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gamescom 2014

Sunset Overdrive

Insomniac's Shooter Makes No Sense, But We Like It That Way
by Ben Reeves on Aug 13, 2014 at 11:01 AM
Platform Xbox One
Publisher Microsoft Game Studios
Developer Insomniac Games
Rating Mature

In Insomniac’s new traversal-based shooter, fun trumps realism, so if the team had a good idea, and they thought it would be fun, they included it regardless of the logistics. For example, you can bounce off bushes like they were trampolines. The result is a zany shooter with cartoon sensibilities and a story that makes no sense. [Excerp]

With Sunset Overdrive, Insomniac tried to make the apocalypse fun. During a release party for FizzCo, something goes terribly wrong, and everyone who drinks the soda turns into crazed mutants that Insomniac are calling ODes. In an effort to quell this outbreak, FizzCo sends out a collection of FizzCo robots to help clean up the mess. Players take on the role of a hero that they craft themselves and try to survive the apocalypse as one of the few survivors who didn’t drink FizzCo’s deadly beverage.

During our Gamescom demo, we got to see a new mission that takes place late in the game. Our hero character tries to impress one of the game's factions by getting the most powerful sword in the city at the top of a skyloft apartment. However, after breaking into the penthouse, we find the the swords is missing. The solution? Craft a bigger, better sword ourselves.

Our hero collects some rare titanium and then heads over to the nuclear power plant to forge the blade (we told you it didn’t make a lot of sense). This gives us a chance to check out the fast travel system. After selecting a destination in the open world of Sunset City, our hero pounds back a bottle of alcohol and then passes out. Moments later the character wakes up in a porta-potty near his destination. What only took moments for players is surely a terrible night for the hero.

While our trip was quick, the journey to the top of the nuclear power plant is not unopposed. The first new enemy we run across is called the Spawner. The Spawner is a giant enemy that has been fused with a dumpster, who constantly spawns smaller enemies out of the garbage tank on his back. Gunkers are another enemy that we ran into. These enemies continually throw ice crystals at us, which also attach to the rails around the level, blocking our path and making it harder for use to continue our traversal combos.

Blowers are another enemy that has been fused with a leaf blower; these creatures shoot out blobs of goo that damage you. But some of the more deadly enemies are the Wingers. These flying foes send out spreads of goo that can be dangerous to touch, and also shoot at you with lasers that will light your grind rails on fire.

After finally making it to the top of the Nuclear furnace, our hero dives into one of the tallest stacks and hammers on the metals we picked up earlier. This sends our hero flying back into the air to get a great view of the city. After a couple rounds of hammering on the metal, we produce a nuclear sword, which is sure to impress our allies.

Sunset Overdrive is a wacky game, but it embraces its wackiness and doesn’t take anything too seriously. We dig the Tony Hawk-like traversal mechanics and how that plays into the shooting mechanics. We look forward to playing around in the world of Sunset City when the game releases exclusively on Xbox One on October 28.

Check out Sunset Overdrives customization trailer from this year's Comic Con.

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Sunset Overdrive

Xbox One
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