Insomniac Games’ Sunset Overdrive is not an unknown quantity. It’s an open-world action game that launched exclusively on the Xbox One during the early years of the platform. Ever since Microsoft set its Play Anywhere initiative into motion, it was one of the few Xbox One exclusives that hadn’t yet made its way to the PC. All of this has changed now, with its arrival on the Windows Store as well as Steam.
Sunset Overdrive is a bright, colorful, and stylized take on post-apocalyptic times. The game is set in a modern day city known as Sunset City, with bizarre zombie creatures sprawling about everywhere. As the player, you’re essentially trying to survive by taking out these creatures in style using unusual weapons that only Insomniac Games could’ve thought up. This is a game that simply refuses to take itself seriously, and neither should you. It never shies away from ridiculing and mocking just about everything. The story is largely serviceable at best and essentially serves as an excuse for you to unleash mayhem onto your enemies. What’s great, though, is that the humor stays fresh
Over the course of your playthrough, you’ll quickly learn that taking on zombies on the ground can quickly become an almost impossible feat. There are no carefully placed cover spots for you to get behind and shoot at enemies from a safe distance. You’re instead encouraged to constantly stay on the move and take advantage of the game’s most enjoyable element i.e. its parkour system. In order to create distance between yourself and the horde of zombies coming your way, you’ll need to run up walls and grind across buildings via a network of power wires. Similarly, you can grind across railings and fences much like in a skating game in order to wriggle out of tight situations. Enemies are faster by design, so evading them on-foot is next to impossible.
The core gameplay loop is made even more enjoyable and responsive on PC, now that the frame rate isn’t capped at 30fps. Playing Sunset Overdrive at higher refresh rates makes the experience feel a whole lot smoother. Grinding for extended periods and performing combo kills feels more effortless and rewarding here than it did in the Xbox One version.
It’s also great to see that all the additional downloadable content released after the launch of the Xbox One version has been included in the PC version from the get-go. This means that you’ll have access to the new regions as well as an assortment of new weapons from the very beginning. The story DLC includes Mystery of the Mooil Rig and Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines, both of which add some longevity to the core experience.
Unfortunately, however, not all is great with the PC version of Sunset Overdrive. For starters, there’s no support for the 21:9 aspect ratio, which means that those with ultra wide monitors will have to live with black bars. In terms of graphics, the game hasn’t really aged so well, what with recent open world games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey raising the bar quite a bit. It certainly doesn’t help that the PC version can run at higher resolutions, which in turn makes some of the texture work seem a little dated. It would’ve been nice to have seen some additional graphical features. That said, the game’s distinct art style is essentially what makes it appealing. There are also some great moments of particle effects works when there’s a lot of carnage on screen.
By far the biggest disappointment associated with the PC version of Sunset Overdrive is the lack of multiplayer support. To single player purists, this isn’t likely to be a deal breaker, though those who did enjoy the coop missions in the Xbox One version will find it to be a glaring omission. There’s no question that it did add some replay value to the game, and gave players a reason to return to Sunset City.
All in all, the lack of multiplayer support and additional graphical options hurt what is otherwise a great PC port of an already great game.
Sunset Overdrive Review (PC)
Game Reviewed on: PC
Game description: Sunset Overdrive transforms an open-world apocalypse into your tactical playground. Zip, grind and wall-run across Sunset City with an unconventional arsenal. Hyper-agility, unique weapons, and customizable abilities deliver an explosive and irreverent adventure in the end times.
Final Score - 7.5/107.5/10
While Sunset Overdrive's PC port is essentially great news for fans of the game, it does cut corners in some noteworthy areas, thus preventing it from offering the definitive experience.