Sunset Overdrive Eyes-On Preview [E3 2014]


The year is 2027. A multinational corporation called Fizzco has emerged as a superpower of sorts and is three weeks away from releasing a hot new energy drink called Overcharge Delirium XT. To celebrate, they’re holding a huge pre-release party in the fictional Sunset City. Seeing as the corporation “brute forced” their way through FDA testing, thing soon go very wrong, very fast. The drink turns people into mutants and quarantine walls are quickly built around the city. With everything descending into anarchy, you find yourself in a world without rules, where you can do anything you want. It’s basically a video game fantasy come true. Or, as the guys from Insomniac put it, “one man’s apocalypse is another man’s awesome apocalypse.”

What you just read is the premise for the upcoming game Sunset Overdrive, which we recently got to check out behind closed doors at E3 2014. Ever since its original announcement at last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, the title has been quite high on my most-anticipated list. I was pretty impressed with what I saw at Microsoft’s conference this year, despite a couple of concerns, and was definitely eager for my private demo the following day.

At the start of their presentation, Insomniac explained that you will not play as the guy that you’ve been seeing in all of the marketing material. Rather, you’ll utilize a robust customization system to create a character of your choosing. From clothing options to various body styles and everything in between, Sunset Overdrive is promising a very personalized experience when it comes to creating your own protagonist.

Just who is this character, you ask? Well, he/she is an ordinary citizen stuck in Sunset City thanks to Fizzco’s major clusterfuck. The corporation is about to send in a robotic security team to clean up the evidence and save face, and it’s up to you to fight back against them and expose their lies. To do so, you’ll have to team up with other groups of survivors who are also stranded in the city. The Insomniac devs gave us two examples of these groups. One being Troop Bushido, who they described as “adult adventure scouts,” and the other one being the Fargarths, who are live-action role players. All groups have strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll have to work smartly with each of them if you hope to succeed.