Honestly, all Turbo Overkill needed was to keep the chainsaw leg and I would have been along for the ride 100 percent. Developer Trigger Happy Interactive was not content with just one badass tool, though, and decided to increase the power of your arsenal with new, over-the-top guns and abilities in Turbo Overkill's second episode. What was already a fantastic Early Access title turns into a game showing even more promise for the final release.
Johnny's Tools of the Trade in Turbo Overkill
The second episode of Turbo Overkill sees a shift in setting, which is the most jarring change from the opening act. This new episode trades a neon-lit, vaporwave aesthetic for a more industrial and rusty setting -- at times it even gets apocalyptic. The city of Paradise is burning, so rather than duking it out in the middle of a city, fights take place in factories and crumbling skyscrapers. You'll even find yourself in an underground area filled with toxic sludge and giant, burrowing worms.
The thematic change isn't my favorite, but that's only because I loved the first episode so much. Vaporwave is just hard to top. That said, there's always going to be a preference for one chapter over another in an episodic game, so it's not a negative. Turbo Overkill is still a gorgeous game and features some fantastic set pieces for your players to enjoy. Just based on the end of this episode, more thematic changes have me excited for more mayhem and chaotic level design.
Other than a new setting, this new update for Turbo Overkill introduces a wide range of new weapons and abilities. It finally feels like Johnny's full skillset has come together, so the chainsaw leg isn't the only trick up your sleeve this time around. You're able to bound around certain points or hook onto enemies with a grappling hook. This grappling hook adds a new degree of verticality to level design and creates some fun platforming-centric fights. Hooking enemies and launching yourself toward them adds even more fast-paced mayhem to battle. No longer being restricted to the ground helps add more variance to Turbo Overkill's excellent gameplay.
Along with the grappling hook is Turbo Time, which is the ability to slow down time. In a game where even one second of standing still means death, this is a handy ability indeed. Slowing down time eases the difficulty of more challenging encounters while adding some additional flair, and boy does it look (and feel) awesome. It's hard to choose a favorite between Turbo Time and the Grappling Hook. Combined with Johnny's chainsaw leg, you feel like some sort of brutal Spider-Man with guns.
But of course, new guns join the mix as well. My personal favorite is one that isn't useful as often as a trusty shotgun or machine gun, but it's just so unique that it's hard not to love it. It's a sniper rifle called the Telefragger. It's a powerful sniper that can take out minor enemies in a hit or two, but what makes it special is its ability to teleport Johnny to enemies. Holding down the primary fire button allows you to teleport to the spot of an enemy, which blows them into chunks and helps you span long distances. It's a sweet twist on the typical sniper, making it feel more than just a long-ranged weapon.
There's also a plasma gun that cooks enemies with regular projectiles or essentially overloads and explodes them. It can also intercept and shoot back a group of projectiles back at enemies, which is situational in its usage but extremely fun to do with larger enemy attacks. But wait, there are more weapons yet! One is essentially the Hammer of Dawn from Gears of War, calling this giant beam from the sky and obliterating bad guys. Though ammo is sparse, it's definitely a welcome addition to the weapon roster. Otherwise, there are upgrades to buy for some of the original weapons from the first episode, adding even more functionality to guns like the pistol and shotgun.
There's only one true complaint with Turbo Overkill's second chapter, and it's unfortunately a huge bummer. There's a segment where you take control of a motorbike that can shoot bullets and has chainsaws on the front of it. By all accounts, this should be an amazing segment, and it would be were it not for how difficult the bike is to control. It's far too sensitive and thus extremely hard to control -- there was one instance where I made a jump on the bike and landed in an enclosed area. I was softlocked and had to reload to the last checkpoint in order to proceed.
I have no doubt the bike segment will get tweaked, and if it does, it'll be just as exciting as the rest of the episode. Nonetheless, Turbo Overkill continues to impress me with its ingenuity and creativity. The levels are rather lengthy for an episodic shooter which is more than welcome, as oftentimes other games might have levels lasting 10 to 15 minutes at most. I really can't wait to see what Trigger Happy Interactive has planned for Turbo Overkill, and if you have even a small amount of interest in this game, you ought to treat yourself.
TechRaptor previewed Turbo Overkill on PC via Steam with a code provided by the publisher.