Quick Look: Sunset Overdrive

Off the back of Hi-Fi Rush, I’ve been thinking about other games that match the style and “feel”. The only game that has sprung to mind is Sunset Overdrive.

Released in 2014 by Insomniac Games (developers of the new Spider-Man games) on the Xbox One. Sunset Overdrive caught the attention and praise of most. A fast-paced, colourful and fun 3rd-person, a tion adventure game in an open world.

Now, I played a good chunk of Sunset Overdrive a while ago when it was on Xbox. But as a part of Gamepass, I’ve decided to revisit it, trying to find that energy.

In 2018, the PC port of Sunset Overdrive was released, 60 frames per second and full 1080p it’s Smooth sailing. Here’s my quick look of Sunset Overdrive.

Sunset Overdrive - Starting big

Sunset Overdrive

Energy Drink Corporation sells unsafe product to the masses and instead of a cure. They opt for a cover-up. It’s a classic tale!

That leaves us picking up the pieces with a few allies. Running, jumping, grinding our way around and shooting hoardes of now-zombified people around Sunset City.

Honestly, there’s some light customisation and opportunities to buff you attacks, but the core gameloop is all around being as fast and efficient as possible. Getting around the city, clearing the hoardes and taking-down bosses.

Mix-in the bright, bold and colourful aesthetic, and even in 2023 Sunset Overdrive is a fun and good-looking game.

I’ll be honest, I remember the action being a bit more frenetic, and I imagine almost 10 years of open-world games in between the release and now, mean I’ve seen a lot of steady improvements to the genre. Mobs don’t feel quite so big and overwhelming as they once did, but it’s not a major issue.

The improved framerate means you can feel a bit more of the speed and energy that the game is going for, and the action on-screen never falters.

Sunset Overdrive - Keyart

On Deck?

One of the reasons I decided to jump back into Sunset Overdrive was the fact that, whilst it’s listed as “not supported” in Steam, for the Steam Deck. A lot of online fans are reporting that it runs great, and is actually a great example of a big single-player open-world game on the platform.

Of course, in the name of science, I’m diving in there, too. There will be a separate look at that, but based on the spec of the Deck, I can’t see it being a problem.

Sunset Overdrive may very well find a new lease of life on Valve’s portable handheld.

Quick look

Usually with the “Quick Look” content, I stick a few hours in and give broad opinions to help people decide whether or not a game might be worth a look.

I can see myself jumping into Sunset Overdrive instead of Jedi Fallen Order and maybe finishing this instead. It’s more fun, more engaging and honestly, it holds-up pretty well for a game nearly a decade old.

Quick note: I forgot entirely how gory Sunset Overdrive can be. Moreover, the dialogue includes a good chunk of adult language. That’s fine by me. But I’d hoped that the colourful and vibrant world would be engaging for my young son. Alas, he won’t witness it because its just a little too keen on being edgy, which tonally fits with a game from 2014.

Not as musical and carefree as Hi-Fi Rush, but Sunset Overdrive delivers in all departments. The dialogue and humour can sometimes grate, but if you take it for what it is and get the fun out of the action. You’ll likely not be too bothered by it.

All in all, Sunset Overdrive is doing a lot of fun, interesting things, and despite its age, doesn’t feel dated. In fact, you can see the DNA of Insomniac Games here, and perhaps understand a little where Spider-Man was built from.

Highly Recommended

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