Basking in the sunset


sunset

Well mostly all week I have been playing the Xbox One exclusive ‘Sunset Overdrive’ a very colourful, vibrant mix of cult favourite Jet Set Radio (aka Jet Grind Radio), Dead Rising and to some extent Ratchet & Clank.  Designed by industry veterans Insomniac Games and following a ton of hype during development … I’m happy to report this game is an explosion of fun.  The story isn’t anything special, something about a soft drinks firm whose latest energy drink has inadvertently turned many of the inhabitants of Sunset City into mutants, and you as one of a handful of survivors must find a way of escaping, whilst also going up against the mutant horde, other factions and Fizzco, the company behind it all.

sunset1

For me the story plays secondary to the fun of just playing this game and exploring the hugely attractive city.  This is certainly one of the best looking games yet for XB1, with high resolution textures, tons of colour (compared to many game’s muted colour pallets) and a fun traversal system where you can bounce off a wealth of objects (cars, boats, bushes, vents etc.) and grind on almost any surface, not to mention also being able to wall-run ala Prince of Persia.  It’s very slick and makes getting around pure joy.  I am loving doing some of the traversal challenges and then offering them up to people on my friends list.

There’s a bunch of colourful characters to interact with and get missions from, which are sometimes a lot of fetch quests but broken up with rescue missions and get from point A to point B before shit happens type stuff.  It’s really entertaining though and the production values, including some near-Pixar quality cut scenes make this the real deal.  I also like the fact you can not only create your character from the start, but customize him or her throughout, making this a very personalised experience for the player.  The script also is very funny with many pop-culture and video-game culture references a-plenty.

It doesn’t seem overly difficult right now, even if dying brings with it a plethora of different and very funny re-spawn animations (fave?  The Terminator), and some have knocked it’s OTT self referential approach … but I’m loving it.  So if you enjoy colourful platformers and have played the likes of Jet Set or Dead Rising and enjoyed them, then this is the game for you!

Is that me doing a little demonstration … why, yes!

Xbox One’s secret weapon?


Although as we know Microsoft’s next generation console, Xbox One is lagging behind Sony’s PlayStation 4 sales-wise, for me at least it is still the games that matter … and the exclusives, which helped me when making my decision over which machine to go for.  So far Son’y machine has a personally less that appealing offering when it comes to exclusive titles (Drive Club, 1886 The Order, Uncharted 4?  Meh…) compared to Microsoft wetting our appetites with promises of sequels to well established franchises like Halo and Gears Of War as well as new games like Titanfall and Quantum Break.  However this past week has seen the first real in-game footage unveiled of previously announced exclusive Sunset Overdrive, by former Sony-exclusive developers Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank, Resistance).  To say it looks amazing is an understatement … with memories of the colourful, arcady Dreamcast era coming to mind.  Check out the video below: