Sunset Overdrive Reviews

  • PBreezeyPBreezey139,126
    30 Oct 2014 30 Oct 2014
    38 9 8
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    Sunset Overdrive

    Sunset Overdive, set in Sunset City, is the newest game from Insomniac Games. The developers of the Spyro, Ratchet & Clank, and Resistance franchises released their first Xbox One exclusive game in October 2014. While the game has drawn comparisons to Jet Set Radio, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Borderlands, and others, Sunset Overdrive is a game that is uniquely its own.

    Graphics and Visuals
    Holy $#!* is this game beautiful. It has been said countless times, in countless ways, but this game really just looks amazing. This is hands down the best looking game on Xbox One up until this point, and is one of my favorite games of all time just in terms of presentation and style. While I love the cartoonish, cel-shaded appearance of Borderlands, Sunset Overdrive really kicks it up a notch. The game has bright colors, amazing contrast and shading, and maintains a consistently high frame rate regardless of how many OD are rushing across your screen. The game is stunning. When you add in the little things such as the word POP appearing in bright orange when you kill a Popper, or FREEZE appearing whenever you freeze your enemies, Sunset Overdrive's overall presentation is spectacular.
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    HOLY $#!* IS THIS GAME FUN. Wow. It is a blast to grind the rails, to jump on cars, to run on water, and do it all while killing endless waves of ODs and humans attempting to take advantage of the AWESOMEPocalypse. Beginning with the initial character customization, this game just does it right.
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    You can LITERALLY make your character look exactly how you want them too. While the customization isn't AS in depth as games such as Skyrim, it still has more than other games that allow you to customize very little, if anything at all, about your character. From hairstyle to hair color, and the ridiculous combination of clothes you can unlock and wear, I am confident that you will NEVER see two people in the game who look exactly the same.
    The gameplay itself is a blast, as I already mentioned. The controls are smooth, you can seamlessly traverse the entire city while killing hundreds of enemies, and you can do it all without any lag or framerate drops. The controls are also very forgiving. Some of your guns use an autolock targeting system, and you don't have to be 100% accurate to execute your desired grind, bounce, or wall run. The forgiving aspects of the controls allow you to execute some ridiculous combos even without absolute precision, meaning that this is a game that could be enjoyed by anyone.
    Only complaint on this game: the quests. Go here and do this! Now go over here and do this! Even after playing for only a few hours, the quests do become monotonous. I didn't want to have to grind over to the other side of the city, I just wanted to kill more OD in style! But, this is an issue for all games in this genre, not just Sunset Overdrive, so it's not really something you can knock it for too hard. Sunset Overdrive also does a nice job of breaking up the monotony with interesting characters, funny dialogue, and challenging boss battles that require more precision than the other quests you will complete.
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    I do enjoy the leveling system of the game, leveling up my guns, unlocking amps and overdrives, and collecting the necessary items to do so. The leveling system is simple enough that you don't feel like you're going to mess anything up if you make the wrong choice at a certain time in the game; but is also in-depth enough to allow you to tweak your character for certain situations and really make them your own. It is a really nice progression system, and I've enjoyed it thus far.
    The weaponry in this game is nothing short of ridiculous. While Borderlands touts its bazillion and one guns, Sunset Overdrive counters sheer numbers with hilarity. Explosive teddy bears, record shooters, charged bowling balls, and harpoons are just a few of the weapons you can unlock early in the game. Each weapon has a different type of attack, best suited for certain types of enemies and situations, and is an all out blast to use. Shooting a charged bowling ball into waves of OD and watching them just topple over is... well it's beautiful.
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    Coming Soon

    Bottom Line: Sunset Overdrive is just flat out fun. There's really not anything else like it out there. Does it remind you of other games while you play it? Absolutely. But that's not a bad thing, and it's something that happens all the time. But Sunset Overdrives takes the inspiration from those other games and rolls them in to one great big beautiful ball of awesomeness. The game shines as one of Xbox One's best exclusives, and will definitely help drive the sales this holiday season. Everyone can enjoy this game when they play it, and I would encourage everyone to give it at least one playthrough.
  • LifeExpectancyLifeExpectancy1,260,304
    16 Feb 2015 18 Feb 2015
    27 2 0
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    Sunset Overdrive gets straight to the point. It yells at you 'Hey, I'm a game, now hurry up and play me man. Let's kill some stuff!'. It falls into the sandbox action/adventure genre, and immediately brings to mind games like Dead Rising 3 and Crackdown. But where those games get bogged down in their trappings, Sunset Overdrive rises above.

    You play an average working stiff suddenly freed from the humdrum of the daily thanks to an apocalyptic case of the crazies. The city's citizens have become enraged mutants due to FizzCo's weirdly ... mutagenic Overcharge drink. From your garden variety OD to huge mutant OD spawn factories, you'll have your hands full dispensing the beat-downs.

    The game's progression system is intuitive and easy to grasp. Whichever activities you do the most, those are the ones you'll get the most 'badges' for, Sunset's currency of sorts for upgrading these moves to give you more style points more quickly as you pull them off. Your guns likewise upgrade with use, so you'll want to cycle through them, and given some are far more effective than others in various situations, this should become second nature in short order.

    However, to reach peak efficiency you'll also have to collect the city's various collectibles in order to unlock certain upgrades, which are well worth the time, not to mention having achievements tied to them. There are a TON of them to be had, too, but fortunately you're able to purchase collectible maps, which added with your lightning-quick city traversal abilities make nabbing them all a breeze and actually reasonably enjoyable.

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    The visuals are absolutely stunning. It's amazing what the developers have managed to do here, creating such vibrant and over-the-top visuals without noticeably sacrificing in ways that hamper the gaming experience like the crippling slow-down some games have. Visuals are zany and outrageous, with huge orange explosions of goo going off all around you when the fighting gets intense, and there are details to be appreciated in some of the most unexpected spots that will make you occasionally want to slow down your speeding traversals and 'smell the roses' sort-o-speak. It's really quite surprising at times the level of detail in the game considering the solidity of the frame rate and smoothness of gameplay.

    Gameplay may seem a bit slow at first, but once you get used to the traversal systems, and especially when you get the air-dash ability, it opens up and becomes just as smoothly crazy as advertised. The air-dash and water grind abilities, once unlocked, open wide the game's world of bounces, grinds, and flips. You'll find yourself cruising across the city in one continuous style combo in no time.

    The game's 8-player co-op mode, Chaos Squad, can be daunting at times but with a good team sporting lots of upgraded gear, it is a wild rompus room that is one of the most genuinely FUN experiences I've had with multiplayer in a long, long time.

    I've been really digging on the Indy titles lately, and have been somewhat disenfranchised with AAA releases, but Sunset Overdrive just nails it on so many levels that it's hard to find anything to complain about. If we can keep getting more of this ingenuity in gaming developers, we'll all be sitting pretty.
  • DOADOA1,255,702
    20 Dec 2014 20 Dec 2014
    22 1 0
    What I played: Completed the story, all side missions, all collectibles, and achieved a gold medal on all challenges.

    Anyone who has listened to our podcast knows that Sunset Overdrive was far and away my most anticipated game of 2014. I was blown away right from the first cinematic trailer at E3 2013, for which I caught plenty of hell from my co-hosts (apparently I’m not allowed to think a game looks amazing unless its all in game footage). So the game is finally here and did it live up to the hype I had placed upon it……
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    Welcome to Sunset City, where you the player (at one point when asked your name the reply is “it’s above my head in the multiplayer”) have just survived “horror night”. Horror night, as it has come to be known, is the night the Fizz Corporation (Fizzco) has just unveiled their new energy drink, Overcharge, at a concert where you happen to be working. All hell breaks loose when everyone (but you) begins consuming it and turning into hideous orange mutants bent on attacking and killing everyone they see. In no time they have taken over and Fizzco has quarantined the city and told everyone in the outside world that all inside are dead.

    You, of course, are not dead. Having taken refuge in your apartment and after seventeen days are finally forced out in to the world where you begin to meet an ever expanding group of survivors led by Walter, a grumpy old timer who works a bit like the father figure you clearly never had. From that point on your goal is to escape the overrun city and expose Fizzco for the apocalypse-bringing bastards they really are.
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    Throughout the story you’ll meet colorful personalities to help you along your journey. Floyd runs the Vats, which are used to create amps for your weapons and character. Two Hat Jack sells guns, ammo, and collectible maps (which are very helpful for the completionist types like me). Calista is your source for the hundreds of clothing options, ranging from luchadore masks to kangaroo jock straps. Sam, the computer nerd, lays out most of the mission and plot points for you. And these are just a few of the friendly ones…

    Sunset City is broken down into four sections (though you can go anywhere right from the start): the harbor, downtown, little Tokyo, and your starting positing the old factory district. Each of these areas has a faction that you will need to befriend to get their assistance in escaping Sunset. You’ll start with “The Oxfords” a group of preppy ivy leaguers that Sam is desperate to impress. They don’t seem very worried about what’s happening throughout the city as they spend all day texting to each other despite being in the same room. You’ll need to cater to each one of these selfish elitists to procure their help in fixing a vehicle to escape the city; and what an amazing city Sunset is.

    If you've seen any of the many trailers for this game you already know it’s a bright, colorful, open world game that has you jumping, grinding, bouncing, and swinging throughout the city. Insomniac wasn't kidding when they said you can go from one side of Sunset to the other without ever touching the ground. It’s an amazing world they've built where virtually everything can be used to traverse Sunset City. It’s a joy to move through; even more so when you unlock super bounce and air dash. Some have complained in previews that the movement should be faster but keep in mind that you will be killing hordes of enemies while doing all your parkour moves so after playing though the game in its entirety it feels just right to this reviewer.
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    Sunset Overdrive does not want you on the ground, or standing still, and if you try it you will almost certainly die. There is only one difficulty, but enemies hit hard at all times, however they have terrible accuracy so if you stay on the move you’ll survive. The game gives you a high amount of aim assist for your weapons, but when you’re always on the run it becomes almost a necessity. Mixing up the types of moves and getting kills with flair build up your style meter, which triggers your amps.

    Amps are bonuses that improve your weapons and character. They’re a lot of fun and really add to the craziness of the game. There is a lot of joy in sending out tornadoes from a melee swing, or setting off explosions under your feet with each bounce you make. Or one of my personal favorites, having lightning bolts storm down from everywhere stunning and killing anything near you. That last one is an epic amp and justly so.

    From the main story there are many great missions to embark upon, for example, saving a ladies robotic dog that will rip enemies apart with the help of your kitty cannon. Yes you heard that right
    k-i-t-t-y c-a-n-n-o-n. Basically you fire a kitty at a group of enemies and a dog goes after it, killing anyone in its attack radius. Then there’s grinding and bouncing atop a radio tower fighting a giant Fizzco mascot balloon, who’s firing lasers and trash talking you the whole time. It’s one of the amazing over the top boss fights from early in the game. The main story quests stay fun, fresh, and over the top all the way to end.
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    One of the real stars of the game is the humor. There is a lot of great ‘breaking the fourth wall’ comedy in the game. As an achievement junkie its great to hear my character say, ”what an amazing view, and more importantly one step closer to a pointless achievement!”; or when a NPC is concerned you may die you reply, “no big deal I’ll just re-spawn over there”. That’s obviously just a couple of quick one-liners but there are many wonderful conversations between characters and a good amount of situational comedy as well.

    Of course with all the good comes some bad and that lies within the side quests. They’re just a boring bunch of fetch quests and killing random groups of baddies that are only there to pad out the length of the game, and not in a good way. There is nothing fun about going up to a NPC and being asked to retrieve five comic books, then returning and being asked to find five more, then returning yet again only be asked to get ten more to finish the task. It’s just tedious nonsense lacking imagination in a game otherwise full of it. That said, there are a decent amount of rewards you get for doing theses tasks such as money, weapons, and achievements.

    The other two things that are there to pad the game are challenges; which are basically just mini games where you try to get a high score and include leaderboards. Then there’s the seemingly never ending groups of collectibles in the game. Normally I would hate this type of thing but I have a soft spot for games that actually have collectibles that serve a purpose. There are hundreds of shoes, signs, toilet paper, balloons, etc. that all work as currency in the game for buying amps from Floyd. I've never understood why more game don’t do this.
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    Lastly, this brings us to the eight player co-op multiplayer of the game known as ‘Chaos Squads’. It’s a surprisingly fun addition to the game where after choosing the area of the city you want to play in, you and your team engage in a series of mini games that culminate in a giant base defense. You are given a choice of two mini games to vote on each round. Two of which include delivering bombs to points on a highway, and returning fizzy mascot balloons to your base while the floor is covered in lava. Each mini game gives you points and adds chaos percentage to the base defense; the higher the chaos the more intense the defense is. So your voting does matter beyond just which mini game you prefer as one mini game may have more chaos than the other. The base defense is the best and craziest part as you and your cohorts hold the line against literally hundreds of enemies at once. With the amount of players, enemies and explosions going on in close proximity all around you, it’s a wonder that there is never any lag or frame drops. All in all, it’s a solid addition to the game though I doubt most people would spend more than about ten hours in it before they've had their fill.

    So did it live up the hype? Over all I would say a resounding YES! With an amazingly crafted world and great laughs abounding in every scene my only reservation are the unimaginative side quests, but with them being only a small portion of the game its only a minor knock on Sunset Overdrive. I recommend everyone play this holiday gem as soon as possible and here’s hoping for an even better sequel.

    + Bright colorful world
    + Humor
    + Over the top boss fights
    + Unique traversal system

    - Repetitive side quests

    Check out more reviews at

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  • VanHow10VanHow10129,345
    03 Nov 2014
    12 1 0
    Before this game released I was already fairly excited for it. I try not to look into games to much, and get the feel of them on my own. I had pre-ordered it when it was available for download (I went all digital this Gen), and was looking forward for it. After a week of playing it I figured I had played enough for a review. Especially because I hadn't done one in awhile, and I will be zoned away in Halo in a week.

    My first impressions were "WOW". Everything about this game is glorious. The colors, the story, the humor. It is a very fun fresh game. There isn't anything like it, at least not in this current Gen. The colors are ridiculous, and bright. Everything is very vivid. The story is interesting, and they bring in the gamer with their humor in it. Watching the different moves and guns you do, from firework assault rifles, to bowling ball launcher. There is a sprinkler that sprays acid, and laser guns. Toy helicopters that have rifles, to a harpoon cannon. Killing certain OD (one that will explode when close to you) will explode in the words "POP". The game is very, very fun and everyone should get a chance to play it.

    Graphics (3 of 3): This game has a very vivid color scheme. The overall graphics still come off very good. There is detail where detail is needed, every time you come across a new enemy it zooms in, and tells you the name. You can see every things you want to see on them. The city itself is booming with every small detail you can think of. Very, good job with the graphics on this one.

    Multiplayer / Achievements (3 of 3): The multiplayer is very interesting, I haven't dug into it as much as I would like to, but you and 7 others pick missions to do, they give you objections and side missions to do. They are pretty quick with 8 total players, and some people are ridiculous at this game, and it is nuts to watch them fly around. After you finish a few missions they send you into a night defense, which again isn't that difficult with 8 people. They rank you give you points, and depending how many side objectives you completed they give you multipliers on your overall score. These scores will give you achievements. The achievement side of things they put a bunch in this game. A bit to many grinding achievements. (I consider grinding achievements to be collectibles, and "get X amount of kills") overall though, they are simple to get. After completing the story I have around 500 GS.

    Story / Replay (2.5 of 3): The story is great, it has a great humor about it through the whole thing. My complaint is that it is way to short. It is probably only around 5-6 hours long if you only do story missions. I would have wanted to see it last double or quadruple that. I think it has to do with how fast you travel in the city, you can cross the whole city in a matter of a few minutes if you get your combos going. There is definitely some replay though, the humor helps this cause.

    I think this game will be either game of the year, or a runner up. It is one of the best exclusives for Xbox one, and I recommend anyone that enjoys fast paced games to hit this one up. The humor make this game, laughing through the whole thing every bit of the story throws surprises at you. If you have an xbox one, get the chance to play this, you wont be disappointed.

    Feel free to add me on twitch/twitter/blogspot/g+/trueachievements. My name throughout the internet is "VanHow10". I play xbox one as if it was my job, and I try and stream as much as possible. Feel free to stop in and say hi.
  • MarsNeedsTacosMarsNeedsTacos78,656
    12 Jan 2015
    10 0 0
    I love open world games, but let's face it, the genre has become somewhat formulaic recently and several high profile disappointments have left us all a little jaded. So when Sunset Overdrive was initially announced I was less than enthusiastic. Honestly, I had initially decided to skip it even though it had piles of great reviews saying I should not. I was gun shy after Ubisoft had over promised and under delivered on WatchDogs and also recalled some marginal Resistance sequels from Insomniac on PS3. I am very happy to report I was so very wrong.

    There are dozens of in depth reviews of Sunset Overdrive out there, well over a half dozen on this site alone. So I'll make my review short and sweet...

    If you are looking for something fresh to play, check out Sunset Overdrive. A very arcadey take on open world, takes the punk-pop sensibility of Crazy Taxi, the traversal system of Tony Hawk Pro Skater and the gun game from Bullet Storm and mashes them up to great effect. The game is riddled with humor and if you can't find something to laugh at (with more pop culture references than you can count and a healthy lambasting of geek culture) well... your inner child is dead or at least not feeling very well.

    The controls are great, the visuals and audio top notch and the game just feels fun, while never taking itself or you too seriously. Don't skip this game.
  • togethawiistandtogethawiistand337,177
    26 May 2016 01 Jun 2016
    7 1 0
    I'm not the biggest fan of craziness and messiness, nor dark humor, although I can enjoy a bit of those things. I feel that Sunset Overdrive delivered them all in an enjoyable tone. So, of all these games that they are giving us for free to attract and retain gamers to the Xbox brand, I'm really glad that they gave us Sunset.

    It's a game that maybe I wouldn't have bought, at least not at first, and another title that I didn't enjoy right from start, but now, after playing it for several hours, I can see more clearly its many qualities. Actually, now I can also see some design and playability from other games that might have influenced it, such as Fable, Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands and even The Force Unleashed and Vanquish, among others.

    This was also one of the few and first times where it didn't bother me much to go after collectibles, even though they were somewhat unnecessary and there were quite a few of them around to pick up. But at least the devs gave the players the option to buy in-game maps to help locating them. Also, the way that your character can move and swing around (in an almost spider-man style) makes the hunt from one collectible to the next much more enjoyble.

    The same is true for the main story and side-quests: a few are nothing very different from what we have seen before but at the same time so many of them are so strange and unique that it's hillarious to play and see where it leads.

    About the multiplayer mode, when I finally decided to give it a shot, it took me a few matches to figure it out, a few more to get good in the many different mini-games and to finally succeed in all of the defend the Vats missions. But in the end I've felt that it was fun and worthy the try. I can also attest that this game gave me a much easier time connecting to a match (even matches already in progress) than other online modes from bigger titles (yeah, I'm looking at you 343's Halos!).

    So, overall, this is a game that I enjoyed enough and that will foreva stay in my memory as a good one.

    Specific comments for its major elements:

    - Great design and visuals for the most part. They've created a big, gorgeous city and did a good job distributing missions and mini-games around it. Also, you can fully customize the looks of your "superhero" char, mixing pieces of ridicule clothing to create a very interesting result;
    - There's constant rock music to keep you excited;
    - Good playability after you get the hang of the commands and possibilities of how to swing around;
    - A good mix of achievements, but with collectibles and some challenges that may be a bit hard and frustrating at first, specially for not so skillful gamers.
    - While the option to replay any singular mission you want is without a doubt great, they should've also added the option to replay the whole story at once after finishing the game. Having to figure the missions' order and replaying them 1 by 1 is does not cause the same enjoyment. Believe me, I've tried it.
    - It would also have been nice if we didn't have to back out to the campaign after playing a match of Chaos Squad in one location in order to be able to switch to a different map, if the player selects the All Areas option.
  • ViralGAMEOVERViralGAMEOVER166,365
    03 Dec 2014 25 Feb 2015
    12 12 0
    Sunset Overdrive

    Holy f*** was this game awesome. I mean like punk-rock, caffeinated meth awesome! How do I even describe this game? Picture Tony Hawk Pro Skater ( Grinding, Music, The Intensity) Mirrors Edge ( Wall Running, Climbing Various Things) Ratchet and Clank ( Crazy Weaponry ) and then Requiem for a Dream because after playing this game...well someone needs to remind you drugs are bad.


    The story is your typical "PeopleAreODingOnANewEnergyDrinkAndTurningIntoMutantsAndTheCompanyBehindItDoesntWantTheNewsGettingOutSoNowYouAreTrappedInACityWithMutantsAndRobotsAndMacysDayParadeWannabes" cliche. If you were able to get through that then you understand, if you didn't manage well...IT'S SO F***ING COOL!!!! It's a video game for once that pokes fun at itself!! No more dark and brooding, oh nonono! This is a video game!!!
    The game involves trying to get out of the city and END FIZZCO for what they did to Sunset City. Along the way you meet different groups of survivors that help you and range from Larpers to Mexican Day-Of-The-Dead Cheerleaders that kick ass. This is the kinda game where if you look at it and think you'll have a good time, Then you'll have a good time.


    Now, when I saw the gameplay for this I wasn't sold. Jumping from wire to wire didn't look natural, it looked magnetic. But boy-oh-boy was I wrong. This game just flows so well and with the Combo System, you can't help but want to string together wall runs and wire grinds to get a higher Combo. The higher you get your Combo and the more you can sustain it, the more your Style meter fills up. The Style meter consists of 3 levels and each level can let you use an ability of your choosing. The abilities are bought or unlocked in-game and you can equip them to certain slots that have deal with different types of abilities. When your Style meter reaches level 1 you could use an ability along the lines of your melee spawning a tornado, because SCIENCE! Level 3 however could cause the wires and rails you grind on to become electrified and emit electricity...everywhere. The gun mechanics are so-so but two upsides to them. 1. You don't reload in this game and 2. AMPS!!! "What are amps?" You must be saying because of how well executed this review is, well thank you and I shall answer your question! AMPS are things that are pretty much abilities for weapons...actually now that I think about it more, they are the same thing but...well if you made it this far there is no reason for me to correct that. NOW the gameplay is awesome and the art and design is just beautiful, the mission structure is your typical fight that many or get me this many or stop that BALLOON!!!
    The side missions add extra variety to the single player experience. I didn't play a whole lot of side missions but one involves an RPG style leveling up system with a pretty cool soundtrack that gets away from the punk rock and goes more along the lines of Elder Scrolls. You also get a bard which is cool.


    Where do I begin with multiplayer? Well in Sunset Overdrive if you feel like playing with your buddies then I suggest going to a Photo Booth. Once there you enter a lobby and a countdown begins. When you enter the game you are given a choice of two different missions with different difficulties and different endgame buffs. You play through a few missions that you vote on and then it all culminates in an epic tower defense! You can accomplish all this in 2-8 player co-op ( I highly recommend playing in a public match or playing with 6-8 friends gets pretty difficult). The one downside however is it can get repetitive and there is a chance of noticeable frame rate drop because things can get pretty hectic at times but it's all good fun.

    Is it Worth it?

    I mean...sure kinda I guess
    9.8 out of 10 - Xbox One
    0.0 out of 10 - PS4

    The difference?
    On PS4 this game is 0 FPS and and can't reach 1080p. Multiplayer is also cut down to 0-0.