It’s the future and the city is overrun with horrible mutants caused by the most recent iteration of an energy drink created by FizzCo, OverCharge Delerium XT. What do the survivors do? Of course, they form into roving gangs – some of them want to escape the city and some, well, they just want to have fun.
Welcome to Sunset Overdrive, a third-person action-adventure shooter video game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Microsoft Studios and THQ Nordic.
The entire game takes place in the otherwise industrially ravaged urban setting of Sunset City, which is now instead ravaged by the OD – or Overdrive Drinkers – the mutated horrors that occur when humans consume the FizzCo energy drink mentioned earlier.
Upon starting the game, players can create their own character using a fairly powerful creator that allows customization of gender, body type, hairstyle, face, and outfit. This can also be changed at any time during gameplay by finding the appropriate vendor.
In Sunset City nothing is quite as rewarding as exploring and exploding (everything)
The combat in Sunset Overdrive is frenetic mayhem barely leashed by the keyboard or controller and greatly rewards players for being in motion all the time with a fun parkour movement system and combo system.
When moving around the city, players can run on walls, grind on wires, and leap of almost anything. It provides for a sort of crazy freedom of movement that makes traversing the city a joy – but it also means that players are more likely to run into (and through) packs of roving ODs. This is not much of a problem, of course, since the players are also equipped with a massive arsenal.
The variety of weaponry is bizarre but fitting well with the punk-rock style of the game. So, players can expect such things as a standard assault rifle called the AK-FU, a TNTeddy grenade launcher – which happens to fire teddy bears that explode – high-explosive fireworks, and drone helicopters. Weapons discovered through gameplay can be upgraded with “Amps” and also level up themselves as they’re used to kill enemies.
In order to keep things interesting, the game also features a Style Meter, which rewards players for performing stylish moves such as killing enemies rapidly or grinding on rails without touching the ground.
Although the game has a main storyline and a quest series to go with it, a huge amount of the game takes place in side-quests. Also good about the game, Sunset Overdrive rewards players for taking advantage of those side quests and, coupled with its mayhem-based gameplay, there’s a lot to do in Sunset City.
Dying is so 20th century in Sunset City, so get in on next-gen respawning
Instead of trying to just ignore the fact that players essentially have infinite lives, Sunset Overdrive lampshades respawning as a natural thing that just happens. As a result, players can also choose how they return to the world after being killed with “Next-Gen Respawning.”
A player can arrive in a variety of ways such as teleporting in, exiting a phone booth, descending in a rocket, being dropped off by a UFO – it almost makes dying fun!
Sunset Overdrive, unfortunately (or fortunately?) started drinking FizzCo’s energy drink in October 2014 for Xbox One and November 2018 for Windows 10 PCs.