Sunset Overdrive – Xbox One Review



Genre: Third-person shooter/action
Rating: MA 15+
Release Date: October 30th 2014

User Rating
3 total ratings



Constantly stimulating | Never a dull moment | Lots of laughs and fun both playing singularly and in multiplayer


Simple control system can be a tad bit too simple

Posted October 27, 2014 by

Full Article
Welcome to the Awesomepocalypse.

Welcome to the Awesomepocalypse.

By now you’ve probably seen the gameplay videos, the trailers, and the pictures. You know what this game looks like. You know some of the dialogue and story. And you know that this game is just so fucking badass. But exactly how badass is it? This sort of game isn’t normally quite up Insomiac’s alley, going by their previous titles (Spyro, and Ratchet and Clank, yeah?), but god damn — they did good. Real good.

If you enjoyed the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, or any of the InFamous titles — then you’ll love Sunset Overdrive. If you enjoyed Borderlands and/or Grand Theft Auto — then you’ll also love Sunset Overdrive. And if you didn’t enjoy any of the aforementioned titles, but love having fun with games — then you too, will love Sunset Overdrive.

Sunset Overdrive is the game we’ve all been waiting for — it constantly adds new challenges, characters and weapons, so you never get bored or feel like you’re grinding (the leveling part, not the part where you’re on the rails, because there’s heaps of that!). There is an abundance of visual stimulation and relevant culture-based humour to entertain you. And it is so much fun. It feels like it was designed to keep both the gamers who have the attention span for an in-depth game, and for those who do not, equally entertained and satisfied at all times — and as I am both, I feel like it successfully delivered that.

The story behind Sunset Overdrive is one that takes the Mickey out on a few things, if you’re cluey and enjoy reading into things. Fizzco, a typical giant corporation type company, decides to be generous to the people of its hometown Sunset City, by offering them a before-release try of their new energy drink product — Overcharge Delerium XT. But then — oops! Everyone who has consumed this drink has been turned into a mutant freak, who are dubbed the “OD’d”. Alongside these mutants you’ll also face Fizzco Bots and Scabs — fellow gang-type humans who just want to kill you and take your money. Or your face. Whatever. And so begins the story to escape Sunset City.

It really is quite fun, grinding around.

It really is quite fun, grinding around.

Introducing the player to the game setting is loose but comfortable, and starts off with your some-what-detailed character creation (I made mine look like me — blue hair, pinup-style make-up, hipster attire and some serious booty business) with customisable options relevant to our current gaming culture. A quick introduction as to how traverse around the city, and you’re good to go.

Nailing the controls early on is crucial, otherwise you might get a bit frustrated with some early on battles. Everything revolves around the idea of constantly moving and being off the ground, be it by grinding along fences and railing, or by simply jumping and bouncing off, well, anything and everything. Once you get the hang of this simple concept of grinding and jumping, traversing around Sunset City is very quick, and becomes enjoyable really quickly.

Just like in all the assorted skateboarding games, you are rewarded for how good you can be at grinding and bouncing around. Consecutive bounces off different objects, connecting grinds between different rails, and attacking enemies while traveling fills up your “Style Meter” and activates your Amps. Amps are your upgrades to your assorted weapons and character abilities, and once you’ve maxed out your Style Meter and Amps — you essentially become a demi-god for a short period of time.

Now there is an absolute plethora of things to do in Sunset Overdrive. One look at the map and you’re reminded of games like Grand Theft Auto and InFamous (or any “action” game really) — it’s a big map and there are heaps of smaller missions to do outside of your main ones, but if you don’t want to do them then that’s okay. Collectibles are also in abundance, if you’re into that sort of thing. You can either just cruise around the city trying to find them yourself, or you can purchase collectible location markers from one of the in-game vendors, Two-Hat Jack.

Two-Hat Jack is the main vendor in Sunset Overdrive, being your go-to guy for weapons, collectible markers, and direct in-game access to the Xbox One store to purchase weapons and outfit bits and pieces. The providing you don’t have the world’s worst internet, it’s a quite smooth transition that doesn’t “remove” you from the gaming experience.

The script for Sunset Overdrive is just delightfully fun. You will be forever chuckling to yourself over assorted throwbacks to other games, cultural references and jokes, and Gen Y humour. Sarcasm and coarse language are plentiful, so if you’re a bit delicate about the “F” word, I would probably recommend not playing this title at all. The language content is not distasteful in any way, just relevant in context. Naughty words aside, there have been some great lines to come out of this game, like “Your name isn’t Heisenberg, is it?” when referring to a character mixing chemicals. My favourite is: “I’ve got guns too.” And when asked, “But how do I know you can use it?”, your character replies: “I’m American, duh!”

Your weapons available at your disposal throughout the game are always named something ridiculous, and create a lot of fun. TNTeddy, Kitty Cannon, Flaming Compensator, and The AK-FU, are just some of the aptly named weapons available for maximum lols.



Visually the game is stunning — a vibrant cel-shaded world with Borderland-ish moments when new characters and enemies appear, pausing with an outlined model and name. The over the top explosions are always fun to watch, as is the sheer gore from your attacks (which you can turn off if you so desire, via the settings). Unfortunately the soundtrack is pretty “ehh”, with generic Gen Y EDM/rock on a repetitive loop, however I guess this game can’t be too amazing.

Happy Hamburger!

Happy Hamburger!

Overall, this game is pretty damn amazing. I’m yet to try multiplayer, but I greatly look forward to eight-player co-op action, wreaking as much havoc as possible in Sunset City. My lists of negatives for this game is pretty damn short — starting with the fact that character moves really fucking slow if you’re on the ground (God forbid…), and ending with my annoyance at the X/A combination in battle when you’re trying to rack up your style meter to perform better in some of the timed missions. But otherwise, that’s it. This game is just so damn fun.

There is nothing more satisfying than creating explosions.

There is nothing more satisfying than creating explosions.

Sammii Lea

Avid lover of tea, video games, red heads, cuddles, bacon, anime and cats. Ex-retail gaming extraordinaire, current fitness student, and future famous internet personality. Probably. Probably not.


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