Sunset Overdrive was a bit of a mystery when it was showcased at E3 and various other conferences/shows. Coming from the makers of the superbly entertaining Ratchet and Clank games as well as the Resistance series, both PlayStation staples for many years, the studio's pedigree was in no way worrisome. However, how might they approach and exclusivity deal for a new IP with Microsoft? The answer, now that the game has been out a while and garnered numerous Game of the Year nominations, is abundantly clear.
Take the excellent third person combat mechanics seen across the Ratchet and Clank titles, dial up the wacky-ness and 4th-wall breaking satire to 11, and splash a vibrant coat of paint across various post-apocalyptic tropes, and you have Sunset Overdrive.
The humor and style oozing from the game is a blast and very well-written, albeit perhaps more ADHD and/or juvenile-infused at times than some may care for. Said humor also serves as a hilarious commentary on video games themselves, along with their various strengths, and weaknesses.
What stands out to me the most, however, is just how enjoyable character customization is as well as general traversal. The sheer variety you can enjoy in terms of aesthetic and play style customization is sublime, and the game rewards you for playing the way you want to play. Various guns and abilities level up the more you use them, and not once have I felt somehow penalized or stunted in my enjoyment of the game for not exploring weapons and/or abilities that don't hold as much appeal to me.
While the initial learning curve for mastering the controls and general feel/rhythm of movement and traversal is slightly steep, in my opinion, once you have it down reasonably pat, just getting from point A to point B in Sunset City massive landscape is a blast in and of itself, feeling both efficient and kinetic in a fun, fast-paced way. Being able to use most any aspect of the environment to aid your movement as you flip, spin, grind, wall-run, bounce, and blast around the city adds its own layer of depth and enjoyable strategy to how you approach both movement in general and combat as well, in combination with the game's large arsenal of course.
The graphical quality, art design, and quality of voice-acting are all spot-on for the most part in capturing the irreverent and energetic mood Insomniac is seeking to convey in this game, and I couldn't be happier with my purchase. You can play for 30 minutes or 3 hours and still enjoy yourself while still feeling like that game is respecting your time and progress. This is a must-own exclusive title for the Xbox One :-D