How to get the most out of Sunset Overdrive

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Sunset Overdrive is being released locally tomorrow. You may have already read my review and realized that I absolutely adore Insomniac’s Xbox One exclusive. Sunset Overdrive has a lot going on all of the time, which may make it a little difficult to grasp at first. But don’t worry, I’m here to help with that.

Here’s a few neat tips and tricks I picked up on during my review play through of the game, as well as the many hours I’ve spent with the game afterwards. Some are simple “of course I should’ve know that” pointers, while other will get you up to speed with the more intricate details of this movement-focused shooter before you even boot it up. Ready?

Don’t stop moving. EVER.

Sunset Overdrive doesn’t just emphasise movement, it hinges on it. Forget everything you know about cover shooters and sticking to the ground. Pull any of that here, and you’re going to die. Really, really quickly. Always look for a network of grinds and rails above, which can zip you around the entire battlefield in a flash. Alternatively, don’t under-estimate a few groups cars or bushes. Bouncing between them, between shots, will keep enemies confused and on the back foot. Better yet, combine the two for god-like efficiency.

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Forget about Fast Travel

Trekking long distances is made fun in Sunset Overdrive, so just forget about the game’s fast travel system. Instead, use this as a chance to polish up your movement prowess, so you don’t mess up when things are actually shooting at you. You also learn a few neat tricks.

For example, switch from un underground to an over grind (by tapping X) followed by a quick jump will propel you high into the air. The same goes for jumping just after a roll. Couple that with an Air Dash at the peak, and you’ll climb buildings in a snap. Just never forget about the ability to Wall Run either. I did for a long time.

Let it grow on you

Sunset Overdrive has a really terrible opening hour or two. It’s still fun, but the missions feel generic and the hand-holding is rather annoying. Don’t stress though, you haven’t just bought a dud. After the first few hours, Sunset Overdrive really hits its stride and lets you loose on its world. The missions also get increasingly better, so don’t worry about the first few.

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Always have one of each weapon

There are an overwhelming number of weapons in Sunset Overdrive, each with their own brand of damage. Some will set enemies alight, others will stun them with electricity. It’s always good to check which enemies suffer the most from a particular weapon, because you only have a few slots to juggle them around with.

You never know what you’re going to be up against at any given time, so a good idea would be to have a varied hand. Have a shotgun that breathes fire, and a firework launcher that chains lightning to stun enemies. Upgrading weapons with Amps gives them more versatility in this regard. Still, having one of each did come in handy most of the time.

Focus on a handful of weapons exclusively

It’s never a bad thing to experiment with a new weapon, but Sunset Overdrive is better when you have a few favourites. Guns level up as you use them, opening Amp slots, increasing damage and giving you more ammo. So have half your weapon wheel reserved for the weapons you can’t live without, and use the rest to upgrade or try out new ones. If they don’t work, you always have Plan B just a few swaps away. Personally, I never got rid of my TNTeddy. I heart it too much.

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Don’t worry too much about Badges

So there are two ways to change up your Sunset Overdrive character: Overdrives and Amps. Amps have more of a direct impact, while Overdrives are slight number changes to tweak your character. These are created using Badges, which are earned by simply playing the way you choose. The problem is that you’re constantly bombarded with new badges to convert into Overdrives, which all becomes confusing.

So just ignore them. I equipped six Overdrives early on in my game, and stuck to those six exclusively. I earned a ton of badges to keep upgrading those six, and never felt the need to swap them out. They made my style of play better, so why would I need to change it up? That’s where Amps are far more useful.

Only buy what you really need

The Awesomepocaylpse is not that different from the recession it seems. Instead of finding most of your weapons, you’re going to be buying them from the local tinker, who demands cans of the very drink that got you all into this mess. You’re going to be poor, a lot of the time, so it’s best to only buy weapons that you really think you need.

A shotgun with more of a kick, or an auto rifle with more sparkle. Trade like for like, and avoid buying all the single-shot explosive weaponry and neglecting the sweet automatic weapons you’ll need in an OD mob. But as soon as you can buy some explosive hair spray, do it. That puppy has POWER!

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Go OCD with those collectibles

Remember when I said Amps and weapons are a pretty important combination? Well, aside from waiting to get them for free, you can actually purchase new Amps at any point. Problem is you’re going to have to do a fair bit of hunting for the right ingredients, which makes up a lot of Susnet Overdrive’s collectible hunting.

Now I’m not the biggest completionist out there, so I often skim over these types of aspects. However since you’re going to be doing far more traveling around, there’s no harm in taking a detour here and there to pick up a few pairs of old sneakers, or toilet paper wrapped around lampposts. Who knows, by the time you reach your destination you could have enough for that Amp that creates mini nuclear explosions. You can thank me afterwards.

Play in the most stylish way possible

Playing with style not only activates all of your hard earned Amps in battle, it also makes Sunset Overdrive infinitely more fun. Bouncing to a grind and then jumping into a wall run while you fend off countless OD sounds like a chore, but the game’s elegant control scheme makes it easy. You’ll look and feel like a total badass as well, and have a few things to show everyone else online during Chaos Squad.

Sunset Overdrive gives you everything you need to create the perfect, balls to the wall action sequences. Don’t pass that up.

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Sunset Overdrive is out  exclusively for Xbox One tomorrow, and like I said in my review it should be a game that every Xbox One owner picks up. Feel free to drop your gamertags in the comments below so we can all link up for some mindlessly chaotic Chaos Squad fun, where hopefully someone can finally dethrone my perfect 1st place streak. I need a gauntlet to throw down right about now.

Last Updated: October 30, 2014

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