During this year’s 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, I got the chance to play Insomniac’ Games upcoming title, Sunset Overdrive. This was one of the titles that eluded me at the Electronic Entertainment Expo earlier this year, so I was happy to get the opportunity to play it during Comic-Con. Microsoft had the game available to play at the Xbox Lounge for the convention, and the demo featured the game’s cooperative multiplayer mode.
The available multiplayer mode for the demo was the eight-player Chaos Mode. Chaos Mode resembles a typical multiplayer horde mode, since the team of outrageously dressed characters has to fight off waves and waves of mutants overdosed on the Delirium XT energy drink. The characters have to defend a blockaded area that has vats of the Delirium drink. The mutants will try to invade the area and destroy the vats to get at the chemicals, so the team has to stop them and mow down as many mutants as possible. Mutants range in size and shape, while some giant towering ones come in toward the later waves to shake things up.
The combat for multiplayer had a fun, eclectic mix of styles between the game’s bright and loud colors, humorous style, freedom of movement and third-person shooter techniques. The demo allowed players to choose from a ton of weapons in the weapon wheel right from the start, so the weapon gameplay had a fun, pick your poison style. The most fun weapons to use are the teddy bear rocket launcher, the TnTeddy. Another launcher shoots out razor-sharp vinyl records, the High Fidelity. The fort area has convenient points to set weaponized traps to cut down groups of mutants, such as using a bladed fan to slice the mutants to ribbons.
Controls and attacks played very smoothly and responsively. The freedom of movement and control the game grants your character feels really strong. The grinding controls are one of my favorite parts of the gameplay. Along with the grinding feature, the look and overall style of the game reminds me of Jet Set Radio Future. I especially like that you can grind on power lines, or even on railings closer to the ground, and chain that with jumps on various objects, such as cars. The controls add to the game’s fast and frenetic style.
The other thing I liked about the Chaos Mode for the demo is that it was not especially hard. Chaos Mode offers a suitable challenge, especially with the escalating number of mutants and the mutants that are much bigger in size. However, the Chaos Mode never came off as mind-numbingly hard as Call of Duty and other multiplayer modes often feel. The graphics looked clear and crisp, and I did not experience any slowdowns or loss of framerate during the demo and the areas filled up with enemies. This aspect resembles Dead Rising 3 when there are hordes of zombies all over the place and it becomes like a battle royale.
Sunset Overdrive is due out for the Xbox One on October 28 in North America and October 31 in Europe.