Sunset Overdrive is the most ridiculous game I’ve played in years, and I mean that in the most amazing way possible.  Insomniac’s latest puts you smack in the middle of the “Awesomepocalypse”, trying to survive a city full of crazed mutants with an unnatural thirst for the new energy drink (Overcharge) that caused their morbid transformation in the first place.  Seriously.

To call Sunset Overdrive a shooter would be to short change everything else it does so well.  It’s an open-world mash-up of Ratchet and Clank (also made by Insomniac), Tony Hawk, Jet Set Radio, and most of your favorite B-Movies.

It took me a few minutes to familiarize myself with the game’s controls, but once I did I was grinding, bouncing, jumping and running myself across the game’s enormous open-world city.  To aid in my survival is an array of the zaniest weapons this side of Dead Rising.  The weapons themselves level up as you use them which is very liberating as a player.  I’m basically rewarded for using the weapons that I like best.  Special earned “amps” are used to customize weapons, giving them very unique properties that you can only take advantage of by keeping your style meter full.


The game loop basically consists of keeping your style meter up by combo-ing melee and ranged kills with rail grinding, wall-running, bouncing, jumping and hanging.  You’re then rewarded with special abilities that make it both easier and more hilarious to dispatch these creeps.  Imagine firing explosive teddy bears at mutants while bouncing between cop cars and electrical lines and you get the basic idea.

You can completely customize your character (male or female) and make them look as funny, sexy, or ridiculous as you’d like.  It’s very rewarding because that character seamlessly integrates into cutscenes and story moments.  Your character is hilarious too, all too aware that he or she is in a video game.

Another positive is that death isn’t frustrating in Sunset Overdrive.  Many games punish the player, even accidentally, by requiring long load times to reset your progress to the last checkpoint.  Here you’re treated to a hilarious random “respawn moment”, and it happens immediately after dying.  No loading, no waiting, just back into the action once you step out of a phone booth or crash into the world in your rocket ship, etc.

In summary, I’ve only played a couple hours and I can’t wait to dive back in.  It’s a fun, beautiful, rewarding experience that I completely recommend.

About The Author

By day I’m a producer/director at a video game development studio. By night, I’m… um… yeah, i’m usually just a more tired producer/director at a video game development studio. BUT, by weekend I’m a husband, father, and critic of all things.

  • Justin

    I only skimmed your article, but I was so excited that I’ve ordered a PS4 so I can play it!

    • Tim

      Haha whoopsie! I probably should have mentioned this is exclusive to the XBox One.

      • Justin

        You owe me $400.