Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sunset Overdrive Review

Sunset Overdrive was one of the Xbox One exclusives I was looking forward to the most. The gameplay mechanics looked great and the cartoony style of the game was a nice alternative to the serious and gritty games the majority of AAA titles these days are. Fortunately, the game met all of my expectations and is one of the best games I've played this year.

The game takes place in Sunset City where a new soda by Fizzco went on the market too fast and caused those who drunk it to turn into mutants know as OD. You the player have to try escaping the city while fighting off OD, scabs, and Fizzco robots.

Character customization in the game is huge. Not only can you choose your character RPG style, but the amount of clothing items in the game is endless; there has to be at least 300 items to buy and unlock. The guns have a wide variety as well, ranging to single shots, auto, and projectiles, each while being unique in their own way. Heck, there's even weapons based off of Dirty Harry and The Dude!

The gameplay isn't your typical third person shooter. If you fight from the ground surrounded by several enemies, you're going to die pretty fast. Instead, you have to jump on objects and grind on rails to reduce your chances of being hit. In order to do extra damage, you'll need to build up your style meter, which will allow you to do bigger and better attacks. Amps will add an additional effect to a type of attack. You can also equip Overcharges that do additional damage for certain weapons and reduce damage from select enemies. Weapons can reach up to level 5 to get more ammo capacity, range, and damage. All of this combined made the gameplay feel fresh and original. It's worth noting that there's only one difficulty level. While there were some challenging parts, I would have loved to see what a hard difficulty would bring.

Sunset City looks beautiful and is fun to explore, but there are some framerate issues (more on that later). The main campaign is really good, but in the third act it starts getting a bit repetitive. While the script has some funny moments, most of the time it tries way too hard to be funny. The side missions have some great references, including missions where the character is a parody of Jesse Pinkman and Hodor. In fact, sometimes the side missions were more inventive than the campaign missions.

There's a wide variety of challenges ranging from weapon challenges, points, traversal, and more. It's a fun thing to do after completing the campaign and easily adds a couple extra hours to the game. Unfortunately, multiplayer isn't anything noteworthy. You and 5 other players have to complete certain objectives leading up to a night defense. It's a good way to get cash to buy collective maps and get the five achievements after doing side missions, otherwise it's not something I'll be playing in the future.

Length wise there's plenty to do in the game. The campaign lasts for about 9-10 hours, but doing side missions, challenges, and getting collectibles easily bumps the game up to 20+ hours. I still haven't collected everything and I've been playing for nearly 25 hours.

The game's biggest problems are the bugs in the game. Like I mentioned earlier, there's are framerate issues. When there's too many things happening on screen such as an explosion or hordes of enemies, the framerate will dip drastically. The other bug I encountered was in one mission where I had to fight Fizzco bots, the game didn't detect I finished defeating them and sent a lot more in. Fortunately it was early on in the mission, and when I restarted the mission I was able to get to the next point.

Overall, Sunset Overdrive is a great game and one of the best games so far this gen. I would have loved to give the game a 9, but the script, bugs, and repetitiveness towards the end notch it down a little bit. I give Sunset Overdrive an 8.5/10 or B+.

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