Sunset Overdrive Review

Sunset Overdrive is an Xbox One launch title developed by Insomniac Games, a company with a close relationship with Sony.

Published: November 4, 2014 11:00 AM /

Reviewed By:

Sunset Overdrive Key Art

Welcome to Sunset City at the dawn of the Awesompocalypse! Sunset Overdrive is the latest game from Insomniac the creative minds behind such franchises as Ratchet and Clank as well as the first three entries into the Spyro the Dragon series. Sunset Overdrive is a 3rd-person action-adventure game where your aim is to run, jump, climb and shoot your way all over Sunset City. Through the fast-paced free climbing system and outrageous weapons master the city as you fly high and blast away all that oppose you!

Sunset Overdrive - World, Story, and Characters

Sunset Overdrive gives you a vast vibrant world to explore as you wish by utilizing the fast and comical free-running system allowing you to scale buildings quickly or dash across the rooftops in search of quests, challenges or just to enjoy the scenery. Nearly all of the elements in the environment are bounceable, grindable, or vaultable allowing you to travel up, down, or at the same level giving you access to anywhere you can see in the vibrant world around you. The controls may seem a bit difficult at the beginning, but they very quickly become second nature as style combos become easier and easier to pull off.

You are able to fully customize your character as you see fit not only at the start of the game but at any point throughout the game as well. Outfits range from the mundane suit jacket, white shirt, and dress pants to the completely crazy LARPing chest plate and kangaroo codpiece. Every option for your character is available for both genders allowing you to take the crazy a step further once again. More outfit options are unlocked as you progress through the game and while completing side quests.



You can dress your character up as you want, seriously though this gets crazy fast...
You can dress your character up as you want, seriously though this gets crazy fast...

In Sunset Overdrive, the character you make is one that fits your style, you will earn badges that relate to your type of fighting and traversal fire that you can redeem for overdrives which, when applied, can add bonuses to things like style multipliers, ammo capacities and the amount of damage you can inflict on each foe. This is to ensure that you are able to focus on playing Sunset Overdrive the way you want and don't have to spend time leveling features that you wouldn't normally use.

At certain points in the story and in the multiplayer you encounter tower defense segments where you must ensure that none of the OD take the Overcharge that you are using to cook up new bonuses for your character. In these sections you set traps that you have purchased around an area before summoning the horde of OD, here you're hindered by a limited amount of energy to place your traps to help you as much as possible.

In Sunset Overdrive you play as a former employee of FizzCo, the company that created the energy drink OverCharge Delirium XT, who become a big part of the amesomepocalypse! Fizzco threw an early release party in Sunset City for OverCharge, and during the celebrations, people who had drunk OverCharge began mutating. The OD, OverCharge Drinkers, then began terrorizing the city and destroying everything in their path. This is where you come in as the PLAYER to attempt to get out of Sunset City and let the rest of the world know what Fizzco has been up to!

Sunset Overdrive - Graphics


Take on Fizzco, sometimes literally, to make sure the rest of the world knows what happened!
Take on Fizzco, sometimes literally, to make sure the rest of the world knows what happened!

Sunset Overdrive is a step away from a lot of realism as you are dropped into a beautiful and vibrant world that looks like it has had its saturation turned up to eleven. All of the movement animations in the game are smooth and transition between one another with little to no issues. Each of the different enemy classes is recognizable from one another but also distinct so even while fighting a lot, they seem slightly different, or they're not on the screen long enough to really see.

Sunset Overdrive - Soundtrack

A beautiful world to take in as you grind, bounce and vault through the skies!
A beautiful world to take in as you grind, bounce and vault through the skies!

The soundtrack for Sunset Overdrive is one of its weaker points as you will find yourself hearing the same segments of songs on repeat quite a lot, especially while just trying to enjoy roaming around, this can really pull you out of the moment as you begin to focus on the repetitive songs as opposed to on the action and the environment. Voice acting in Sunset Overdrive has been done extremely well with the sound effects of the weapons, environmental noises, and enemies as you progress through the game.

Sunset Overdrive has eight-player online multiplayer where it is the aim of your group to complete four different missions and then confront the horde in a final tower defense segment, the multiplayer can be accessed by simply walking into a photo booth in the over the world. There are four different difficulties and all of them are comprised of the same format. Each of the four different missions you complete is a version of the different side missions from the main storyline but with optional criteria that you can complete for extra points.

At the end of each round, you will be given a score and a leaderboard between you and the other seven participants will appear on the screen. From here you can pick the next mission with each having different bonuses applied to the tower defense round, these can be bonuses such as increases in trap strength or how much more chaos will be caused. At the end of all of the chaos you will be ranked compared to the rest of the players and bonus objectives throughout the rounds will be tallied and added to your score, the higher the score the better bonuses you receive, the bonuses can be things like new amps or overdrives.

The Verdict

Team up with friends to bring the hurt on a whole other level!
Team up with friends to bring the hurt on a whole other level!

Sunset Overdrive is a game that never takes itself too seriously and understands what it is, there were many moments playing through this game where dialogue, references, or mechanics had me laughing out loud. At first, I was afraid of the traversal being too slow from early videos, but after playing, I found this was completely the opposite. If you want to play this as a perfectionist then it's perfectly attainable, and if you want to just play through the story you're not missing out on anything. The story sadly was a lot shorter than I expected it to be but with so much extra content it is still a game I can just pick up and play again.

TechRaptor reviewed Sunset Overdrive on Xbox One with a code provided by the developer. It is also available on Windows. This review was originally published on 11-04-2014. While care has been taken to update the piece to reflect our modern style guidelines, some of the information may be out of date. We've left pieces like this as they were to reflect the original authors' opinions, and for historical context.

Review Summary

Sunset Overdrive is a fun and fast paced third person shooter. If you want to play a game that doesn't require too much and has a good sense of humor then you should enjoy this game. (Review Policy)

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More Info About This Game
Learn More About Sunset Overdrive
Game Page Sunset Overdrive
Insomniac Games
Microsoft Studios
Xbox One
Release Date
October 28, 2014 (Calendar)
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