Are you tired of games that are dark and dramatic? Well Insomniac Games heard you loud and clear. Sunset Overdrive is open world 3rd person action shooter, combining elements of games like Jet Set Radio and Dead Rising to create something unique. It should also be noted that this is Insomniac’s first Xbox exclusive title, a first for the developer that has been primarily made games for Playstation such as Resistance.
The game takes places in the apocalyptic Sunset City, which was ravaged by mutants referred to as the OD. The OD were once people who consumed an energy drink called Overdrive.
Sunset Overdive is one of those games that gives you as much freedom as you need to get from point A to point B . One thing that Insomniac did was give each a variety of different moves to use to get around the world. You can grind, wall run and bounce across Sunset City. Combining all three of those mechanics you can quickly traverse Sunset City in a “highly stylized” fashion. Chaining together multiple moves increases your “style” bar which in turn allows you to unleash devastating attacks on your enemies.
The game gives players a variety of weapons to choose from, all of which have totally ridiculous names such as the Flaming Compensator. Other in-game weapons make pop culture references such as The Dude which shoots bowling balls and the Dirty Harry which is a powerful pistol. Keeping in mind there are 3 enemy types you’ll face Sunset Overdrive and each enemy type is effected differently by weapons. Take the Flaming Compensator for example– the weapon is most effective against OD and Human enemies but it’s least effective against Robots. This why players should try to diversify the weapons in their arsenal.
The game also features a robust group of powers referred to as amps and overdrives. Amps are activated by maximizing the “style” bar. Overdrives are passive buffs that are always active. Both amps and over drives are unlocked through various means. Ultimately it will be up to player to choose which of these power ups to equip. Keep in mind these power-ups are designed to compliment the player’s gameplay style.
Lastly the game features a co-operative mutliplayer mode called Chaos Mode. Chaos Mode puts 8 players in the midst of Sunset City. Each round is basically it’s own mini game with the outcome having an effect on the final round which is basically an outpost defense game. The multiplayer itself isn’t a necessary part of the game but it adds a level of replay value the game would otherwise wouldn’t have. If you can convince a couple of friends to buy the game then you will have a blast in mutiplayer. However do keep in mind there are the occasional network issues. These should have little impact on overall enjoyment. 45 out 45.
The Controls are very intuitive and make sense. There is a bit of a learning curve but the game will walk you through the basics. I can’t think of any serious problems I faced with the controls. 25 out of 25
Sunset Overdrive has it’s own colorful art style which fits with it’s equally wacky premise. The game runs at 900p resolution at 30 frames per second optimizing performance over aesthetic. None the less the game still looks gorgeous. 15 out of 15
The game has a very fitting sound track. Most of the music in the game is an original punk rock compositions. The punk rock sound lends itself very well to the game. A sound track is available on iTunes in case anyone is wondering. Furthermore, the voice acting isn’t bad. None of the characters stuck out as overtly annoying or over acted. 10 out of 10.
The game’s premise is over the top as I mentioned earlier. You have an apocalypse that is literally fueled by an energy drink that turns people into monsters. Yes that alone is pretty different and makes for some good comedic moments. However once you get past the humor and the occasional 4th wall busting moments, you have a story that isn’t much different from your typical apocalyptic fair. 3 out of 5
The Final Score – 98%, Sunset Overdrive isn’t perfect but damn near close. If have I have to pick one flaw in the game its that the game is a little shorter than I would like it to be. But that shouldn’t stop you from picking up the game. The game is fun and in the end that’s all that matters about Sunset Overdrive.
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