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Sunset Overdrive Preview: Ditching the Cover

After long last, Insomniac has finally shown off their new console exclusive game, Sunset Overdrive for the Xbox One. While the five minute trailer wasn’t enough to blow me away (especially that voice over), there was plenty there to be excited about. We are still riding pretty slim on details so there is a lot we have to infer based on the style and gameplay we were shown a few weeks ago.

The most striking aspect of the game at first glance is without a doubt the visuals which boasted a rich color palette and fun cartoon style similar to Insomniac’s other popular franchise, Ratchet and Clank. The main line for me though came from the gamplay aspect of things. Insomniac is known for their bizarre array of bombastic weapons which are certainly present from what the trailer tossed out, but the more exciting thing to me was movement. Titanfall is a prime example of what the simple idea of fluid movement can do to make a game great, Sunset Overdrive seems to get that and is taking cues from various games to make the open world setting a fun place to explore.

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There was no shortage of wall running, impossible leaps and zip lining all across the beautifully laid out city, taking out nasty creatures ravaging the city. I still despise the narration within the trailer but does take some shots at the standard third person shooter. Sunset Overdrive really seems to be driving away from the cover-shooter motif and instead is replacing a wall with unlimited movement. It is something that has been captured before in games like Infamous but no to the degree shown in the trailer for Sunset Overdrive. Movement looks smooth and dynamic, almost like you could play the entire game without stopping for a second. It’s still hard to say what the game really is, this the first gameplay we have seen and only the second trailer ever to be released.

As I previously mentioned, the guns seem to be rather wacky and sort of out there. I kind of got a Dead Rising vibe when given the brief look at the trailer. I would love to see a crafting system come into play that melds all the lucrative and creative ways Insomniac has always tackled their shooters.

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The brief story synopsis is enough to capture the exact attitude the game is going for; featuring an evil energy drink that is turning people into mutants that are now mercilessly taking over the city. Certainly leaning on the campy, fun side of things is something we don’t get to see a lot in a “gritty reboot” world. I don’t mean to say I wouldn’t like to see some honest character development and connection here but keeping things light is sadly in short supply these days.

Sunset Overdrive is looking to be great addition to the Xbox One’s growing lineup. There is still a lot to learn about the game and I am optimistic that we will get a few more looks at the game in the weeks of E3. The game has made my list of “games to watch” and I know that we can’t wait to hear more of what Insomniac has in store for us.

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