80s though, so you’ll need to navigate the rain-slicked streets the old-fashioned way, using maps and signposts instead of a sat nav. Based on previous Twitter posts, it seems that both the city and its place names are procedurally generated, suggesting that you’ll need to stay sharp in order to make your nightly deliveries on time and earn top dollar.
You’re able to spend your earnings at the end of each night, unlocking new garages and cars – from “fixer-upper to lean muscle machine” – which will, in turn, enable you to travel further and complete bigger jobs. You’ll even be able to expand your empire by hiring new drivers.
However, it sounds like Transmission can be as structured or as chilled as you want it to be, with a cruise control option, a choice between crafted story missions and unlimited procedurally generated objectives, and even a mission-free Endless Night mode, shorn of time limits. There’s also a photography mode, with various lenses, filters and effects available, if you’d rather just settle back and snap the neon-hued sights.
The whole thing looks, and sounds, absolutely sublime – which is going to make the wait until Transmission’s anticipated release of Q1 2020 on PC all the more difficult.