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Sunset Overdrive - hands-on review, Gamescom trailers, screenshots, release date and news

Tom Morgan
14 Aug 2014
Sunset Overdrive
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Everything we know so far about what is sure to be the Xbox One's most OTT shooter, Sunset Overdrive

Easily one of the most popular games on the show floor at this year's E3, Insomniac Games' Xbox One-exclusive Sunset Overdrive is shaping up to be a hectic third person shooter with its tongue firmly in cheek. Pitched to us as the bastard child of the Resistance FPS series and the Ratchet & Clank adventure games, Sunset Overdrive mashes up the former's apocalyptic end-of-the-world scenario and the latter's colourful presentation and wacky array of weaponry into one seriously addictive package.

To get you ready for the game's arrival, we've gathered all the available news and video coverage released so far, putting everything you need to know about Sunset Overdrive in one place.

Sunset Overdrive Plot

In case you needed an excuse to unleash mayhem in a virtual world, Sunset Overdrive gives you a good one; when drinks company Fizzco launches its new energy drink, Overcharge Delirium XT, it unfortunately has a few unexpected side effects on the residents of Sunset City. Anyone drinking drinking large amounts is turned into a voracious orange monster, an OD. The city is quarantined with you stuck inside, with lots of ODs and many other survivors. It's up to you to be the hero, putting down the monsters and rescuing the civilians.

We don't yet know how big the city is, but the developer is promising a dense environment with lots of interactive features, varied settings and plenty of colour. So far we've seen a fairground with a roller coaster to grind around, along with other rides to jump onto and even knock parts off - the rocket cars on one ride shoot off to kill enemies when hopped upon. 

Sunset Overdrive Gameplay

Think Dead Rising carnage mixed with Sega classic Jet Set Radio, or Tony Hawk's Pro Skater if you owned an original PlayStation instead of a Dreamcast. Sunset Overdrive is going to be hectic, with players encouraged to keep on the move using jumps, wall-running, rail grinding and some very elastic bushes and sun umbrellas. Players move about in third person, with a growing arsenal of weapons, power-ups and Amp special abilities to defend themselves against ODs. Weapons have elemental effects, with fire being most effective against ODs and electricity likely the best choice against Fizzco's robot cleanup force that appears later in the game.

Tagging together jumps, grinds and wall runs while raining death on ODs below, you'll build up your Style Meter. your Amp abilities are activated as you fill each section of the Style meter; these unique powers include generating a blast of force whenever you dodge,  melee attack upgrade, faster grinding and gun-specific upgrades, among others. Get hit or simply stop shooting stuff, and the bar will drop back to zero.

Basic enemies are pretty easy to dispatch, but mistime a jump and you'll end up stranded on the ground and quickly surrounded. There are larger Heavy enemies and huge boss monsters to contend with too. Should you die, you'll respawn in one of numerous amusing ways, such as being thrown bodily from a passing van, or stepping out of phone box, Bill and Ted style.

Players will be able to customise their character with gender, race, clothing and Amp options, letting you create something entirely unique to you. The second in-game character introduced through pre-release trailers, Floyd, revealed several customised playable characters, as well as a whole host of OD creatures, human looters and Fizzco robots that will form a part of the games's expansive enemy bestiary. We're hoping that you'll be able to pit all three against each other for some huge point combos.

The trailer also revealed a few of Sunset Overdrive's wacky weapons. Insomniac's previous games were renowned for their OTT arsenals, particularly the Ratchet and Clank series, so we can't wait to see what they come up with here. So far we've spotted lightsabre-style melee weapons, particle cannons lightning guns and sound cannons made from loudspeakers.

Sunset Overdrive Multiplayer

Players will be able to keep their character, their weapons, Amps and appearance when switching from the single player campaign to the multiplayer mode. Up to eight players can join co-op games which lasts around 25 minutes each, where things get very hectic, very quickly. Once everyone Amps up and unleashes their bigger weapons or powers, the screen quickly fills up with explosions as hordes of ODs are ripped apart. As a team you can choose from different missions, with harder missions unlocking better rewards. Each one has its own objectives which then build up to a final Night Defense section, in which you have to defend tanks of Overcharge from the ODs, who mutate into more dangerous versions when they drink it.

Sunset Overdrive Release date

Sunset Overdrive is set to arrive on the Xbox One on the 28th of October in North America, closely followed on the 31st of October in Europe and here in the UK. If you haven't picked up a console by then, it's looking highly likely that an exclusive white Xbox One bundle with a copy of the game in the box will be arriving alongside the retail release. With its irreverent art style and tongue-in-cheek attitude, this is one Xbox One exclusive we can't wait to get our hands on.

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