Insomniac Games has been creating some of the best franchises for Sony Computer Entertainment for a long time – most notably Ratchet & Clank along with Jak & Daxter. This time, they take their creative genius over to Microsoft with Sunset Overdrive – an open world action adventure which features zombies and a lot of heart in every part of the city. There is action here that ranged from jumping on railways speeding you to one dimension of the city, while being able to thrive and call the world your own.
The game starts out in a future not far from here. There are railway systems and a good portion of the city looks like a planet right out of Matt Groeing’s Futurama series. Sunset City is full of life, but that life is soon infected by Fizzco Corporation’s newest drink product: the OverCharge Delirium XT. This very addicting drink turns the entire population into zombified mutants known only as ‘OD’ – ready to attack anything and anyone that stand in the way of their feast. As the primary worker at the sanitation department at Fizzco, you are caught unaware and are throttled into a journey that is unlike any other in terms of its zany yet serious undertone.
Sunset Overdrive’s gameplay dwells itself in a 3rd person over-the-shooter style design. The gameplay design of Sunset Overdrive is much like other titles in terms of open-world. You are given a quest at a certain point, and have to complete it. The straightforwardness of the missions may be underwhelming, but the gameplay certainly is not. The abundance of quests and side-activities are so numerous that the replay value in Sunset Overdrive is entirely exceptional. The city has so many surprising elements, and as you go from one point to another to complete a mission similar to an open-world game, the journey is an unforgettable one. From the comedic narrative to the colorful punk-style world that exudes in vibrancy, Sunset Overdrive has a personality to it that is simply equivalent to any other game with a great atmosphere (BioShock, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim). Aesthetics and combat are shining examples of what Sunset Overdrive does right. The atmosphere coupled with the vast customization options that come with Sunset Overdrive keep the title headed in an upwards direction that continues to soar.
The weapons and abilities that come with Sunset Overdrive can be upgraded based on how often they are used. Sunset Overdrive gives you upgrades on the weapons you use the most, and combat gives preference to any playstyle which undoubtedly creates a visceral experience. You can zap robots, you can throw freezing cold items, whatever you want. The only thing I can criticize about Sunset Overdrive is the restriction in constantly having to be in the air and grind or above ground-level in general. While I understand the direction the game makers wanted to keep when it came to a combat system that was iconic and intense as going around a sharp curved rail while shooting at enemies below, I could not help but also be disappointed by the possibilities on ground-level that could be present. Staying on the ground lowers movement speed and in fact you are more than likely ambushed and killed by the OD. People who love titles like Dead Rising 3 may find this problem with the game immersion-breaking, but the game has plenty of other great things about it that balance out this lack of attention to detail.
Sunset Overdrive also has Chaos Squad eight-player cooperative missions to carry the antics to wave-based models. Similar to Gears of Wars’ Horde mode, you find yourself in a sort of defense mode, which was entertaining to say the least but it did not hold a candle to the single-player campaign.
Sunset Overdrive is full of artistic expression from the way you play, to even the funny ways you die in it. The wonderful canvas of Sunset City is memorable even if a good portion of its ground is left ignored. The battle is definitely above ground and the ways to do it are crazy, hectic, and all in all satisfactory to a great degree. If you have a Xbox One, this title is most definitely worth getting to play.