Sunset overdrive is the craziest, loudest, most self-aware video game you will ever play and proof that insomniac haven’t lost their touch after last year’s FUSE. Set in the beautiful city of sunset, Fizzco release their new energy drink Overcharge delirium XT…… turning the population into mutated monsters and it’s up to YOU! To save the day.
Sunset overdrive visually explodes on your screen with its comic like ascetics and this even carries over to the humour with the fourth wall literally being blown to smithereens most cut scenes. ‘POP’ appears above the dead OD you just exploded ‘Untz Untz Untz’ appear from speakers at the ‘wub wub’ party and of course the words BRRRRR appear over enemies you just froze. The game is not taking itself seriously and that’s a good thing.
A quick mention though, humour is subjective from person to person. For example, one character may mention how fetch quests are a terrible idea and then all off a sudden you’re on a fetch quest, or a character may mention how you go to point A, kill enemies go to point B, kill enemies and then finally Point C, to kill a boss and collect something….. You will then proceed to do this. Again Humour is subjective and for some this may be funny, for others not so much.
But one thing the game has is great movement and combat. Travelling across the city and killing enemies in motion is an absolute blast (no pun intended) the sense of speed is perfect and the generous auto-aim makes it playable even when your moving at (what feels like) 100mph while grinding, bouncing and pole vaulting! If you’re on the ground for more than 10 seconds your probably dead! But there is hardly any reason to be on the ground. One tip in the loading screens reads this: “Trying to find the sprint button, it’s called grinding” The game doesn’t want to hinder you and it makes sure nothing is stopping you from having fun.
The weapons, Insomniacs speciality! They do not disappoint. The AK-FU, The flaming compensator (a Shotgun that resembles male autonomy and spews fire) the TNTeddy or the Hairspray bomb. Some are better suited to different enemies but all are fun and visually appealing. Weapons can be upgraded through to level 4 and have a spot for applying amps (which give your weapons a special ability, be it freeze enemies in a radius or when the enemy dies it spews rockets from its caucus)
Taking of Amps you can equip amps to your character as well. While playing, depending on how you play, you earn medals which can be exchanged for amps. For example, shooting enemies with sing shot weapons will give you single shot medals which you can exchange for an amp where you can get more ammo or build up your style meter faster. This in turn makes you a better player. You can also equip character amps for the style meter. These activate when you reach Style level 1, 2, 3 and overdrive. These are the things that make you play better because it opens up the gameplay for full on carnage. Just some of these amps include shots from explosives can go nuclear, when you grind, you spew fire and melee weapons spew fire or electricity. These are so worth it!
The weak point of all this though has to be the story, there is a beginning, middle and end but it’s not that interesting. There is some back story narrative in the smartphones collectibles (written by Brandon Winfrey) but the main narrative isn’t great, it’s good, nothing spectacular. But of course going into Sunset Overdrive I wasn’t expecting a story that was going to have me crying in a wreck in the nearest corner it’s there to merely have a narrative thread to keep the action going and to introduce the wacky characters that survived and now inhabit the city.
Chaos squad: The multiplayer portion of the game. It’s as you would expect from this game by now, absolutely bonkers and unbelievably works! You and up to 8 people take on missions which determine the end games difficulty (the greater the difficulty the better the reward) The game takes you and your group on missions which you complete to earn the rewards and multiplyers which leads to a end game where you defend an overcharge vat – and it is total chaos, explosions, enemies, fireworks are everywhere and it doesn’t let up! It can also be unbelievably challenging (if you choose the harder missions) but the rewards also challenge you to make it as hard as possible. Risk-reward at its best.
Overall Sunset overdrive is a great package with humour that just breaks through to make it tough to hate. The story is a weak point but with gameplay this good, can you really resist? Fizzie the mascot should change his motto – BUY SUNSET OVERDRIVE. It is definitely the first game to make the Xbox one a MUST HAVE this holiday season.