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Sunset Overdrive details revealed: Xbox exclusive 'like Tony Hawk with guns'

Traversal, combat and more detailed in latest Edge

New details on Insomniac Games' Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive have been released by way of the latest issue of Edge Magazine.

Edge's exclusive preview - which is available now both digitally and at newsstand - describes Sunset Overdrive as a mixture of the "blue skies and punk rock of Crazy Taxi, the speed and style of Jet Set Radio, the grindabile city of Tony Hawk's Project 8 and the firepower of any Insomniac shooter".

Like games such as InFamous and Prototype, traversal is at the core of Insomniac's open-world gameplay experience, says Edge, so the game will features wall-running, mantling and grinding, during which players can gun down the zombie-like enemies prowling the streets.

Insomniac is also continuing its tradition of creating wild and wacky weaponry, with guns such as the "Roman candle firework launcher", fire-extinguisher-powered teddy bear grenade launcher, flame-throwing shotgun and vinyl disc launcher making an appearance.

In the game's story corporate giant 'Fizzco' is on the verge of releasing a new energy drink called Overcharge Delirium XT and offers the citizens of Sunset City a taster. While everyone else is enjoying the party, the player character is on cleaning duty, but then something goes wrong.

The city is quickly overrun by enemies called "the OD'd" and Fizzco begins to cover up the event by cordening off the city, leaving the player imprisoned.


"You don't have that shit dead-end job any more, you don't have that boss breathing down your neck, you don't have bills to pay and there's nobody to stop you from climbing on top of buildings, shooting guns, blowing stuff up, cranking the music, or living out your video game fantasies," Insomniac's Smith tells Edge. "You can have fun in the end times."

Although the game's enemies resemble zombies, Insomniac differentiates them by calling them a "disaster brought about by corporate greed".

The game's open world is built up of a series of islands, Edge reveals, each with their own day and night cycle. In addition to a Crackdown-esque verticality, the islands have rails and cables for players to grind on and get around.

Unlike many modern shooters, Sunset Overdrive will reward players for tackling enemies and bosses head on, instead of cowering behind cover, says Edge, and players can craft 'Amps' using collected Overcharge drinks to activate various superpowers once the player's 'style meter' is filled.

Sunset City is occupied by a number of factions, both friend and foe, and some non-player characters will offer sidequests, which Edge reports are designed to force players to think about moving around the city in different ways.

Insomniac has employed a fashion designer to work with a concept artist on character creation and specifically in multiplayer, costumes are what will differentiate players.

In terms of combat, Sunset Overdrive encourages players to attack the enemy instead of hiding behind cover.

"We wanted to take the shooter genre away from cowering behind cover," says game director Drew Murray. "You'll be rewarded for jumping over that cover and taking the fight to the enemy. I think there's a certain level of fatigue among players right now.

"If you look at Metacritic, there's this downward trend of scores, and I don't think it's just that all of a sudden game critics want to be extra harsh. What I'm looking for is just different experiences. I like shooters, but I want something different. I don't want every game I play to be another game like Call Of Duty; I want things to feel different and to have different experiences."

Insomniac has also confirmed that Sunset Overdrive is currently a "sub-1080p game": "We're still working on optimising and we're going to continue to do that.

"We can get into all the technical stuff later. This is going to be a [question] for every game that comes out. People will be counting pixels. For us, it's about the vision: you saw it, you played it. It's about creating a world."

However, the studio praised how easy it is to work on the Xbox One: "I'll say it's not a difficult system to work on... We're coming from Sony platforms during the last gen! For us to focus on Xbox One has been great, because the guys can really dig into the hardware, and working with our partners [we'll] continue to optimise so we can get more onscreen."

Insomniac recently broke its silence on Sunset Overdrive by launching a new website advertising OverCharge Delirium XT, the game's in-universe energy drink.

The site also advertises a "Sunset City Launch Party", coming to Los Angeles on June 9, San Diego on July 24, Cologne on August 13, and Seattle on August 30 - in time for E3, San Diego Comic-Con, Gamescom, and PAX Prime, respectively, indicating the game will be shown off more in the coming months.

For more details and insight on Sunset Overdrive check out Edge's full cover feature. A discounted subscription to Edge magazine can be purchased here. Alternatively digital versions are available for iOS, Google's Play Store, Kindle, Nook and Zinio.