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E3 2014 Must Buy: Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive became a highly anticipated title back in E3 2013, but now that E3 2014 brought new footage and a whole load of new information, the gaming community seems to have gone crazy over Insomniac Games’ latest title. It looks so good that I’m actually considering buying an Xbox One with that as my main title on it. Before I get into the reasons why it’s my must-have title from E3, I think you’d better take a quick look at the E3 2014 trailer.

You may remember Insomniac Games as the company with such titles as Ratchet & ClankFuse, the Resistance games and a little title known as Spyro: Year of the Dragon, so they kind of have a proven track record of good, exciting and crazy games. And judging from the footage I’ve seen so far, Sunset Overdrive is going to be no different. The first reason it’s a must buy title for me? The city has been overrun with mutants. Now there are lots of games that feature mutants, zombies and monsters you wouldn’t want to meet in an alley at night, but what makes this one different to me is a two-fold: for starters they’re not traditional mutants, but different creatures that seem to have different personalities with a comical twist, and the second part is the way they become mutants. Who would have thought people would mutate because of an energy drink? Not a plague, or a genetically created disease to cure something or make people superhuman. A simple energy drink that’s a little messed up. To me it already shows it’s going to be a very different game.

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Another aspect I’m really looking forward to are the weapons. I love games where the weapons aren’t traditional guns, and that’s why titles such as Bulletstorm and Saints Row appeal to me, because they offer something unique in a shooter. The guns in this are just as crazy as the rest of the gameplay, with a personal favourite being the TnTeddy: a cute, adorable teddy bear that is strapped to a pack of dynamite and explodes on impact. It may seem a little overkill that Mr. Snuggles gets destroyed, but think of the good he’s doing for his country. It’s cute and quirky, two words that seem to apply to the entire title. To make the stuffed-explosion even better, the mushroom cloud takes the form of a teddy bear. You also have High Fidelity, a gun that fires vinyl records that can bounce off surfaces until impacting with one of the mutants. You also get to hear a song playing while they fly through the air. In my mind that’s music and a show. And finally you have the Roman Candle, which reminds me a little of the ‘Merica gun in Saints Row 4. This light show weapon fires multicolored shots that fizzle and crackle as they dance around the screen, causing massive damage and looking pretty while doing so. They’re all utterly ridiculous concepts for weapons, but they fit with the gameplay style so perfectly, and I honestly can’t wait to fire explosive teddy’s into crowds of mutants!

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My next reason may sound a little simple, but you’ll understand if you’ve watched gameplay footage: the movement system. When you play shooter games, whether it’s mutants, people or zombies, the objective always seems to be get to point A, defend it and then move to point B, rinse and repeat. It gets boring. You run, you gun, you die a few times and then do it all over again. But Sunset Overdrive combines parkour with the madness of killing monsters with explosive teddy bears. Boss fights take place while climbing large structures, and you move around the level by jumping ridiculous heights on trampolines, or sailing around on railings either on your feet or by hook. And while you’re doing this, you’re also shooting and killing mutants. The concept simply doesn’t seem boring at all! Sure, you seem to have the option to run around if you really want to play like that, but why would you when there are so many other methods just waiting to be used? The world is your post-apocalyptic playground and you’re armed with customisable abilities, so why would you want to walk? Granted running around and shooting may provide a bit of a challenge at first, but it’s my opinion that a game should provide a challenge while still being fun, and the idea sounds too fun to pass up.

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From customisable abilities to crazy weapons and a multitude of factions, there are more reasons why I think Sunset Overdrive is my must buy title from E3 2014, but these are just a few (if I list them all I run the risk of fangirl territory, and I would like to see more or even play it before I go there). Sunset Overdrive “rewrites the rules of shooters while delivering an irreverent adventure,” and this is exactly what I want in a shooter: something that is different, a little crazy but memorable, and overall something that looks fun. If you want to know how fun then make sure to read Jason’s opinion of it straight from the E3 showfloor (lucky). This is one of the titles that make me say “I need to buy an Xbox One this year”, and it’s not often that happens.



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