I was going to be productive last weekend. I was going to spend plenty time doing wedding planning, working on my game dev and some tidying. Before that I decided to have a short go of the latest “Games with Gold” release, Sunset Overdrive.
It was fun. Hours and hours worth of fun…
My initial impression was very positive. The game is exceptionally fun. Just like the recent Saints Row titles, it made no attempt to take itself seriously and instead focused on .
The game also broke the fourth wall quite a lot, having fun with the rule of 3, way that tutorials are delivered and character’s spawning & talking remotely. Adding in a number of pop culture references, it was very amusing. It was also juvenille and silly at times but the game made it very clear what to expect.
What I find curious is that the missions themselves are incredibly simplistic. Typically they involve going to various points, killing any enemies that are present and collecting an item. There’s often very little story, minimal character interaction and the missions themselves lack excitement but that is strangely irrelevant. What makes the game fun is using whacky weapons to blow up enemies. It is the colourful effects combined with high speed action to an awesome soundtrack. However just wandering around the world would get old so what missions provide you with is a sense of direction. It sets up and ensures that you can get a great fight.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some very funny and outrageously zany missions but the majority of them are pretty simplistic. My point is that this isn’t a bad thing. There’s nothing wrong, at least in my view, having minimal scripting in missions if the core gameplay is great fun.
I’ve already covered the visuals and humour but another element that adds to Sunset Overdrive is the soundtrack. It is awesome. Some of the songs are a bit meh, at least with my tastes, but many of them are just brilliant and add an extra edge. I do wish that they’d add a bit more umpf to the volume of the songs though! I find they are a touch quiet, even after fiddling with auto settings, and the volume seems to fade in and out. I would rather it was awesome most of the time!
The final thing that I’ll mention is the customisation. As with most open world games, you get plenty items to choose but you’ll find a lot more colourful outfits than other games. I’m a bit iffy with this as I couldn’t put together half the outfits that I wanted. A big challenge was footwear. So many chunky horrible trainers! For a punky themed game I was disappointed to see no Doc Martin lookalikes!