Level Up: Sunset Overdrive Review

By Samual Cale on May 16, 2016 from Level Up via Connect-Bridgeport.com

My attention was drawn to Sunset Overdrive when it was released for free with gold on Xbox One, and I have been enjoying it. Its set in an apocalypse, feels like a skating game and a first person shooter were combined, and has a tendency to put very large holes in the fourth wall. These elements, along with a few others make Sunset Overdrive a fairly entertaining game to play.
Our story is set in a city called Sunset City, and in 2015 the apocalypse has arrived. However, instead of a disease, it has been brought about by an energy drink called Overcharge. This orange drink manufactured by the company Fizzco turns those who drink it into mutants covered in orange boils that kill on sight and are attracted to Overcharge. Through chance and agility you survive the initial wave on the first night and begin to try to find a way out of the city. However, Fizzco has a tight lockdown on the city and doesn't want word to spread of what happened because they skipped government testing and are doing everything they can to stop people from getting out. Your journey brings you into contact with numerous friends, hordes of Overcharge drinking mutants, survivors that seek to gain for themselves by killing you, and Fizzco's mechanized soldiers. Overall, it's a pretty compelling storyline, despite generic quests.
The gameplay of Sunset Overdrive is very fast paced and is mostly centered on maintaining mobility by jumping and grinding on objects such as cars and power lines. If you're not on the move, you are easy prey for your enemies. In fact, the most dangerous place to be is on the street. You also have an array of mostly homemade weapons at your disposal, such as vinyl record launchers and deployable sprinklers full of corrosive acid. There seems to be a very strong aiming assistance program in place, otherwise you would never hit anything while moving quickly.
In addition to weapons and agility, you have amps and overdrives. Amps are created by finding various ingredients and having a friend named Floyd cook them into something that essentially gives you superpowers. They can do things such as give a weapon a stun effect or make geysers of flame appear on both sides of you while you're grinding. Overdrives are passive abilities such as an increase in ammo capacity or damage resistance that are gained by defeating large numbers of enemies and performing similar actions. You also have a good bit of character customization available at all times, which is always nice. You can either do missions, challenges, or just wander the city and explore while defending yourself from assailants. I never would have thought it would be awesome to grind on a power line while firing exploding teddy bears at mutants, but it turns out that in Sunset Overdrive, it is.
Your friends and strangers can also share in this madness through multiplayer, which is known as Chaos Squad. There can be up to eight players in a session, and players vote for which missions they will perform. These missions have a chaos rating, which indicates their difficulty as well as how rewarding they are. After the players have completed enough missions, they perform a mission in which they defend an area at night against a gigantic horde of mutants. Assuming you have somewhat competent companions, Chaos Squad can be a good time.
The graphics of Sunset Overdrive are interesting. They are both cartoonish and realistic at the same time. It consists of lots of bright and/or neon colors that really stand out. This somehow turns a dire situation into something rather lighthearted. Another contributor to this effect is the soundtrack. Most of the time, you are accompanied by the music of a rock band. There's almost always a drum set playing in the background, which also gives a feeling of continuous momentum that encourages your remarkable parkour skills.

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