gamescom 2014: Sunset Overdrive: A Post-apocalyptic Party We Can’t Wait to Attend

Video forgamescom 2014: Sunset Overdrive: A Post-apocalyptic Party We Can’t Wait to Attend

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At this week’s gamescom 2014 expo, Insomniac Games head honcho Ted Price described the upcoming Sunset Overdrive to us as “An open-world shooter that takes place in a stylized, open city that you can bounce, grind, and traverse your way across. All the while, you’re going on missions, quests, challenges… you’re crafting, and engaging in a progression system, and meeting lots and lots of factions that help you uncover what went horribly wrong during the first night of the game.”

As anyone who’s been following the obscenely over-the-top, post-apocalyptic fragger is well-aware, the fabled evening Price is referring to is the one that saw the titular town’s partying populace turned into mutants by a tainted energy drink. While previous demos of the game have primarily focused on free-form, monster-mashing shenanigans, our in-depth presentation featured an objective-driven story mission, starring new enemy breeds and fresh ways to pulverize them.

Tasked with delivering a valuable sword to one of those factions Price mentioned, the protagonist began scaling a high-rise condo in search of such a weapon. The heroine (
Sunset Overdrive encourages players to personalize their male or female mutant-killers in outrageous get-ups), however, was met with resistance from killer robots. Sent by Fizzco – the company responsible for crafting the outbreak-bringing beverage in the first place – the bots were programmed to cover up any evidence of the incident.

Coming in a variety of menacing flavors, from those armed with missiles and machine guns to others wielding dual laser-swords that would have a Jedi doing a double-take, the terminators made it difficult for the player to reach the destination. Thankfully, her ample agility and arsenal of outrageous weapons generally trumped the bots’ best efforts. The challenge was complemented by a number of strategically placed fans that could blow her upward, showing off 
Sunset Overdrive’s vertical side.

With plenty of twisted metal in her wake, the heroine reached the rooftop, but discovered that her prize had already been taken. This prompted a new, multi-tiered objective:
Forge your own damn sword. It also gave us a peek at the game’s unique fast-travel system; upon choosing a location on the map, the character passed out, then stumbled out of a port-a-potty in her new destination. You’re probably not going to see that in any high-fantasy role-playing games.

Now at a power plant, she was tasked with destroying a trio of thermostats before forging some collected metal over a nuclear steam vent. Easier said than done; the objectives were blocked by mutants, including the Spawner. A hulking hunk of oozing nastiness, the aptly named enemy had a mutant-spitting dumpster fused to its back. And it was joined by a few Blowers – mutant/leaf-blower hybrids that shot infected pus from their arms.

Outfitted with the harpoon-firing Captain Ahab, a fireworks-igniting hand cannon called a Roman Candle, and the vinyl-record-launching High Fidelity (and that’s just
part of the crazy weapon wheel), the protagonist managed to suppress the meatbag army long enough to complete her tasks. The reward: a newly forged “Excalumune.” Essentially a nuclear sword, the oversized blade rearranges enemy rib cages then sets them ablaze.

Before the player could impress her faction friends with this new toy, however, she had to cool the weapon at a water plant. This task introduced another fresh threat: Scabs, effectively anarchist humans that want to kill you and steal all your cool stuff. Apparently not wanting to bother with the puny people after turning infected hordes to pulp, the protagonist armed the TNTeddy, an adorable toy that just so happened to be stuffed with dynamite.

The bomb-in-a-bear made pretty quick work of the adversaries, and the player finally got to douse the blade and take a breather – capping a mission that contained more adrenaline-amping moments than many games see in their entire campaigns.

Based on its eye-popping presentation, imaginative weapons, Parkour-pushing cityscape, and enemies that make plain old zombies look about as scary as puppy dogs,
Sunset Overdrive is poised to deliver a post-apocalypse like no other. And we can’t wait to survive it.