Insomniac has shared plenty of details on Sunset's Overdrive's combat and world, but other than knowing the player character can be customized, we didn't know how deep the rabbit hole went. At Comic-Con, Sunset Overdrive's game director Drew Murray, creative director Marcus Smith, art director Jacinda Chew, and lead character artist Gavin Goulden gathered on stage with moderator Larry Hyrb to discuss how customizable the characters can be.
Smith started off the panel by reiterating that Sunset Overdrive focuses on fun over realism. Many aspects of the game don't make sense, and Smith and Murray don't care. Smith even jokingly said he would punch anyone in the neck who demanded an explanation regarding some of the game's more bizarre elements. After getting that out of the way, the panel moved onto the assorted customization options present in the game.
The team looked to a number of creative influences to direct the game's fashion. The anime Tekkonkinkreet, the comic book Tank Girl, and films like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World all served, among many others, as inspirations for the game's art style. As art director Jacinda Chew began gathering these influences to create assorted clothing options, they started organizing them into three distinct groups: normal fashion, street fashion, and costume fashion.
Normal fashion is the clothing you would wear normally. Street fashion is where things begin to go crazy and you'll find items like dish-washing gloves and other strange accessories. These are meant to be the clothes you might start wearing if the world ended and there were no external forces to dictate your fashion choices. Finally, costume items are the assorted garb you might find worn by other cultures, or things like superhero capes. These three identifiers serve to help organize your items, but players can combine any item from any of three groups to wear whatever they want. Insomniac shared a video showcasing some of the different combinations, and agreed that one of the most absurd items it created was a cod piece shaped like a kangaroo's head that bounces with the player's movement.
The only thing that didn't make it into the collections were items from licensed IPs, or items that appeared similar to licensed IPs. Smith said, with the caveat that it was not a marketing promise, that there must be trillions of combinations. The team also made a conscious decision for the clothing to not affect players stats, like you might find in an RPG, in the interest of letting every player fully customize their player to their own liking without having to think about stats. It's about expression, not total HP.
After discussing the fashion, the panel moved on to some of the previously revealed alternate factions in the game, like the LARPing Fargarths and the Troop Bushido – a group of scouts who holed up in a Bushido museum during the apocalypse and became obsessed with the content of the museum. We saw a short scene from an interaction with the latter group showcasing, with excessive profanity, how its leader had become drunk with power. Following the short scene, Smith said the humor in the game is not as straightforward funny as something like Ratchet & Clank and meant be more of a general culture parody.
Closing out the panel, Smith said the team is focused on getting the game shipped and is confident the game will be divisive, for better or worse. Some people will despise the game for its radical gameplay, excessive use of color, and humor, but those that appreciate the game (he hopes) will be talking about it for years to come.
Sunset Overdrive is coming exclusively to Xbox One on October 28. For more on the game, head here. You can also check out some of the concept art shown at the panel in the gallery below.