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    Sunset Overdrive

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

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    If I were to use a few words to describe Sunset Overdrive, it would be incredibly fun. Playing through the game, it was hard to put down. Hours would be lost just exploring the beautiful city. Sunset Overdrive is an open world game, with objectives that the user can undertake. Between these events and missions, the user can explore the large world and boy is it fun to traverse through Sunset City by grinding and jumping all over the place. Developer Insomniac has done an amazing job at crafting a fictitious world that is full of vibrant and colorful visuals, creative artwork, and seamlessly connected objects for your character to traverse.

    When starting up the game, players can create their character with a variety of over the top physical attributes, such as crazy and colorful hairdos. Players will also be able to make changes during the course of the game, as well as purchase additional costumes. Once this is completed, the game quickly introduces you to the back story. A corporation’s drink has caused a mutation with the populace and is now trying to cover it up. The protagonist known simply as player, or as one of the game’s line jokingly states the name is whatever appears above the character’s head in reference to an Xbox Live gamertag, will work through various missions to take down Fizzco. That’s really all you need to kick start the adventure of mutant destruction.

    Sunset Overdrive doesn’t take itself too seriously. That much is apparent, with the main character’s one liners that range from “I didn’t even have to check Gamefaqs” or “Glad there is fast travel” to being kicked off a van from ODs or popping out of casket after dying from battle. The game sort of pokes fun of itself, with a variety of methods. This approach gives Sunset Overdrive so much heart. It’s hard not to get immersed into all aspects of Sunset City.

    From a gameplay standpoint, the character has the ability to jump, bounce off objects like cars, grind through rails or power lines, wall run, swing, and air dash through the open world. Additionally, mixing all these elements together when fighting enemies and traversing through environments makes it all the more pleasing. Although there is fast travel in the game, I rarely used it due to the way the player can maneuver throughout the world is so much fun, while also picking up items and uncovering challenges. When moving around with grinds, wall runs, air dash, and so forth feels like a cohesive and fluid transition from one movement to another.

    As you move around you can collect items, as well as take on challenges. These include traversal or point challenges. For traversal, the player is given a set time period, where he or she will try to use various movements to capture rings throughout an environment range. Another is point based, where various one, two, three, etc. points icons are scattered throughout an environment for the user to collect. These challenges were fun in itself, which added nice little breaks to the overall action of the game.

    As for the actual combat, the game excels. Enemies will vary, but typically revolve around different versions of fizzco bots, those affected by overdrive, and scabs. There is no shortage of weapons, with many of those being over the top and tons of fun to utilize. You’ve got a gun that shoots a teddy bear strapped with TNT. You can shoot out little fizzies that sprinkle acid. Then there’s more automatic based weapons that’s still creative, where fireworks come spewing out. You can also mix up some of these weapons when combatting huge number of enemies. For example, I find myself shooting acid sprinklers and unleashing helicopter turrets to slow down enemies, while I use another weapon to maul down damaged enemies.

    Weapons can also be enhanced with amps. In addition to guns, the player can also use different methods to dispose of enemies. This includes a melee weapon, which can also be upgraded such as emitting a tornado or fireball. During jumps, the player can also come crashing down on enemies to take down a gathering number of scabs or ODs.

    All of the weapons, attacks, and environments can be mixed together to unleash effective attacks on large amounts of enemies. The overall cohesion from combat to movement to well-placed objects makes it so fluid to move around and attack enemies. Additionally, it makes the huge city so much fun to move across, as one can lose him or herself with hours of just messing around and attacking enemies to collect items.

    There aren’t many downsides to Sunset Overdrive, but if I were to nitpick I would say the game is a bit easy. Even though I finished the game around 15 hours, it was so much fun I wished there were more missions that would be available for the player to take on. All in all, these are just minor complaints in comparison to the overwhelming positives I’ve found with the game.

    Sunset Overdrive is beautiful. It’s a large open world city that is tons of fun to explore in, as well as look at. The vibrant and colorful environment help reinforce the overall tone of the game. The art work from the characters and objects also reinforce the unique and colorful environment and city. Even with everything that goes on at a given time, the game runs well without any hiccups. The musical soundtrack also felt solid. Voice acting was also well delivered, with some of its quirky lines and mild humor.

    The seamless cohesion I felt from how I utilized environments in attacking enemies are the mainstays of the fantastic experience, but other aspects add to this. Sunset Overdrive was an amazing experience and the first truly must play on the Xbox One. There was never a dull moment, with plenty of enemies to kill, challenges to undertake, and nooks and crannies to explore. Sunset Overdrive is an experience that should not be missed.

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