Xbox One Sunset Overdrive Grinds to the Top
After playing the Xbox One Sunset Overdrive it is hard to believe that this IP wasn’t fought for by Sony during Insomniac Games initial pitch to them. This game is the complete package and is arguably Insomniac’s best game to date. The graphics are crisp and rich with detail, the gameplay is innovative, and the story is just plain fun. Now Sunset Overdrive might not be a reason to finally go out and buy an Xbox One, but is a great addition to the Xbox library of exclusives. There are been many open world games released in 2014 but very few can compare to the unique and enjoyable experience that is created by Insomniac Games in Sunset Overdrive.
One of the most engaging features of this title is the script. At first look the Xbox One Sunset Overdrive looks like it should have been given a T-rating. However, after playing the opening sequence it becomes quite apparent that this is not the kids’ game that you were expecting. The language is very mature backed up by some excellent voice acting that really fits the overall feel of the game. The characters and dialogue are perfect depictions of current pop culture as if they were developed completely by marketing research. Normally this would be considered a negative attribute in gaming industry, but the stereotypes work well in the world of Sunset City. The main protagonist is cocky and sarcastic which complements the information nerd, Sam, who has self-esteem issues but is smart as a whip. The token black guy, Floyd, handles your weapons and upgrades and sounds almost identical to Samuel L. Jackson. There is even a group of rich yuppy nerds that you have to motivate to help you even though it is a zombie apocalypse. The character development is excellent and Insomniac Games has once again proven that creating memorable characters is a priority when making a new franchise. Maybe they should send Respawn Entertainment an email.
The gameplay mechanics are excellent and a perfect example of a Tony Hawk game if your character had weapons. The entire game you are being yelled at by Floyd to bounce, jump, and slide and the entire map has been developed from the ground up to allow this to happen. Not even Spiderman has more options to swing around a city. Not only do you have to grind or bounce to build style points, but you have to continuously switch between the three techniques to continue accumulating these points. This mechanic has a learning curve and you are punished dramatically for being on the ground for too long. The mutant zombies in the Xbox One Sunset Overdrive pack a big punch and you cannot take more than two or three hits without dying so being on the ground for too long is a deathtrap. Once you are able to gain more abilities and get used to the grinding mechanics is when this game really begins to shine. Hopping and grinding across all of Sunset City is such a blast once you master the game mechanics that you forget to pick up missions because you are too busy freestyling across rooftops.
Insomniac Games really did their homework on catering their audience and there are countless subtle attributes throughout Sunset Overdrive that help the flow of the gameplay and limit player frustrations. Let’s start with loading times or lack thereof. This game loads faster than any game I have played so far on a next-gen console. There are also very few times when this game needs to load. Once the game begins it is a continuous experience uninhibited from the load times that have plagued most games this year. Throughout your time in Sunset City it is possible to change your characters appearance as much as you want to once you meet up with Calista at Oxford’s base. Even before this you are given a chance to change your appearance after completing the first mission. How many times have we leveled a character to level 6 and then deleted him/her because they didn’t have the correct hair color? Don’t act like you haven’t done it. After seeing what your character looks like in the first cut-scene you are given the chance to change your appearance once again if you didn’t like what you saw. While this is trivial it is just a great example of a company that have listened to their community over the years and made the appropriate improvements.
Furthermore, in an open world shooter like the Xbox One Sunset Overdrive you are constantly in a position to fall to your death having to climb the huge building once again. This annoyance has also been handled by an in-game mechanic that restarts you from where you fell instead of from the ground. Now I am sure there are many of you out there that think this is just another example of how companies’ nerf games to broaden the target audience. However, this mechanic doesn’t take away from the gameplay in anyway and I found it a great feature that many other titles should adopt.
Too defend yourself against a horde of zombies you need more than just your acrobatic abilities. The Xbox One Sunset Overdrive gives you tons of unique weapons and abilities like the Flaming Compensator, TNTeddy, High Fidelity, and the Murderang. Overdrives are also unlockable and can be unlocked to enhance your character allowing to completely customize them to your play-style. There is a lot to take in when it comes to customizing your character and sometimes the menus are a little hard to navigate. Each overdrive costs a certain type of currency earned throughout the game during combat and awards, but the game never informs you how this new currency is used. The ability menus are also not very distinguished and it is hard to determine what each skill does without having to individually click each skill for details. I feel as if another tab on the menu list would have really gone a long way in keeping all the abilities organized better.
The soundtrack is very punk rock and sounds like something you would hear in a Vans store in the mall. Being a fan of punk rock I enjoy where they were trying to go with it, but after ten hours of the same guitar riff it gets a little monotonous. Before it loses its charm though, it matches the game perfectly.
Sunset Overdrive is the perfect game for every gamer. It combines and adapts so many genre of games together in perfect unison. Whether you are looking for an open world shooter or not there is something in this game for you. There are many gaming options this holiday season but Sunset Overdrive is a must have for any Xbox One owner.
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