Sunset Overdrive [Review]

As a strong consumer of energy beverages the concept of Insomniac Games Sunset Overdrive had me momentarily question my choice in health habits and product consumption. As I sipped my guarana concoction during intervals of my most anticipated game of 2014 I realize my choices in life are perfectly fine.

I cannot put into words the exhilaration that entered my body after my very first viewing of the trailer for Sunset Overdrive. The colours and character design matched up with the adrenaline filled animatic and a rock’n soundtrack is captivating enough to a gamer with a lack of patience and a short attention span. The game promised high action gameplay with the addition of extreme and outlandish weapons with characters to match. Would it deliver? In abundance!

You play as your own customized protagonist whom reeks in sarcasm and a potty mouth to boot. You roam Sunset City in the year 2027 which is a cacotopia of advertisements, overrun by evil corporation FizzCo and their lewd crude mascot Fizzy. The game begins with the release of FizzCo’s new energy drink, OverCharge Delirium XT, which has some nasty side effects such as complete mutation of the body, turning you into what is referred to as OD. The OD are ravenous violent creatures that have multiple evolutions, and due to their rabid spreading sends Sunset City into FizzCo lockdown.  You must survive the outbreak, assist the remaining citizens of Sunset, expose the evil corporation and become a bonafide hero of the city.

The game plays outs like an open world zombie shooter with inclusions of crazy side missions and beat the clock 3 tier reward runs. The game offers a large map of multi city environments ranging from a downtown Tokyo to an industrial playground.  This game discourages the player to walk or run through the map, instead preferring you to be bouncing off objects; wall running and grinding on railings as a means of transport. Through the use of these special manoeuvres and incorporating kills you accumulate “style” power that you can level up to perform high powered attacks. The fast paced nature with the inclusion of lining up tricks will definitely appeal to any players of the old Tony Hawk Pro Skater games and some of those who played Mirrors Edge.

The weapons in this game are ridiculous and fun. A player can carry up to 8 of these bad boys at one time and you unlock more weapons as you progress through the game. The outlandish designs and effectiveness of these weapons will have you firing anything from TNT teddy bears to New Year’s Eve fireworks. You can level up your weapons with “Amps” which are acquired through item collection and a brew sequence at night inside your sanctuary with the addition of an OD army attack. Eloquently named Night Defence, this is one of my favourite side missions to play where you are to defend the fort with crazy traps and your own gun power from a 3 wave mass attack of OD enemies.

Although the single player story mode could hold this game on its own, the multiplayer known as “Chaos Squad” is a little extra side of crazy fun. Chaos Squad lets you go online with or without a party and complete little objectives either with or against each other.  Even starting an objective is entertaining as you race to the missions starting post to gain bonus points and screaming profanities as you missed out by a millisecond because of a miss-timed jump. This playfully competitive multiplayer is fun enough by simply just screwing around and showing off your fancy duds. Each Chaos Squad sessions ends with a round of Night Defence and the pandemonium is multiplied based on the success rate of your previous missions.

This game is perfect to me. It was everything I had hoped and more. This is a game that didn’t take itself too seriously and as a result created beautiful chaos. In this past month multiple major new release games have surfaced and yet I have continually returned to Sunset city. Do not underestimate the continual involvement the team at Insomniac Games has with this title. With the clever addition of Sunset TV available in game, you can get weekly updates of achievements and general Sunset fan contributions hosted by Insomniac’s Brandon Winfrey.

If you are looking for a genuinely fun game that cuts the crap and is continual joyride of crazy then Sunset Overdrive is it.