Posted September 25, 2014 by Zeth in EGX

Sunset Overdrive Hands-On Preview

sunset overdrive logo
sunset overdrive logo

Insomniac Games has been a studio you could depend on right back to the very early times on Playstation 1 with their Spyro series of games. Never snapped up by Sony to become a first party studio like stable mates Naughty Dog Insomniac branched out last year with Fuse via EA.

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Their first multi-platform title and it met with some severe criticism and general disappointment all round for a game so long in development and by such an esteemed team. Flash forward seventeen months and here we are again with another new IP from Insomniac.

Sunset Overdrive has been in development in one form or another since Insomniac finished Resistance 3. Coming in to the space of open world gaming isn’t a first for the team as their highly successful Ratchet & Clank titles have managed something similar for a few years now.

With the studio’s technical know-how and their ability to infuse games with comedy and imaginative weapons Sunset Overdrive looks set to amuse and delight.sunset overdrive 1

Set in the future metropolis of Sunset City it’s the year 2027 and the place is over-run by crazed formerly human monsters that have overdosed on an energy drink. Controlling your highly customisable employee of FizzCo you look to clear up the mess created by the company you work for. That knowledge in-hand we take to the streets for our hands-on with the game.

Focusing on high mobility and intense zany combat, much like Ratchet did, the game lets you create your customisable main character including body type, gender etc and unleash them on the world. The ability to use zip lines and wall run really helps keep the combat moving at a great pace whilst infusing some much needed variety too!


Getting our hands on a 6 player wave mode was a great way to see some of what Sunset Overdrive has to offer. In the playable slice we were shown the combat consisted of three waves or progressive difficulty. The first simply offered you a chance to get the lay of the land and see what points of ingress were weak. The second round offered up a good variety of different zombie/mutant like foes. They swarmed and sprang around the level with surprising speed.

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Just as well you’re no slouch in the nimble department then isn’t it. Simply jumping toward and rope, cable or rail and pressing X instigates a grind/slide action reminiscent of Cole from InFamous or Ratchet with his Grind Boots. Using this method you can also scale buildings and jump up obstacles to get out of the way of stampeding enemies. This came in very handy when we hit the final wave!

In the final wave we had to defend a series of vats from the oncoming army of mutants.   Working together with the other five players we needed to coordinate efforts to keep these vats safer from destruction. Huge mutants, some made of sinew and pustules and some blazing with fire all came down upon us during this struggle.

Graphically the game looks great. Very stylish with it’s cartoonish visuals and layers upon layers of eclectic pyrotechnical splendour. Frame rate stayed pretty much solid throughout out test which is no mean feat for a 6-playertitle still not released.

Longevity will be the key when Sunset Overdrive does have its day in the sun. Playingthis15 minute vertical slice was great fun but I’m as yet unconvinced as to the entertainment and staying power of the game over any length of time. Visually, despite the particles flying, the game does, in part, look like a slightly upwardly tweaked Xbox360 title. This could, in part, be due to the art style to be fair so I’ll reserve any further judgement until release day comes around.

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With Insomniac’s past record (Fuse not with standing!) confidence is high that Sunset Overdrive will meet our expectations upon its release at the end of October (28th US & 31st EU) on the Xbox One. That short slice of time we spent with the game was entertaining and fun and we hope to see this ten-fold in the finished product.


Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.