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.