Insomnic breaks into Xbox world

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First Posted: 12/1/2014

Insomniac is known as a Playstation game developer, making exclusives including “Resistance,” “Spyro the Dragon” and most importantly the “Ratchet & Clank” series. But now, Insomniac has released an Xbox One exclusive, a new IP, “Sunset Overdrive”.

“Sunset Overdrive” is definitely an Insomniac game. It is bright, colorful and just down right fun. Set in a huge open world, called Sunset City, motion and exploration are highlights of the game. It’s all about shooting and traversing the world. Similar to the “Tony Hawk” series, you grind on all sorts of things like rails, shrubs, cars and power lines. The movement is fast and stylish.

“Sunset Overdrive” is about style. You make and customize your character any way you want and you get extra style points and upgrades based on how much you use the environment and how inventively you take down the bad guys. Shooting enemies with wacky weapons while chaining together grinds will lead to unlocking player badges which will give you upgrades to your abilities. The controls and the movement is easy to learn meaning beginer players can pull off stylish moves making it fun for everyone.

One of the things Insomniac games are known for is their story and dialogue. “Sunset Overdrive” doesn’t disappoint. Everything in the game is like one big joke. It pokes fun at traditional video game tropes, topical social issues and large corporations. The story of “Sunset Overdrive” is set in 2027, when a giant corporation called Fizzco has put out a new energy drink called Overcharge Delirium XT. The drink is turning everyone into mutant monsters who crave human brains. You must create your wise cracking hero to take down the mutants and stop the dastardly Fizzco while saving the city. The hero you create is a non stop joke machine cracking jokes about every topic you can think of and some of them are pretty groan worthy but it is amusing. Even though the game looks bright and colorful, the subject matter is pretty mature, it might look like a cartoon but it can be pretty violent and the humor is quite crude.

If you decide you want to take a brake from the story, there are hundreds of collectables to find throughout the city. It’s a good thing the traversal is so much fun, I never felt bored traveling around finding all the hidden goodies and doing side activities. You don’t collect for no reason, you need to find amps that are scattered around the city, and you trade them in to stores for things like shoes and toilet paper which is used to upgrade your character. Amps aren’t the only things to find. There are hidden weapons and pieces of clothing. You can also blast enemies around the city to earn upgrades for weapons. Gunplay is similar to the “Ratchet & Clank” series.

You don’t have to explore Sunset City alone. There is a cooperative multiplayer function. If you step into a photo booth you get matched up with other players called “Chaos Squads”. The more you complete chaos missions the harder they get but the rewards get greater too.

Chaos missions can be fun but are a bit repetitive. Even though the multiplayer is a good feature the single player campaign is more fun.

Overall I loved “Sunset Overdrive.” If you love open world games or have a soft spot for “Tony Hawk” you will like this game. The world is full of things to do and places to explore. The weapons and story make the experience hilarious and amazing. I am a huge fan of all the games Insomniac has put out and “Sunset Overdrive” might be my new favorite.