If you’ve seen the TV advertisement, you know exactly what your in for with Insomniac Games’ Sunset Overdrive.
If not, you’re in for one hell of an assault on the senses and an utterly bonkers trip to one of the brightest fictional cities seen in a video game. Microsoft Studios and Insomniac Games have introduced a whole new IP exclusively for the Xbox One which was first revealed during E3 last year and ever since then, a lot of questions have been asked. What will it play like? How will it be unique? Is the plot going to be as colourful as the game looks? I was intrigued so i had to try this bizarre looking experience for myself.
Sunset Overdrive takes place in Sunset City, an eye watering playground of which its inhabitants have been mutated into hideous orange coloured creatures. This is due to the accidental contamination of a new energy drink which quickly became the latest craze. Its up to you, as a customizable avatar, to try to escape the city however the company who created this beverage, Fizzco has their own quarantine plans in place which will make things difficult. The story is a bizarre one and an occasional funny one. The comedy is wavey mostly, sometimes its laugh out loud hilarious but other times its head slap ridiculous and its like this throughout. One thing the narrative never does, is bore. I was never bored and i looked forward to the next cutscene which i knew that it is surely to be took up by some interestingly silly characters waiting to lash out some more subtle pop culture references and tongue in cheek gag, i loved it.
The game-play is fantastic. Sunset Overdrive is a third person open world adventure and the entire city is open to explore. It says a lot when the first thing the tutorial teaches you is how to grind on a rail whilst shooting. This game is not about hiding behind cover or slow paced story telling missions, Sunset Overdrive wants you to stay fast, chain tricks together such as bouncing off of cars, running on walls and grinding under rails whilst shooting every enemy you see. The mechanics are flawless although walking and running on the ground is made redundant as you become a sitting duck. This is due to the ridiculous endless waves of enemies rushing you constantly so its recommended you stay mobile. Its not easy however. Chaining trick after trick whilst aiming and shooting takes some serious practice in order to become flawless and natural and it doesn’t become any easier until you’ve leveled up a bit. To make things a bit easier and certainly more interesting is the ability to kit out your character with Amps and Overdrives. These are perks with different effects. Amps can be equipped to your character or your weapons for instance you can have an amp for gaining the ability to perform a electrified forward roll and an Amp on a weapon of which killing an enemy with it makes them drop an explosive teddy bear. Overdrives are passive perks which may allow more damage to certain types of enemies or faster grinding. There is loads of these to collect and unlock and finding a set that works is pure trial and error. Sunset city is teaming with collectables. Ingredients for upgrade Vats allowing you top purchase more Amps, side missions and recurring missions to allow for faster unlocks aside from the story missions means that you’re going to be very busy during your time in Sunset Overdrive so its definitely worth your money. The story mission structure is where Sunset Overdrive lacks. Repetitive fetch missions and defending missions fills the roughly 9 hours long story. This was made longer due to wanting to explore every nook and cranny of the fantastic setting. My eyes rolled when i carried on to the next mission only to be tasked with the same thing as i did only minutes before. It became mundane but the constant rewards allowed me to muster on with a smile on my face.
Multiplayer can be accessed via telephone booths. This sticks you in a co-op game called Chaos Squad which is Sunset’s own version of Tower Defense. Its brilliant to work with others whilst fighting the OD (name for the enemies) of which success allows for more unlockables and upgrades so its not only a lot of fun, its worthwhile.
Sunset Overdrive looks amazing. Bright colours litters the landscape making Sunset city one of the prettiest cities ive seen in a video game. Your character can be dressed up as pretty much anything you can think of whether its sensible or downright outrageous and each time looking super sharp and brightly decorated. This goes for the colourful characters youll meet during the campaign and not to mention the enemies which range from regular drone type to mini boss type huge guys, all of which never giving your eyes a rest.
Sunset Overdrive is a fantastic open world adventure with a silly but humorous plot and narrative filled with references and one liners. The repetitiveness of the story missions and side missions is disguised and rewarded nicely giving way to the next without making me put the controller down. Sunset is a solid game with tight controls which is easy to learn but tough to master......and those beautiful graphics, wow!
Story - 4/5
Graphics - 5/5
Gameplay - 5/5
Overall - 5/5
Version reviewed - Xbox One