Sunset Overdrive

Simply put, Sunset Overdrive is a beautifully bright and entertaining game

By Grayshadow, Posted 04 Nov 2014

Sunset Overdrive is filled with an alluring amount of energy. The soft monsters that burst into orange globs, the neon filled city, and large explosions coupled with loud rock and punk soundtrack provides a proper atmosphere as you grind, bounce, and shoot your way to victory. The insanity and satire filled humor sucks you in, making the journey less about finishing it and more about enjoying the ride. Sunset Overdrive doesn’t offer much of a challenge, but it never pretends to be anything serious. Instead it’s an excuse to break the fourth-wall, swear uncontrollably, and kill hordes of enemies with style. It’s one of the best games on the Xbox One.

Sunset Overdrive,Insomniac Games,Microsoft,Xbox One,Noobfeed,

Sunset Overdrive’s plot is just as absurd as the game itself. Everyone is turning into mutants called OD after an energy drink corporation, called Frizzco, accidentally poisoned the citizens of Sunset City after releasing an untested drink called Overcharge. That’s where you come in; you play as  a former Janitor of Fizzco, attempting to escape the city from the calamity caused by your former bosses.

Before your adventure starts, you’ll have the chance to customize your character. Insomniac Games have incorporated a wealth of options to choose from, such as gender, clothes, facial features, body type, and tattoos. If you grow tired of your character you can always revise him or her at any time. Over the course of the game you’ll team up with various different factions to aid you in your quest to escape Sunset City. Each faction you ally with has a specific theme: a gang of LARPers, a group of lazy rich kids, a scout troop of survivalists, and a killer cheerleader group. Insomniac created a delicate balance between mockery and humor so no group seems belittled.

Sunset Overdrive never takes itself seriously, causally dismissing the possibility of death in any given situation and having characters swear uncontrollably. The language and attitude is reinforced by the voice actors, who do a fantastic job selling their role, giving the game a lighthearted quality. Even when a dramatic cutscene was playing Insomniac still found a way to make it funny.

Sunset Overdrive,Insomniac Games,Microsoft,Xbox One,Noobfeed,

Sunset City looks fantastic, dense with artifacts to collect and architecture saturated with bright colors. Everything has been coated with bright paint, giving the city a cartoonish quality. Even when the terrain is filled with hundreds of enemies, bright ooze, and large explosions the frame rate never suffers.

It’s easy to ignore the beauty of Sunset City, zipping around power lines and bouncing on vehicles, due to the sheer fun of moving around the city. The mobility system is one of Sunset Overdrive’s primary delights. Loose and flexible nearly anything you come across can used for travel. Grinding on telephone lines, ledges, handrails, and many other objects increases your speed when getting from one location to another. Cars, trampolines, and exhaust ducts can send you airborne. You can also run on walls indefinitely, and eventually gain access to a mid-air dash and the ability to glide on water surfaces. If you want to get somewhere in a hurry you can always use the fast travel system, which involves Player getting drunk and waking up in the selected location.

These physic defying aerobatics are not for only for getting you to your destination, but essential to combat. Performing these actions earns you style points that temporary boost your character’s abilities. The meter has four different sections that offer a different reward as the meter fills. These are called “Amps” and can be applied to you or your weapons, and are purchased by collecting collectables throughout Sunset City.

Sunset Overdrive,Insomniac Games,Microsoft,Xbox One,Noobfeed,

Performing certain actions enough times, such as killing specific enemies or using a certain weapon, will earn you badges which can be traded for overdrives. Overdrives, unlike amps, are constantly active and don’t require the player to fill their style gauge. They can be applied to increase your style generation, increase weapon damage, or change your health regeneration. If you want the full array of options to change your character you’ll have to invest a solid amount of time finding collectables and generating badges.

The weapons in Sunset Overdrive are just as insane as those from other Insomniac games. A bowling ball cannon, explosive teddy bear launcher, and a shotgun that shoots fire are only a few you’ll use throughout your adventure. Each of these death dealers can be upgraded by simply using them and equipped with overdrives to boost their capabilities.

What is the point of having all these weapons and ways to travel if the missions aren’t entertaining? Fortunately Sunset Overdrive doesn’t have a lot of tawdry fetch quests and killing objectives. Instead some of the missions attempt to diverge from the norm and have the player do something different, like experience a drug intoxication hallucination or scare NPCs using the head of a dead OD monster.

Sunset Overdrive,Insomniac Games,Microsoft,Xbox One,Noobfeed,

Those seeking a challenge might be disappointed. Due the varied amount of powers and weapons it’s difficult to find a challenge in Sunset City. Even the optional challenges don’t offer much, and no difficulty settings exist.  

If you get bored playing the single-player campaign you can always go to a telephone booth and access the game’s online multiplayer, Chaos Squad. In this mode you and seven other players complete short challenges in specific parts of the city, eventually leading up to a final tower defense mission where the team of players must defend specific Vats. Chaos is generated with every new challenge, the more chaos the harder the challenge will be. If you want to generate less challenge you can pick challenges that tailor to that, but the rewards you obtain at the end won’t be as good.

For all its strengths, it’s easy to lose interest in Chaos Squad. It doesn’t take long for the same challenges to appear and the final mission is always the same. Despite the hectic appeal it only stays exciting for so long.

Sunset Overdrive,Insomniac Games,Microsoft,Xbox One,Noobfeed,

There’s a restless energy to Sunset Overdrive that is hard not to adore. The brightly colored, and easy to navigate, city of Sunset is saturated with entreating distractions. It might not be the most challenging game, but its racy writing and satire filled dialogue easily overshadowed this issue. Simply put, Sunset Overdrive is a beautifully bright and entertaining game.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, Xbox 360
Publisher(s): Microsoft Studios
Developer(s): Insomniac Games
Genres: Third-Person Shooter
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2014-10-28

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