Sunset Overdrive Review

Sunset Overdrive

Developed by Insomniac Games

Published by Microsoft Studios

*Get Ready To Die Asshole*

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The Story

In the year 2027, The FizzCo corporation are celebrating the launch of their brand new energy drink; Overcharge Delirium XT in the heart of Sunset City. The player; A FizzCo employee soon realizes that not everything is as it seems as the energy drink starts mutating the people of Sunset City into horrific beasts. Soon the former employee proves they can be the hero that Sunset City needs setting out to expose the truth about FizzCo and protect the survivors trapped in the city teaming up with an ex FizzCo Scientist, A Weapons Expert and more to truly embrace the Awesomepocalypse.

The Gameplay

Sunset Overdrive is an open world third person shooter that incorporates many different elements into its gameplay. One of these features in particular is grinding which is used to traverse the huge world of Sunset City aswell as to evade enemy attacks. The grinding in Sunset Overdrive feels very similar to the grinding sections of another Insomniac title; Ratchet & Clank and so these sections in the game are both fun and familiar. Other ways the player can avoid enemy attacks is by bouncing on numerous objects scattered across the city from cars to trees to parasols which can lead to some very fun and creative kills. Also taking from the influence of their previous games; Sunset Overdrive has a wide variety of very fun and bizarre weaponry such as the T N Teddy which is like a grenade launcher that shoots out Dyanmite Stuffed Teddy Bears and Nothing but the Hits which launches records at the OD like Shaun & Ed throwing Dire Straits Records. One of the truly awesome things about Sunset Overdrive is it’s respawn animations which are some of the best I have ever seen in a video game including rising up from the grave as a zombie or being thrown out of a moving van by OD. The Story is just as enjoyable as the gameplay and it all adds to the point that your character is enjoying the end of the world scenario they are in. I do have to be honest with this review and I have to say that I did encounter 1 slight glitch in the game during a mission where I had to find a troop master called Bryllcream where my character was pushed into a Building by OD and I couldn’t escape so I had to restart the console again to complete the mission however once I did restart it, the rest of the game played fine. The online mode named “Chaos Squad” is extremely fun where you have to work together with up to 8 players to survive against the OD in numerous challenges such as getting so many kills in specific ways or fending off against waves of OD but even though you have to work together, there is still a competitive element to it as you battle to get a higher score by killing more OD than your opponents or using skill moves in your kills. All in all, The gameplay feels like a breath of fresh air and both the single player campaign and the online mode are possibly some of the most fun gameplay mechanics I’ve had the pleasure of playing.

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The Sound:

Sunset Overdrive has a fantastic soundtrack which truly helps you see the fun side of the apocalypse combining a twist of both Rock Music and many other types of Genres to create an awesome background rockfest. The Soundtrack mainly comprises of tracks created purely for the game however the game does feature songs from rock bands including Glitter & Gold from Cheap Time and more notably, Rat Faced Granny from The Melvins whose Lead Singer; Buzz Osbourne (King Buzzo) appears in the game in a cameo appearance for 1 mission. The game features some stellar voice acting with Yuri Lowenthal (Prince of Persia) taking the main male lead as The Protagonist and Stephanie Lemelin (The Wonderful 101) taking the main female lead as The Protagonist. Other voice actors involved in the game include Laura Bailey (Infamous Second Son) who voices a LARPER called Wendy, Blair Bess (Starcraft II) who voices a Hunting Documentary Maker called Buck National who puts you through tasks to get footage for his show and a few new to the video game business such as David Blue who voices your tech support; Sam, Larry Herron who voices Sunset City’s very own Heisenberg in the form of former FizzCo employee; Floyd and Sam McMurray who to many kids of the 90’s will be remembered for voicing Spinelli’s Dad in Recess who voices Survivor; Walter who fills you in on the events taking place in the city. Out of all the voice actors though, I would like to give a big kudos to Scott Whyte who voices main antagonist Fizzie who provides some of the funniest dialogue in the game from calling the player an asshole to calling his creators something much more vulgar in fact his acting was so good that I actually thought it was James Arnold Taylor voicing Fizzie until I found out during the credits. In addition to this there is so many references to great things in todays culture such as Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Websites such as Reddit & NeoGaf and of course, who could forget the numerous times the player and supporting cast breaks the Fourth wall from the Player complaining to the developers to the Final Boss saying “The game ends once you kill me, You don’t want that”. The entire sound section on this game is perfect.

The Visuals:

While Sunset Overdrive doesn’t exactly have the most realistic looking graphics; it is part of the games charm with the dark and gritty realistic look we are all used to being switched out for a more colorful and vibrant world where it looks bright and vivid and essentially a beautiful looking apocalypse to be in. The idea to replace the OD’s blood with Overcharge was brilliant and added even more bright colors to the already colorful world. All the mutated enemies while colorful actually looked pretty menacing especially during the Horror Night Opening mission. Some of the ideas that Insomniac did for the character looks were great from LARPER’s who think they are in a Medieval world to Scouts following the traditions of the ancient Shogun Warriors to Puerto Rican Cheerleaders who celebrate the Day of the Dead. The Character Customization options available to the player are incredible aswell with the player constantly being able to choose different sex and body build, face, hair, eyes and clothing from a multitude of different options. My personal favorite was the eyes which could be replaced with mini mouths or scratched out X’s which looked insanely cool. As with the sound section, I have to refer to the amount of references that the game makes with their being references to many different things including (Once Again) Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Beetlejuice and more. Another thing that this game has to be praised for is its respawn animations (as mentioned in the gameplay section) which reference numerous films, TV shows and games including: The Ring, Portal, Terminator, Star Trek, Bill & Ted and even Mission Impossible. This game has just the right amount of color to make it feel like a breath of fresh air compared to most games these days and so therefore the Visuals on this game are great.

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Lasting Appeal:

Sunset Overdrive has plenty of things to keep you occupied from its story mode which can be rather short if you hammer it like I did aswell as loads of different side missions to complete at high rankings to get all the clothing items and rewards on show. The Chaos Squad mode is another good way to spend time in “Spectacular” Sunset City and for all you Achievement Hunters out there, There is plenty of them to keep you occupied. All in all, This game is worth every penny.

Final Thoughts:

After some of this years games which I was looking forward to which disappointed me, I was starting to get worried about Sunset Overdrive but I had absolutely no reason to worry at all since this game didn’t fail to deliver. The Characters are likable, The gameplay is fun and The Colors are a breath of fresh air in this day in gaming. The Soundtrack on top of this is fantastic and the humor and vulgarity of it is just music to my ears. Obviously the story was a little short but I did hammer the game and there was that slight glitch I mentioned but other than that the game is perfect and truly goes back to Insomniac’s roots plus the way they ended it, this could easily be one of Microsoft and Insomniac’s best franchises in the future. Good work to Insomniac and Microsoft and If you are wondering, This is the game to own an Xbox One for.

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My Score = 9.8/10

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The Good:

  • Brilliant Story
  • Fun and Original Gameplay
  • Brilliant Soundtrack
  • Lots and Lots of Swearing
  • Great Colors and Visuals
  • Loads of Customization Options
  • Voice Cast
  • Replayability
  • Insomniac Going Back to their Roots
  • FIZZIE!!!!!!!!!
  • Fun Online Multiplayer

The Bad:

  • Story can be short if hammered
  • Very Slight Glitch

Sunset Overdrive is available now exclusively for the Xbox One and if you are interested there is also a White Xbox One Bundle which comes bundled with the game.

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Thanks go to Microsoft for supplying the assets used in this review. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on this review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Review by Matt McNamee

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