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SDCC 2014: Get Juiced with Sunset Overdrive

SDCC 2014: Get Juiced with Sunset Overdrive

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Ready for a wacky new open world experience fueled by Overcharge Delirium XT!? Spawning from some of the concepts and successes of Resistance 3, Sunset Overdrive is Insomniac’s latest sample of survival horror gameplay with a much lighter and more upbeat twist. This latest installment is based on three overall themes: fun during terrible times, be who you want to be, and “major mcfuck-ups” (yes a quote from Insomniac themselves). What exactly is in store for us in Sunset Overdrive? RFMag sits with Insomniac at San Diego Comic Con to go over this Xbox One exclusive behind closed doors and gets some hands on time with this latest wacky adventure.

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The setting is Sunset City. You’re on duty at your dead-end job as a grunt for Fizzco, a company currently hosting an event to promote their latest energy drink, Overcharge Delirium XT. However, Fizzco suffers a public relations nightmare as their rushed-to-production energy drink causes the bulk of the citizens of Sunset City to mutate into mindless monsters to known as the OD’d. Sunset City strangely enough becomes your personal playground as you fight for your own survival using the most ridiculous of weaponry against the OD’d. How ridiculous? Take a look at the concept art for the Roman Candle and TNT Teddy.

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Meet the most peculiar of in-game campy NPC survivalist factions that took their current circumstances at the time of the OD’d outbreak just a tad too seriously. The Fargarths are LARPers that were mid-larping during the outbreak and are now convinced that their fantasy world is a reality. Perhaps you could strike some deals with Troop Bushido, a group of boy scouts that were stranded during a fieldtrip to a Japanese temple. They ending up ingesting the Japanese themes so deeply they became pseudo samurais themselves. Of course, you must have non-infected no-good survivalist that are just as bad and scattered as the OD’d in the form of the Scabs.

Before you even think that this is just another ground-pounding zombie survival game, know that taking the fight to the OD’d directly on the streets is a highway to your death. Instead, immerse in the game’s high movability traversals as you take all of the crazy parkour you may have learned in Titanfall to grind on rooftops, wall-run, bounce off of parasols, or swing on cables. As the game grants you extra bonuses for causing mayhem whilst traversing, this game inspires constant high-speed action. Campers beware.

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Create your very own unique character of any size, gender, color, or what-have-you and customize your weaponry and abilities using Amps. Amps enhance your character’s various abilities and are acquired as you progress through the game. Furthermore, they are rewarded even faster with your fancier traversal kills. Want to play and gain rewards with others? Chaos Squad is the game’s 8-player online co-op mode. It is a sort of “horde” mode a la Gears 3, where you can place traps and/or use player-enhancing boosts as you and 7 other players struggle to survive the increasingly dangerous waves of the OD’d. You acquire better rewards for challenging yourself by jumping in with less or no boosts. Chaos Squad promises seamless transition between campaign and multiplayer as you can not only jump between the modes instantly at any time, but your in-game cash, “Overcharge”, crafting recipes, new weapons and vanity items acquired in either mode can be used in either mode.

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Amongst others, one of the unique aspects of this game that stood out to us was how online community interaction will be implemented in Sunset Overdrive. Sunset TV will be a weekly show that airs in Sunset City that players can watch by walking up to any screen or billboard they happen across during their in-game travels. The show will display anything from developer announcements, special event notices or outcomes of players’ feedback that effect the overall evolution of the Sunset City universe. Per Sunset Overdrive’s and Insomniac’s PR announcement:

New events and content will be introduced into the game at regular intervals post-launch, and players will have the opportunity to determine items they can earn permanently in subsequent updates.

As games are starting to launch to beef up the Xbox One’s game roster, Sunset Overdrive is coming our way on October 28, 2014 (launch date) and promises give us a unique flavor of gameplay. I for one have high hopes for this title as our time with the game at San Diego Comic Con was very enjoyable. Controls were quite easy to pick up which is refreshing given the fast pace of the game. It was hard to find a spot on the map, during our 8 person Chaos Squad session, that wasn’t about to explode. We look forward to more time with the game as we close in on October.

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In case you’re still curious, here are some more shots of the game and the set up at Xbox’s Comic Con gaming lounge at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

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† Main game screenshots and images acquired from the Xbox Press Site.