Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive

An Xbox One exclusive, Sunset Overdrive is one entertaining game that came bundled with my console. It is still installed and from time to time I still play this charming game.

Transportation Mechanic

The player character is definitely super-human, able to glide on water and dash forward mid-air. Additionally the player can perform wall-runs and grind on rails or edge of walls and buildings.

Umbrellas, air vents, and vehicle roofs gives player ability to jump even higher, like a trampoline and is one of the primary methods to climbing tall buildings.

Mixing up these different abilities to move about the city and player charges up a multiplier that provides more over-the-top damage and animation effects. Just roaming around the city looking for trouble turned out to be one of the most entertaining and relaxing experiences I've ever seen in a video game.

There is also fast-travel, so that you can get to places quickly by using the map, which is accessible with a dedicated button.


Sunset Overdrive has plots that the game itself is not taking seriously. Characters often break the fourth wall to remind players that. The setting is bright and colorful with a non-photo-realistic design. See rippling effects on water and fabric. All idle and respawn animations are hilarious, often mimic scenes from old movies.

Useful items have contrasting colors from its surroundings and have a slight sparkle around them.

The city itself has a lot of funny little details in the form of posters murals and signage. Why would a dentist promote his practice with a logo that is a hammer, wrench, and crowbar? That's the kind of absurd elements that is everywhere in the large city.

Part of this fun atmosphere also comes in the form of chatter from non-playable characters through out the city. The game has a setting that blocks out all profanity with a beep, which I found to have more impact than hearing the actual words. Players can fill in the blanks on their own, no? With the color schemes and the fact that it is always sunny, these contrasts help maintain a balance to the overall tone and immediately marks the hopeless enemies for you.

Some interactions have letters embedded as part of the animation and gives off a feeling like you are reading a comic book. For example, there is a monster that looks like a walking water balloon. When you kill that monster it pops with animated POP letters.

Weapon Design

The weapons are all ridiculously powerful and can be combined with add-ons that change their behavior. For example, you can create an acid sprinkler that occasionally freeze enemies.

The real success here, is that while the weapons obvious defy laws of physics in size and capability, looking at them it is intuitive what they may do for you, and the fact that they over-power most enemies in the game means players are free to switch things up without worrying whether they carry effective arsenal around.

Ammunition can be purchased, or picked up from distinct looking boxes that are everywhere. It is entirely possible to run out of bullets, but it is so easy to refill it helps to take focus away from inventory management.

Finally, there are parts of Sunset Overdrive where players must defend invading horde of mutants for a period of time, like tower defense. Here the game is also very create with different traps that serve a particular style of defense.


Clothing, face, body build, gender properties can be changed in game. It is possible to have wacky combinations that other games don't often have, such as putting beard on a woman.

Ability customization allows player to focus on a types of movement or combat they prefer. This makes a lot of sense because you get better at doing what you enjoy doing.

Play Assist

It is easy to pull off chains of tough movements because the game understands what you want to do and provide assists. No need to pick up every little coin or can, because player character is a magnet and they are naturally attracted to you.

It helps when the game gets chaotic with enemies and bullets everywhere, and you are low on health or ammo, just move (or most likely grind rails) towards an item and you pick it up.

There are markers that tells you where to go. For search objectives if a player is in the area for a while without finding the item, the location is revealed eventually.

This is rather important, as in a 3D free-roaming game like this, it can get frustrating quickly if players end up having to wrestle with the control schemes just to be able to do what they want to do.


Final boss was a skyscraper. A tough and maniacal building.