Apogee Entertainment is synonymous with some of the industry's oldest and most coveted first-person shooters. It's not an understatement, then, to say that Turbo Overkill has a lot to live up to. But boy, Turbo Overkill delivers and then some.
Developed by Trigger Happy Interactive and published by Apogee, Turbo Overkill is a high-octane, absurdly violent, and stylish FPS where you play a dude with a ton of guns and a chainsaw for a leg. If that doesn't appeal to you, you might just hate fun.
Turbo Overkill is Bloody Glorious
I've played the previous two episodes of Turbo Overkill, so with the release of the third episode, the game is now complete. My thoughts will look at Turbo Overkill holistically, but I want to focus on Episode 3's new inclusions. If you want to hear what I have to say about the excellent Episode 1 and Episode 2, please do so.
From the vaporwave urban environments of Episode 1 to the apocalyptic vibes of Episode 2, this final chapter in Turbo Overkill takes players to entirely new heights. The absurdity from the prior two episodes is amplified as our hero, Johnny Turbo, heads to some familiar locations as well as outer space itself.
At this point in the story, players have seen most of what Turbo Overkill has to offer: a robust variety of enemies, absolutely exceptional gun variety and gunplay, and so many different augmentations to change up the way you play. There are a few more new additions to these elements, but everything just comes together so well in Episode 3.
Of the new additions, the final weapon is by far my favorite. Johnny Turbo has a chainsaw leg he can use to slide around and gib enemies, but why not add two more chainsaws into the equation? This new weapon adds two chainsaws to your arms, making you feel like Denji from Chainsaw Man.
You feel invincible with these chainsaws, slashing through enemies like they're butter. Featuring a lunge and slashing abilities, it's powerful indeed. You can have them out for only a limited time, but every moment of slicing and dicing feels like action game nirvana.
Besides these chainsaws, though, I'm a big fan of the new augments. Augments allow Johnny Turbo to alter his abilities, changing the behavior of his arm rockets, chainsaw leg slide, and much more.
As an example, I found an augmentation that gave me a chainsaw on my other leg. I don't know if it provides much benefit beyond a bit more damage, but it's so ridiculous that I had to go for it. Of course, augments to Johnny's other limbs are useful, too. Another new one I enjoyed using gave me the ability to triple jump.
As I mentioned, everything just comes together in Episode 3. Combining the dozens of augments with your arsenal of guns, Turbo Overkill is one of the most fun FPS games on the market. There's so much versatility. Movement feels excellent and the gunplay is very satisfying, especially with each gun's alt-fire.
Dreaming of Paradise in Turbo Overkill
Across the board, Turbo Overkill's level design is superb. It takes advantage of your chainsaw leg ability by adding ramps to slide through tons of enemies. Arenas where enemies spawn are always a joy and are incredibly varied, meaning no firefight feels entirely the same.
Each episode features something to shake up the gameplay a bit, whether it be placing you in a hover car, hoverbike, or in the case of Episode 3, a mech. Taking control of this mech feels like something out of Alien and you're able to just let loose with rockets and miniguns. It's simply glorious.
I've no complaints with the level layout or gameplay, although aesthetically, Turbo Overkill never achieves the same highs as it did in Paradise, the location of Episode 1. I loved the vaporwave aesthetic and it captivated me.
With skate ramps and urban landscapes of the first episode, using your chainsaw leg felt so natural in these areas. Episode 2 made way for a more post-apocalyptic feel, but wasn't nearly as captivating. Episode 3 makes a return to familiar territory, but I can't help but miss the neon-soaked streets that introduced me to Turbo Overkill's setting.
Speaking of setting, the story didn't much captivate me either. Most FPS games -- especially ones that are retro-inspired such as Turbo Overkill -- are minimal in plot. Turbo Overkill's plot is not minimal, per se, but isn't very original. Some of its dialogue tries too hard to go over the top, so my interest waned as time went on.
Turbo Overkill Review | Final Thoughts
Levels are quite long, sometimes reaching over 30 minutes long. You can quick save and quick load, though that's only in the middle of levels. Quitting and pressing continue from the start screen seems to be checkpoint based, which is annoying if you have to suddenly leave. I don't like losing progress.
The problems I do have with Turbo Overkill are only minor compared to the outstanding gunplay, level design, and overall production value. I didn't even mention the soundtrack yet, which elevates the whole experience. The electronic soundtrack assures an adrenaline rush in the midst of combat, serving as a perfect companion to the mayhem.
When I previewed Turbo Overkill last year, I knew it'd be something marvelous. And indeed, developer Trigger Happy Interactive delivers a polished, exceedingly fun experience for shooter junkies. If you're an FPS fan, Turbo Overkill is quite simply a mandatory play. So what are you waiting for? Get on it.
Turbo Overkill was reviewed on PC with a copy provided by the publisher over the course of 14 hours of gameplay - all screenshots were taken during the process of review.
- Insane Gunplay and Action
- Augmentations Add Depth to Gameplay
- Strong Level Design
- Great Aesthetic and Soundtrack
- Mediocre Story
- Inadequate Save System