Sunset Overdrive, the upcoming Xbox One exclusive from veteran developers, Insomniac Studios, has continually impressed and excited the video gaming world with each new screenshot, trailer and tidbit of information released about the title. As Sunset Overdrive pushes closer towards its late October release, hype surrounding the frantic third-person game is at an all-time high. Further proving that Sunset Overdrive is shaping up to be one of this year’s most exciting titles, the game’s impressive E3 gameplay demo showcased a lot of the chaos that will be featured when the game releases.
Sunset Overdrive takes place in the year 2027, with the world abuzz with Fizzco – a multi-national corporation – and their plan to release a new energy drink called Overcharge. Fizzco has created an unstoppable hype machine surrounding their new product, with the massive media blitz set to culminate in a grandiose launch party at Fizzco’s headquarters in Sunset City.
Early on in the E3 presentation, a cinematic that further set the scene for Sunset Overdrive’s setting and story took place. Boasting crystal clear visuals, mixed neatly in with the game’s uniquely warped and cartoony graphical style, viewers are informed the unfortunate side effects of Overcharge. Fizzco has cut corners in anticipation of launching the product, leaving the Overcharge untested and with dangerous – and deadly – repercussions to those who drink it. Once drank, Overcharge mutates the human body into a horrific mess of orange puss, rendering people into monsters.
This sends the bustling city of Sunset into chaos almost immediately as everyone who consumes Overcharge changes into a mutant abomination. Fizzco, in order to cover their bases, goes on a PR push following these events, forcing the city into quarantine as the company slowly spirals into disaster.
This is where the main gameplay of Sunset Overdrive takes place, in a near-apocalyptic version of Sunset City, where rules are been thrown by the wayside and your only goal is to escape the chaos and tell the rest of the world what has happened.
Besides the dangers that are the mutated Overcharge monsters, Sunset City is also host to numerous different factions, including the Fargarths who are live action role players. Each faction has its own strengths and weaknesses, as well a unique characteristics and charm.
In addition to the variety of the factions, the primary enemies in Sunset Overdrive – the Overcharge-addled mutants – also have different types within their ranks. Herkers, for example, are massive beasts with a shove-like hand that can serve as a shield, while Scabs are human foes who pose a constant threat to the player.
After creating an imaginative and unique world, Sunset Overdrive’s developers placed a significant emphasis on making their game all about fighting through numerous enemies with reckless abandon. Stealth and cloak-and-dagger tactics have no home in Sunset Overdrive, charging in guns blazing with speed and momentum is the name of the game.
Sunset City itself is one gigantic tool to get around in Sunset Overdrive. The game seems to take a few ques from Jet Set Radio in terms of both visual presentation and frantic jumping and grinding about various structures and railings. Staying on the ground is a death sentence in Sunset Overdrive, ensuring that gaining height and using it to your advantage is the key to survival.
There is a whole lot more to Sunset Overdrive than simply moving about quickly. The game features a mind-boggling assortment of weapons, each of which more whacky than the last. The Hi-fidelity, for example, is a fearsome gun that blasts LPs at your foes. Each weapon in Sunset Overdrive packs a punch and players can expect to find themselves very well acquainted with explosions.
As you move about the city killing mutants, the player has a Style meter than can fill up, ultimately allowing for Amp moves, which are special moves that can be unleashed for massive damage. Amps can also be equipped to all of the game’s upgradable weapons, allowing for players to pick, choose and customize their load out any way they see fit.
This level of customization fits in perfectly with the world of Sunset Overdrive. The game’s brightly colored and chaotic setting is wonderfully imaginative and highly interactive.
As the gameplay demo progressed, the Herker enemy was once more put on display. Marcus, the player character in the demo, had to utilize his acrobatic talents in order to escape being pummeled by the mutant. In doing so, Marcus used the environment to his advantage, stunning the Herker and raising his Style meter, allowing him to unleash an Amp attack to take out the massive monster. In Sunset Overdrive, the key to killing is to always keep the Style meter flowing.
Outside of the expansive single-player experience, Sunset Overdrive also boasts a multiplayer mode known as Chaos Squad. In Chaos Squad, eight players can team up – bringing with them all of their main campaign progress – and take on short, twenty-five minute missions together. These missions present an interesting risk/reward system, where harder challenges present much better rewards but are dangerous even in a large group.
The seamless integration of Chaos Mode and the single-player experience allows for a great break in the action from Sunset Overdrive’s normal gameplay and is sure to be one that players enjoy and continually find themselves coming back to.
All in all, Sunset Overdrive is shaping up quite nicely to be one of the year’s most insane and enjoyable titles. Xbox One owners may very well find themselves needing to pick up Sunset Overdrive once it releases on October 28, 2014.
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Raymond Porreca using meeting notes taken by Matt Heywood
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