Review – Sunset Overdrive

I’ve seen the Apocalypse. There are mutants at every corner chasing you. Trying to kill you.and just hell bent on destroying what little is left of humanity. It’s Dangerous.

IT’S FREAKING AWESOME!!!

The premise of Sunset Overdrive is simple. It’s set in Sunset City, where the evil company Fizzco has just released it’s new energy drink which turns people into mutants. Your mission is to escape the city and exact revenge upon Fizzco for it’s dastardly deeds. Along the way you’ll make new friends and encounter some insane boss battles and complete a variety of side missions that include forging a sword at a nuclear power plant and escorting a robotic dog back to it’s owner.

Traversing the city is where the real fun comes though. Grinding everything from power lines to running along walls to bare footing across the water Sunset Overdrive awards you for not touching the ground. At first it feels a little strange but with little effort, it just flows. I was bounding and grinding my way to decent sized combos in no time (still haven’t had managed to hit 100 – I’ll get there though). Sunset OD also rewards players who spend their time. While grinding your way through the mayhem, you’ll be rewarded with money and you’ll also come across a variety of ingredients such as toilet paper and shoes which can all be used to create new AMPS which are basically just weapon and control modifiers.

Something to take note of is that you won’t be doing much in the way of fighting from the ground as Sunset OD feels like a different game when you aren’t traversing the battles. There’s no run button and the pace of the game feels like it slows to a crawl compared to the rest of the title if you aren’t. You can likely expect to die if you spend too much time on the ground. Not that it’s a bad thing really. The respawn animations are fantastic. Admittedly, there were a few times where I died so often due to the sheer amount of bad guys coming at me that I think I literally saw every single respawn possibility.

That last point brings me to this small gripe. A few times, the overzealous nature of Sunset Overdrive literally felt a little too much. Too much bouncing and running and grinding my way through wave after wave of ODs had me finding myself way out of the zone of the mission or dying repeatedly. It’s nothing the average gamer won’t be able to handle after a few tries but it just felt a little frustrating.

Graphically – Sunset Overdrive is stunning and the artistic style is spot on. Everything just works. The world is vibrant and colorful, the mutants are amazing and killing them feels extra rewarding when you see them pop with their orange crush looking blood blow up into a cloud that literally says “POP!”

While I only had the chance to spend about 2-3hrs with Chaos Squad, the online 8 player cooperative component to Sunset Overdrive, I quite enjoyed it. It was INSANE! Imagine this – you and 7 other players, all armed to the teeth with the massive array of zany weapons from the crazy minds at Insomniac Games, squaring off in a variety of “Horde mode” style matches. Explosions, grinding, jumping, gunfire and orange soda spraying everywhere. Sounds like a lot going on at once doesn’t it? It’s crazy but lots of fun.

The latest from Insomniac Games is a lot of things. It’s an open world adventure, it’s funny, it’s crazy and it is bloody gorgeous. The boss battles are an absolute pleasure to play through, the controls are sharp, I really liked the humor in the writing and the art direction is some of the best I’ve ever seen. This is a true Next Gen title and I suspect this might be the beginning of a beautiful new friendship between Insomniac and Xbox Gamers (we’ll forget about Fuse).

Feed Your Console gives Sunset Overdrive a 9 out of 10

Pros:
Smooth controls
Stunning art direction and graphics
The Boss battles

Cons:
Sunset OD sometimes throws too much at you at once.

Insomniac Games sneak peak at Fuse

Last week at PAX Insomniac Games’ CEO Ted Price dropped hints about a new title coming from the studio titled Fuse. To continue teasing us all they just released this video with an in game Mission briefing.

This looks to be setting up an espionage (counter espionage?) style mission requiring players to acquire and secure sensitive data on behalf of an unnamed client.

Fuse Mission Briefing

More details will be released next week – watch the countdown timer at http://www.fusegame.com/.

Insomniac Games – you have my attention, MOAR information please… I hate waiting…

Review: Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time

The Dynamic duo of Ratchet and Clank return for an eight time together, and are once again tasked with Saving the Universe from the forces of Dr. Naferious. Join the fun and travel across the galaxy on a joy ride full of mayhem and the usual comedic delight you have come to expect from Insomniac games.

For those of you familiar with the Ratchet and Clank series will find this to be a fun and familiar experience, but for those new to the series I recommend you go back and play the first two titles in the Future series to get a better understanding of the characters and story (Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction released 2007 and Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty released 2008). Nothing like picking up a trilogy on book three and they can both be found for less than 30$ CDN.

Jumping right in… A Crack in Time delivered the same expected enjoyment and game play you have come to expect from this series, but did not really WOW me… game play is basically the same from every previous version with new locations and a new story line. I just didn’t really see any major improvements with the core functionality of the game. There were some improvements with the weapon systems offering the ability to customize a number of features on a new line of Constructo weapons and Ratchet’s space ship. Offering upgrades to things like the Ammunition and colour of your weapons and ultimately upgrading to a Mega Constructo weapon. Upgrades don’t stop there, collecting Golden Bolts and rescuing lost and trapped Zoni will provide many helpful and interesting tools to assist on your journey.

Where Insomniac delivered was with the story line. Offering two separate adventures, one for each of our heroes, as well as the ability influence the future by travelling back in time to make significant changes that help you in the future. Find out about Clank’s story and the reason he was built and the source of his special skills and abilities… All this while Ratchet is racing across the galaxy looking for the clues to find his lost friend and finding a few new ones along the way. Both Ratchet and Clank will learn the history behind their apparent orphanings.

During your travels you will stumble upon the usual battle arena area similar to those found in previous R&C games. Remember that the Arean brings along a number of valuable weapon upgrades, game rewards and bolts (lots and lots of bolts). You’ll also find many of the popular characters from past R&C games; Quark, the Plumber and the intergalactic Smuggler all offering their unique and helpful advice and oddities.

Pros:

  • A classic game series that has a place in any PlayStation library.
  • Funny and witty dialogue
  • A collectors dream game, more bolts to collect than you can count

Cons:

  • Not a lot of difference from the previous R&C Games in terms of core game play.

Feed Your Console gives Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time: 8 out of 10

Developer(s) Insomniac Games
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment