Let's get straight to the point. Shooting people is fun. But before the moral outcry, we mean shooting people in videogames. And before the letters come flooding in about how little Jimmy is being corrupted by the evil of videogames, we're referring strictly to titles with an 18 CERTIFICATE. Total Overdose makes no bones of its content (apart from those of your enemies), and revels in unabashed violence. The comical Mexican flavour sits well with the ultraviolent action, and the affectionate pastiche borrows heavily from every fajita flavoured film of the last few years.
Killing is more than a necessity in the game - it's an art form. Total Overdose is all about racking up style points. Points mean more than just prizes; each milestone (every 5,000 points or so) unlocks new weapon abilities, health upgrades, and more importantly, more stylish ways of dispatching enemies. Hold the Left trigger and hit any direction on the Left thumbstick, and the old bullet time kicks in while your hombre dramatically dives all over the place. Take an enemy down during this window of opportunity, and you'll amass points - the more outrageous the move, the bigger the bonus. Bounce off cars, flip off walls; there's tons of fun to be had learning and performing a wealth of murderous moves.
Every time you dispatch an enemy, a combo timer starts counting down. You're encouraged to take down another opponent before it resets, at which point it begins again. Chaining kills together is both challenging and fun, and the desperate race against time to find another victim and be as creative with him as possible is a right laugh.
Pull off a particularly spectacular kill, and you'll be rewarded with a Loco move. Mapped to the D-pad, activate one of these and a special ability kicks in - momentarily you'll pull off oneshot kills, gain the powers of a Raging Bull, or summon the help of a fat, very angry wrestler, or the grenade-launcher wielding Sombrero of Death.
Quite... Again, it's all executed really well, and the humour stays strictly tongue-in-cheek. The AI of these CPU team-mates isn't as hot as it could be, but they can still seek out and kill opponents of their own accord well enough. The environments are essentially freeroaming, but the city settings aren't very expansive and can easily be traversed on foot in a couple of minutes. Vehicles are present, but due to the size of the urban environments (and occasionally tricky handling), they aren't crucial to the game. It's the top mix of crazy humour and frenzied action that elevates Total Overdose above every other generic actioner out there, though. Sure, the action could be seen as mindlessly repetitive, but then to an extent you're only limited by your own creativity. Just kick back and lap up the theatrical gunplay in this sizzling shooter, and you won't get burned.
A fun and frantic shooter with some fresh combat moves, but ultimately it may prove a little repetitive for some.