All posts by Jerome Weiswasser

Jerome has been writing for UGR Gaming for 2 years now. He is the head writer and is also co-host on the Gamer Chat Weekly Podcast. When not working for UGR, or playing videos games, Jerome most of his down time being a wrestling fanatic.
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Super Smash Bros. Review (Wii U)

Nintendo is in the middle of an important point in their history. Generally speaking, the Wii U has not done very well since its launch back in November 2012. However, Nintendo is making an effort to turn it’s luck around. The first (and perhaps, one of its biggest) steps in this change is the long anticipated release of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. Usually the question I pose in my reviews is whether a game is good or not. This time that is simply not the case. My new question for this review is just how great is Smash Bros.? Keep reading to find out.

Gameplay

Super Smash Bros. returns with the same fast paced combat seen in previous Smash Bros. games. For those unaware, Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game, but it plays differently than other fighting game, in the sense where there are multiple fighters on one stage. Smash Bros. also has more movement than fighters in traditional fighting games. Normally, Super Smash Bros. features 4 players in a game of smash. But now, Smash Bros. now features up to an 8 player smash mode in addition to the previous mode.

There are plenty of options in the regular smash mode. Players can play timed battles, stock battles, coin battles, HP battles and even special battles with some custom options.

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When I originally played the 3DS version pf Super Smash Bros. I was extremely displeased with the Smash Run game mode. In the Wii U version, Smash Run has been replaced with Smash Tour, a board game like mode where players will travel around a board game board and collect stats and fighters. This mode is much better than Smash Run and I really had a good time with it.

Classic mode returns but with a twist, in Smash Bros. Wii U, players will face off against large groups of enemies in a 5-8 man smash. This mode is more exciting than it has ever been before.

Players can now participate in the Special Orders game mode also. Special Orders, known as Master Orders and Crazy Orders, are special scenarios or challenges where players can play a specific game of smash in attempts to get rewards. Master Orders are cost coins to take on. Crazy Orders also use coins, but also takes Crazy passes. Once you start a Crazy Order, you can keep playing until you either lose or defeat Crazy Hand in a battle. These modes were a good challenge that gave me more to do with my time in Smash Bros.

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Event mode returns, and it was my favorite mode in Smash Bros.  Even mode will place characters in special scenarios and gives them challenges to complete. You may have to do an HP battle or stop enemies from landing on the ground. The scenarios in Event Mode are fun and challenging, even epic at times. There is also a wide variety of the types of things to do Event Mode.

Like in the 3DS version of Smash, All-Star mode returns in the Wii U version of Smash Bros. All-Star mode tasks players with facing every character in the game in waves. However, instead of fighting characters in chronological order, from oldest to newest, players will fight them in reverse (newest to oldest).

There is even the stadium which allows players to play Home Run challenge, Target blast and the Multi-Man Smash, which has a plethora of choices itself. Home Run contest will have players attempting to send a sandbag flying for as far as they can get it to go. Target Blast is an angry birds-esque mode that has players launching a bomb at a group of targets. Multi-man smash has players taking on a set of enemies or an infinite amount of enemies for certain amounts of time.

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Players can use the Wii U Gamepad to create their own stages for fighters to battle on. Players can also customize their Mii fighters, or regular fighters. Players can even transfer their content from the 3DS version of Smash Bros.

Possibly, the best part about all these features is that ALL of them can be played with two players. This is an awesome addition to an awesome game.

Players can also collect trophies, music, and customization parts for your characters. There are even over 100 challenges to complete. There is plenty to do in Super Smash Bros.

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The roster and map selection of Super Smash Bros. is huge. Both have a wide variety and were so much fun to play around and experiment with.

Controllers and Amiibo

There are a lot of ways to play Smash Bros. on the Wii U. Players can use a Gamepad, Pro controller,  Wii Remote, Wii Remote with a nunchuck,  Wii classic controller and a 3DS. Players wanting to use a 3DS will have to own the 3DS version of Smash Bros. to use the 3DS as a controller. The best addition is the ability to use a Gamecube controller.  However an adapter is required to play with a Gamecube controller.

Super Smash Bros features Amiibo support. Amiibos are the new Skylander like figure system that Nintendo has released. Amiibos can be purchased in stores separately and there are a variety of characters that can change the game up! The Amiibos are used like a CPU player in Smash. You can fight with, or against them. As you play, they will learn and level up.

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Multiplayer

Super Smash Bros. features online multiplayer that can be played casually or competitively. The casual (For Fun) lets you play with custom rules. Competitive (For Glory) follows a more set of rules. Both are a lot of fun to play, and I was very happy to say that there was not too much lag. A lack of voice chat is a bit odd but it barely bothered me at all.

Presentation

Nintendo continues to show that it is the best at the style that they craft. Despite the Wii U not being as powerful as the Xbox One or PS4, Super Smash Bros is one of the best, if not the best looking games that the Wii U has to offer currently. Everything runs at 60fps and it looks amazing.

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The sound design is also incredible, from the massive amount of awesome music, to other sound design, it is all just perfect.

Overall

I went into Super Smash Bros. with an incredible amount of hype, which is a bad thing to do, as video games very often fail to live up to the hype. No matter how good they may be, you may come out disappointed. But Super Smash Bros. is most definitely the exception. The game is just simply perfect. There is just so much content, that listing it here would make me seem obnoxious but excited for the game’s overall achievement. The game is just so much fun to play, both alone and with others. Cover it with beautiful presentation and you have a reason to buy a Wii U, as Nintendo begins a journey to regain their throne.
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WWE 2K15 Review (Xbox One, PS4)

When THQ went bankrupted last year, I was concerned for the future of the WWE video game franchise. As video game and wrestling enthusiast, the WWE games have always had a special place in my heart. When 2K acquired the rights to the WWE franchise, I began to highly anticipate the first WWE 2K game. WWE 2K14, doesen’t really count as it was just THQ’s nearly finished product that 2K released.

WWE 2K15 marks a new era in the WWE franchise. Does 2K15 do WWE wrestling games justice as it has done with the NBA 2K series? Keep reading to find out.

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Story

WWE 2K15 introduces the 2K showcase, a new story mode that spotlights legendary rivalries. 2K15 showcases the CM Punk-John Cena Rivalry that spanned from 2011-2013 and the infamous Triple H- Shawn Michaels fued. The showcase particularly focuses on 2002-2004 portion of the relationship between The Game and The Heartbreak Kid. Showcase mode does a great job at bringing fans back to these epic rivalries. I only wish that 2K had gotten Jim Ross to come back to do voice work for the Triple H- Michaels feud. Having Michael Cole’s annoying commentary took me out of the immersion at times.

Gameplay

The gameplay mechanics have been drastically altered. Matches now play at a more slow paced, which comes off as incredibly realistic. Single matches start out with a chain wrestling mini-game. Towards the end of a match, wrestlers slow down, use the ropes to pull themselves up off of the mat and even crawl towards an opponent to perform a pin. The game is just very realistic. This wasn’t always a great thing though. At times, the pacing was a bit too slow, and matches would sometimes just go on way too long.

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WWE 2K15 utilizes the Mycareer mode that is similar to the career mode in NBA 2K15. Players will create a wrestler and start in the NXT training facility, while they work hard to rise through the ranks of the WWE. Your created wrestler starts with very weak stats, and because of that, your first few matches can be pretty rough, especially when you get called up to the main roster. But once you increase your stats, you will adjust and will have an easier time.

Along with stat points, players also earn Virtual Currency and Social Media Followers. The virtual currency is used to hire managers and buy new skills. Social Media Followers affect how much of a push (a better spot) you get.

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Sadly, Mycareer mode lacks substance. Storylines feel generally few and far in between for most of your climb up the WWE ladder. It also doesn’t really do much to make you feel like a part of the WWE.

Fans of the past few WWE games will be happy to know that the Universe Mode makes it’s return in WWE 2K15. The universe mode is generally the same, except it has greatly improved on the storyline/Rivalry feature of the universe mode, which is ironic considering that is where Mycareer falls flat.

WWE 2K15′s roster is the smallest roster that the series has had in years. It just lacks a lot of legendary wrestlers, and even left a few superstars off of the current roster, which was a real shame.

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Multiplayer

The multiplayer of WWE 2K15 runs more smooth then it ever has, I encountered very little lag in my time spent playing. However, the matchmaking could use some work. Searching for a game takes a little while, and what matches you play and what wrestler you use are based on preferences that you have to setup. This was a bit of a let down but wasn’t too big of a deal.

Presentation

WWE 2K15 looks amazing. Most of the wrestlers look realistic. Even the crowds look a little bit better. The sound design is also pretty well done. The commentary has dramtically improved and I actually enjoyed the banter between the King and Michael Cole. In what is an improvement to last year, more superstars speak during their entrances. They aren’t perfect but what is there is admirable.

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I did have a problem with the slam sound effects. I would often hit a grapple or get hit that would cause me to crash onto the mat. For some reason the sound effect of hitting the mat often gets delayed and happens after the actual move happens.

Overall

2K did a great job bringing the WWE franchise into the 2K fold. It offers a new, more realistic era of wrestling games. It looks really good, sounds really good, and plays pretty well. 2K offers a great foundation for what will hopefully be an even better game in the future. Wrestling fans will appreciate the realism in 2K15, but that can sometimes feel like its moving a little too slow. An improved Universe mode and an awesome showcase mode make up for a some-what forgettable Mycareer mode.
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Assassin’s Creed Unity Review (Xbox One, PS4)

When Ubisoft first revealed that there would be two Assassin’s Creed games coming out on the same day, I was worried that focus of the developers was going to be split and hurt both games. While Assassin’s Creed Rouge was somewhat of a let down, Ubisoft is getting a second chance to please fans that did not enjoy Rogue. Assassin’s Creed Unity is Ubisoft’s current generation offering in the Assassin’s Creed series. Unlike last years Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Unity is developed exclusively for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. How does the next generation of Assassin’s Creed fare? Keep reading to find out.

Story

Assassin’s Creed Unity tells the story of Arno Dorian, an Assassin during the French Revolution in the heart of Paris. As a young boy, Arno’s father is murdered. Arno is taken in by a Templar and years later, the Templar who took Arno in, is murdered. Arno must navigate the French Revolution in a tale of revenge.

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While the Revenge story is fairly basic, I found the story and it’s plot twists to be very enjoyable. The story of Unity feels like a return to older games in the franchise, like Assassin’s Creed II, while it still feels fresh.

Gameplay

Assassin’s Creed Unity’s gameplay comes down to three major mechanics. Players will use Combat, Stealth and parkour to experience the world that Unity puts in front of the player.

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In terms of Combat, Ubisoft has stripped the combat down. Arno cannot disarm, or more importantly break through an enemies defensive stance. Arno can parry and dodge. The combat in Assassin’s Creed Unity can be incredibly difficult at times. Sometimes, enemies can kill you in one hit, so perfection is vital. At times, the combat was quite frustrating and was my least favorite part of Unity.

The stealth mechanic is new to the Assassin’s Creed series, which is odd considering how integral stealth has always been to the series. The stealth mechanic utilizes a new snap-to-cover mechanic which is a nice addition. however, the lack of the whistle ability from previous games makes stealth more slow paced than it should be, as you will have to wait for enemies to pass your hiding spot.

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Ubisoft has attempted to improve the parkour aspect of the game by giving Arno the ability to climb downwards quickly. When it works, it is smooth and looks great. But there lies the problem, sometimes I just couldn’t get Arno to go where I wanted him to go, as things that should be simple like climbing through windows just didn’t work sometimes.

Players will be able to upgrade Arno’s abilities and even customize Arno’s appearance, using both in game and real currency (yes, sadly there are microtransactions in Unity.) Players can also use Creed Points which are gained by getting kills and more.

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The mission design of Unity is phenomenal. The types of missions are more diverse and what is there, is much more exciting and epic than any previous Assassin’s Creed games. Even Assassination missions offer more of a “choose your path” style which makes you feel like an Assassin who is planning and hunting his target.

Multiplayer

Assassin’s Creed Unity has done away with competitive multiplayer. However, they now offer a co-op mode. The mode has 2-4 assassin’s team up to complete very well designed missions that were incredibly fun to play through. The co-op mode was a lot of fun, and I deeply enjoyed the co-op. It was a great move to get rid of multiplayer in favor of this epic co-op mode.

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I also really enjoyed how your Arno is the same across single layer and co-op, as no matter what I’m doing, I am making my Arno better.

Presentation

Assassin’s Creed Unity is undoubtedly the best looking game in the series. In fact the game looks amazing by any standard. There were a few times where the frame rate dropped a bit, but Ubisoft has assured us a patch is on the way. Despite that, it very rarely for me happened, and when it did, it was probably due to how much is going on around Arno.

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Speaking of which, Paris is an amazing city to go through. Unity does a fantastic job bringing Paris to life. The amount of people simply in the streets was impressive, which can be useful, but can also get in your way. Paris is a massive city and I had a blast navigating through it, especially with the fact that most houses can be traveled through and makes the game even more impressive.

Sound design was also really well done. I constantly heard the bustling city around me, with near conversations and distant rumbling making feel immersed in the world of Unity.

Overall

For the new generation of Assassin’s Creed, it feels like Ubisoft hit the reset button on the franchise. While I do miss some past gameplay mechanics, I was able to adapt and enjoy the game anyway. The game looks amazing and was a lot of fun to play, except for the combat which at times felt way too difficult and frustrating. That being said, a great story, awesome city to experience and a phenomenal co-op mode, makes this a great first attempt at a real next-gen Assassin’s Creed game.
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Assassin’s Creed Rogue Review (Xbox 360, PS3)

With the passing of what is now the previous generation of consoles, Xbox 360 and PS3 users are left with a problem. 360 and PS3 users are facing the fact that most of the new games being released exclusively on the Xbox One and PS4. With very few games coming exclusively coming to the previous generation, Assassin’s Creed Rogue is basically the swan song of the previous generation. Does it end the generation strongly, or does it disappoint? Let’s find out.

Story

Assassin’s Creed Rogue follows an Abstergo Entertainment employee living through the memories of Shay Patrick Cormac. Shay, an assassin in the colonies in the 1750s, is in the middle of the ongoing war between the Assassins and the Templars. While on a mission for the Assassins, Shay witness the deaths of many innocent lives and blames the Templars. Shay abandons the Brotherhood and vows to destroy the order that he once fought for.

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As the game goes on, Shay will run into quite a few familiar faces, both friend and foe alike. The story was very well done, as it feels fresh, but still gives returning fans that warm fuzzy feeling when you see a returning character, or the setup to an event that you know has happened or will happen in the future.

Although, I want to avoid spoilers, I will say that Assassin’s Creed fans that are going to play Unity should go through the story of Rogue.

Gameplay

Assassin’s Creed Rogue borrows gameplay mechanics from previous installments in the Assassin’s Creed series. Despite leaving the order Shay plays like all of the previous Assassin’s in past games. The gameplay works generally well, and still features the fun action that the series is known for.

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Sailing makes it’s return in Assassin’s Creed Rogue. Sadly, sailing feels like a tired mechanic that just wasn’t fun for me. It is especially frustrating in Rogue, when instead of sailing through the open seas of Black Flag, players will navigate areas that are tight corridors of water and a cluster of land. One wrong turn can send you way off course and had me pausing the game and pulling up my map more times that I would have liked.

A problem that I encountered was that at times Shay just wouldn’t quite do what I wanted him to do. Things like climbing and jumping would sometimes go awry, and I found myself failing missions at times because of this. This has always been an understandable problem in the series, but it has never quite been this bad.

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Assassin’s Creed Rogue is actually fairly short, compared to other Assassin’s Creed games. But much like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag there are plenty of collectibles to keep gamers playing.

It is worth noting that Assassin’s Creed Rogue is probably the most difficult Assassin’s Creed game to date (not counting Unity, as I have not played as of this writing). Enemies can hide in stalking zone and on buildings in an attempt to ambush and defeat you, Assassin-style. While Shay is supposed to be a predator, I would have liked to have seen a chase mission where Shay has to run from a pursuing Assassin. This would have strongly went with his predator like character. Sadly, this was not utilized in Rogue. However, there are a few really cool missions where Assassin’s will ambush you. You can hear the signature eagle squawk, and catch a glimpse of a spying Assassin. These were really cool moments.

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Presentation

Assassin’s Creed Rogue is a pretty ugly game. It isn’t the worst looking game out there, but it does look worse than Assassin’s Creed III, which was released two years ago. This is a huge turnoff for Rogue as an interesting story kept struggling with the unimpressive graphics.
Rogue is also a pretty buggy game. NPCs would sometime walkthrough each other, even during cutscenes. They would even phase through my ship and be stuck in the water. I even ran into a bug that had an enemy ship get partially on top of my ship.

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On the bright side, the sound design was pretty well done. The soundtrack was pretty awesome to listen to throughout my time spent playing Rogue.

Overall

Assassin’s Creed Rogue was a disappointment. The game just felt like a bunch of reused assets from the the past two Assassin’s Creed games, except they weren’t as good. Rogue offers some cool moments and an awesome story that Assassin’s Creed diehard fans really need to experience. However, poor presentation, and some poor gameplay features really hurt this game. Fans of the series should be able to get enjoyment out of Assassin’s Creed Rogue, but new players should just give this a pass.
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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Review (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3)

Note: This review is based off of the Xbox One version and may not reflect its previous generation counterparts.

Back when Call of Duty first broke out onto the scene, fans of the series would find it hard to believe that Call of Duty would reach its eleventh installment in such a small amount of time. As hard as it is to believe, it is indeed true, as many fans have grown tired of Call of Duty and have abandoned the franchise. Interest has declined in recent years. Developer, Sledgehammer Games have inherited this very real problem with their first full Call of Duty game, Advanced Warfare. Can Sledgehammer Games live up to the task in reviving the stagnating Call of Duty Franchise? Keep reading to find out.

Story
Call of Duty Advanced Warfare follows Jack Mitchell, a U.S. marine in the year 2054 who is honorably discharged after losing his arm in combat. Mitchell joins Atlas, a PMC corporation. Mitchell will try to hunt down a terror group and make the world a better place.
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The story is arguably the best Call of Duty story to date. It is well told and paced out with some awesome scenarios and situations. However, that being said, I felt like character development and the relationships between some characters felt a bit weak at times.
There is plenty of variety in Advanced Warfare’s campaign. Missions differ from controlling a flying sniper drone, to infiltrating an estate in a level straight out of Splinter Cell .
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The campaign only lasts about 6 hours on the normal difficulty, but it suits the pacing and is an awesome 6 hours to have.
Gameplay
The tight gameplay that Call of duty is known for is just as tight as ever. It is the same awesome gameplay that revolutionized the modern day shooter. This time around, players can use the new exo-suit mechanic. In the campaign players can use a variety of abilities like a stimpak or a jump enhancement.  Players can upgrade their exo-suit in the single player by completing challenges. The exo-suit is cool but isn’t a necessity to get through the story on the normal difficulty.
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Multiplayer
Call of Duty is best, or sometimes worst known for its multiplayer. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare offers a robust multiplayer with plenty of depth and choices in terms of class creation. Players can also edit their physical appearance, but I felt like the options were scarce.
The exo-suit will help players traverse the new vertical map design. Players will have a double jump and can do a small boost through the air in any direction. Players can also use exo-suit abilities that include faster health regeneration and silenced movement.
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Thanks to the exo-suit abilities, the level design has taken a more vertical approach. The levels in Advanced Warfare felt fresh and exciting and perfectly fit Advanced Warfare’s fast pace action.
Advanced Warfare utilizes Black Ops II’s Pick 10 system. Using the Pick 13 system players can customize their loadouts based off of their play styles. Players can use two primary weapons, carry more perks, no perks and much more. This helps every player enjoy Call of Duty the way they want to enjoy it.
Advanced Warfare has two new game modes. Uplink has players grabbing a satellite drone and trying to take it to the Uplink Station that is guarded by the enemy team. This game mode is fast paced and extremely chaotic. Momentum is actually the same as Call of Duty: World at War’s War mode. Players will fight for checkpoints and will attempt to push back the enemy team. I actually loved playing this mode, as it led to some truly epic games.
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Sadly, bullet lag is still a problem in Call of Duty Advanced Warfare. Players who connect more hits and connect first won’t always be the ones to get the kill in a fire fight. There were plenty of times where I was on both ends of a shootout that should of seen different outcomes.
There is also a survival mode similar to the survival mode in Modern Warfare 3. Players will use the exo-suit to customize their loadouts. The mode was fun for a while and offered a few hours into an already complete package.
Presentation
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the best looking and sounding Call of Duty to date. The campaign looks spectacular and the multiplayer looks great. Getting established actors like Kevin Spacey and Troy Baker really help to nail the voice acting of Advanced Warfare. Sound design in general was also well done.
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Overall
Sledgehammer Games has hit a home run. They have taken a dying brand in Call of Duty and have made it something truly special again. The game may not be perfect and may be compared to Titanfall, but Call of Duty Advanced Warfare has used it’s tweaks to the Call of Duty formula to rejuvenate the series. A near perfect campaign with an exciting multiplayer make this a game that old Call of Duty fans should give the old series a second chance.
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Sunset Overdrive Review (Xbox One)

As the 2014 holiday season rolls on, console exclusive titles are vital to the console manufacturers. Games that are exclusive, help consumers figure out what consoles they want to buy or put more focus on. One of Microsoft’s Xbox One exclusive titles, Sunset Overdrive is now out and looks to be a new IP in an ocean of sequels and remakes. Can it stand up to the competition? Keep reading to find out.
Story
Sunset Overdrive places players in Sunset City. An Energy drink has turned the populace into Zombie like Mutants. Players will have to try survive the “Awesomepocalypse” while killing the mutants, and defending against other survivors and Fizzco., the company who inadvertently created the apocalypse who is now trying to cover up the whole situation.

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The story is hilarious and awesome. Sunset Overdrive is a self-aware game that constantly breaks the fourth wall and mocks several video game tropes. Characters in the game reference using Gamefaqs and also say they will mysteriously disappear by the time a cutscene is over. The story is so great because it doesn’t take itself too seriously, even mocking its own plot, I loved every second of it.
Gameplay
Sunset Overdrive is a third person shooter running at mach speed. Players will traverse Sunset City by grinding on rails and wires, running walls and bouncing on cars and rooftop exhaust fans. Players will use awesome unique guns to survive against the three enemy factions.

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Despite its fast paced style, Sunset Overdrive controls very well. It takes a few minutes to get accustomed to the fact that standing still will get you killed, but once you do, your time in Sunset City will be much more enjoyable.
Players will start out by creating their own characters by using an awesome creation suite. It is not as complex as some games offer, but it offers enough choices and styles for there to be plenty of options.

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In Sunset Overdrive, players can collect amps and badges. These work in the form of perks that can be gained in many ways. From finishing a round based survival mode to just playing campaign missions, there are plenty ways to pick up amps, which add a great layer of depth and choice to the player. Players can also level up their weapons.
Sunset Overdrive is an incredibly fast paced game. In fact, it’s one of the most fast paced games I have ever played. This is mostly awesome and exhilarating. However, I did feel like the games pacing felt a little off at times. By constantly moving fast and not really having any points for slow down, I occasionally lost sight of the appeal by grinding around Sunset City, although this didn’t last too long when it happened.

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There are plenty of collectibles to keep players travelling across Sunset City in an attempt and completing the game. Players can also replay missions and level up their guns to get as much out of the game as they can.

 
Multiplayer
Sunset Overdrive provides Chaos mode, an 8 player online game mode that has players completing missions together, leading up to a final mission. Chaos mode is a lot of fun, and can be seen as cooperative or competitive. While players are working together for bonuses and to finish the game, players are also ranked on how well they are doing and even get points for being the first person to each objective, which eve makes traveling a fun part of the game.

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Presentation
Sunset Overdrive is a gorgeous game. The game is just so vibrant and it just pops. Sunset City is just so well designed, that I felt like I was missing out on the experience that was Sunset City, by speeding through it, without admiring my surroundings.
I loved the Punk Rock Soundtrack that was used in Sunset Overdrive. It was a perfect match for the game and I wish more games would use this music genre in the future.

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Overall
Sunset Overdrive is an amazing game. It has a memorable story, accompanied with fast paced gameplay and an awesome soundtrack. However, Sunset Overdrive’s biggest flaw is that it is always moving so fast that I felt like the pacing was off and that I didn’t really get to admire the vast and awesome city that Sunset City really is. That being said, Sunset Overdrive is a must have game to any Xbox One owners.

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