Sunset Overdrive

In the fall of 2014, video game developer Insomniac Games, and publisher Microsoft Studios, released the Xbox One exclusive game, “Sunset Overdrive.” “Sunset Overdrive” is an open world, single-player/multiple-player, third-person shooter. Open world, or sandbox, are video games in which players roam virtual worlds and approach objectives freely from any direction. The game allows for movement in the open worlds without the invisible walls, and loading screens, found in more linear level designed games.

“Sunset Overdrive” takes place in the near future of 2027, in the fictional place called Sunset City. FizzCo held a party for the launch of their new energy drink, Overcharge Delirium XT. Overcharge Delirium XT, or OD, effects the human endocrine system when consumed and turns people into mutants. This extremely popular beverage ends up turning almost the entire population of Sunset City into mutants. The humans, who have not turned into mutants, begin to form several different groups of bandits. These bandits proceed to terrorize the remaining human survivors.

The main character, controlled by the player, is a FizzCo employee, who worked in the sanitation division. Teaming up with other survivors, they attempt to escape Sunset City, as well as expose the truth about Fizzco. FizzCo’s dirty little secret is they skipped health regulation protocols and released a contaminated drink to the public. Overcharge Delirium XT causes anyone who drinks it to change into violent and grotesque mutants. FizzCo attempts to cover up what they did and instead claims that inhabitants of Sunset City have been exposed to a virus. Quarantines are put in place, and the entire city is not allowed to exit and no one from the outside world is allowed to enter. Their secret is safe… For now.

The game play is about agility. While on foot, players can’t run or duck-and-cover. They need to rely on acrobatics, use grind rails to navigate above the streets, run up walls, use zip-lines, and other parkour type moves. Fortunately, players can carry up to eight weapons at one time. Some of these weapons include: the TNTeddy RPG which fires teddy bears strapped to sticks of dynamite, or the AK-FU assault rifle, and the Flaming Compensator shotgun. Players can unlock weapons are the move through the story, or by finding a shop to purchase them. Weapons can also be upgraded in the game. While the weapons don’t need to be reloaded while in use, eventually they do run out of ammunition.

While the game can be played in single-player mode, there is an option for an eight-player, co-op multi-player mode. This mode is called the Chaos Squad. Players must complete a series of missions. Similar to playing a tower defense game, the multi-players must keep hungry mutants away from vats of Overcharge Delirium XT. By building barriers and fortifications and using the weapons on hand, players have to keep the waves of mutants away from the OD until time runs out.

“Sunset Overdrive” has been applauded for its music, graphics, gameplay and humor.