Sunset Overdrive is the big Microsoft Xbox One exclusive and it does a great job of giving you an extra (and very good) reason to get an Xbox One.
Sunset Overdrive is a pretty crazy game that doesn’t take itself too seriously – in fact it mock’s itself throughout the game. The story is set in the beautiful Sunset City which becomes overrun with energy drink fuelled zombies when a soft drink company (Fizzco) takes their latest energy drink (Overdrive) a step to far. With the city crawling with Overdrive craving zombie creatures you would expect the focus to be on survival but the remaining inhabitants throw caution to the wind and treat Sunset City as a giant entertainment park.
The game is drenched in this attitude which adds a fresh and undeniably fun flavour to the game. Expect to see a lot of humour and references throughout the game adding to the experience in a very Borderlands way. From the billboards throughout the city to the awesome respawn animations there is no doubt that Sunset Overdrive is all about crazy, unadulterated fun.
Sunset Overdrive is gorgeous blur of high saturation, contrast and explosions. The beautiful open world feels like a playground with a dash of luminescent paint. This world feels vibrant and alive, albeit with hordes of juice soaked mutants. The soundtrack is exactly what you would expect with a heathy dose of rock ‘n roll and really adds to the carefree in-your-face attitude of the game.
The combination of music, art style and grinding reminds me of SSX 3 (which I loved). The menu’s and interfaces throughout the game are well designed (other than the upgrade menus which are confusing) and switching between weapons is particularly easy.
The weapons themselves are a thing of beauty. With guns like the Flaming Compensator (a phallic shaped fire bomb spitting shotgun) succinctly encapsulating the games quirky character. Expect to use a range of weird and wonderful weapons from a gun that volleys teddy bears strapped with dynamite to one that shoots stuffed kittens with a robotic dog that destroys anything that moves near the said kitten.
The character customisation is fun with a wide range of clothing and accessories to dress you janitor turned superhero character into. What I really like about this is that you can switch up your look (even your gender) at any stage. I often found myself redoing my character just for the hell of it.
The gameplay matches very well with the attitude of the game – bold, exciting and fun. Expect to spend a lot of type grinding, swinging, double jumping around the city. It takes a bit of time to get used to the traversal mechanics and timings but once you do you will be swinging around like a pro – which is not only fun but necessary, spend time down on street level and you are sure to get swarmed by mutants.
The game features plenty of fetch quests and side missions revolving around fetching or collection various items from around the city, which does feel rather tiring after a while. However, every time you venture off into the city on once of these errands you end up having a lot of fun.
There are multiple upgrades and unlocks in Sunset Overdrive which you earn by grinding, killing and collecting various things across the city. Amps – which are used for weapon upgrades – require you to brew them in tower defence like missions where you defend the base with a handful of traps against an oncoming horde of mutants. I found the upgrade interface unnecessarily complicated especially when equipping the many upgrades that unlock as you spend more time running around the city.
Sunset Overdrive is a crazy game. It expertly blends it’s quirky character with exciting gameplay that keeps you coming back for more. It’s a game that is very easy to pick up and play whether its for 15 minutes or 3 hours. Most of all it’s unique, in a gaming world filled with franchises and sequels it’s great to have a fresh experience and Sunset Overdrive delivers that in great big buckets.
Sunset Overdrive was developed by Insomniac Games and published by Microsoft Studios exclusively for the Xbox One.