On Tuesday, October 28, Microsoft Studios and Insomniac Games released the highly-anticipated Xbox One exclusive, Sunset Overdrive. The game is set in Sunset City, a fictional American metropolis where a contaminated energy drink (OverCharge Delirium XT) has turned local residents into toxic mutants (the OD) — not zombies, mind you, but mutants.
It is not a zombie apocalypse — it is the ‘awesomepocalypse’ (that’s what they actually call it in the game).
In Sunset Overdrive, players grind, jump, wall run, and fight their way through a city filled with OD of different shapes and sizes, scabs with an impressive arsenal of automatic firearms, cyborgs working for the company that made OverCharge Delirium XT, FizzCo, cheerleader assassins, and more as they try to find a way to escape the contaminated zone.
Simply put, Sunset Overdrive is fun to play. It feels like it took Dead Rising, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and mashed them together to create a game that exceeds the hype and rises above whatever expectations people had. The game smashes through the fourth wall with humorous cut scenes and in-game dialogue, and the graphics are impressive.
There is a lingering question over the full replay value of the game, but there is enough in the open-world environment to keep gamers entertained for a while. Like many games in its genre, there are plenty of main missions and side missions for players to complete, not to mention all the collectibles and loot located throughout Sunset City.
Not only that, but there are so many customizations.
The playable character is completely customizable. Make the character male or female, small or big, long-haired or short-haired. Give the male character a skirt or the female character a beard. The character customizations can be applied to both genders and there are several of them — from physical features to clothing.
It doesn’t end there, though. There are so many weapons to play with that are earned by playing through missions, bought in game, or purchased through the Xbox Store (some are not available yet, though they are listed). And more is expected to come in future DLCs.
Fire a gun that shoots records or teddy bears that explode or throw out sprinklers that shower enemies in acid. Players will kill their enemies in the most innovative and enjoyable ways.
Weapons can be upgraded with amps (special enhancements) or with overdrives, which can increase amo capacity or the damage done by the weapon. Amps and overdrives can also be used to enhance the skill of the player and can be interchanged depending on how the player wants to play the game.
The game does not have difficulty ranges. The creators didn’t make the game too hard for a casual gamer, but missions range in difficulty. Some are easy and some are a little harder. As one may guess, they get progressively harder the further players get into the game.
However, because the game actually helps the player out by not making them start from the very beginning of the mission if they fail and the respawn animations are creative and unique, players are not likely to ever get frustrated if there is a mission they have trouble with.
This is definitely a game for a more mature audience (read: parents should not buy this game for their children). It is ‘M’ rated for a reason. Between the gore and the language, this game offers everything older teens and young adult gamers will love, but is nowhere near suitable for younger gamers.
So yes, it is worth the buy. Is it worth buying a console for? That is up to the consumer.
Microsoft released a special white Xbox One console for the game — one of two special console bundles Microsoft is releasing in the span of a week. The company will also release a special console for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on November 3.
Sunset Overdrive is a fun game, but the consumer needs to decide if it is worth $400 to get the console. Console bundles are best if a consumer is looking to buy the console first, not the game. If someone already has plans to get an Xbox One, then I would say the Sunset Overdrive bundle may be worth the purchase.