Giant robots beating each other to scrap metal whilst destroying entire cities. What’s not to love? An entire franchise was built on this fantasy and despite horrific writing and acting, Transformers continues to survive because everyone love giant robot fights.
It’s no surprise then that I approached Override: Mech City Brawls with a heap of excitement and anticipation of explosive, robotic fun. Unfortunately, those feelings were misplaced and I walked away wondering how it all fell apart so quickly.
A machine with too many bolts missing
The types of robots available to you is fairly extensive and each has their own, unique fighting styles and movements. Each mech also has their own special abilities and you’ll quickly find which mech works best for your style of play.
Until you realise that the fighting is so basic that you rarely ever need to use your special abilities. You have a button that controls each limb of your robot. Holding a button charges that limb for a more powerful attack. The problem is that, if you double charge your fist attack & then land it – which is not hard to do since you can move at the same time as charging – you can knock your opponent on the ground.
Whilst they get up, you can begin charging again & you repeat this ad nauseam until you win. Sure, there is a button for a fast recovery that gets you up faster but then you’re left on the back foot, having to react to every charged attack.
Weapons appear throughout the game, from shotguns to laser swords and more. Again, these are pretty lacklustre compared to the double fist attack. The fighting itself feels so sluggish and clunky. The hitboxes in the game feel random. So often it would seem I had landed an attack on an enemy mech or alien, only for it to do nothing at all. On the other hand, I would look clear of an attack and yet would get hit regardless.
Fighting in urban sprawls, you would hope that the environment would have more interactive properties but that’s not the case. The flimsy buildings you fly through and knock enemies into serves no purpose other than to make the clunky attacks seem more impactful and powerful. In the end, it feels like you’re fighting with robots designed by a semi-genuis child who couldn’t quite figure out how to infuse fluidity with power.
A game that needs more cogs and more oil
The story mode in the game follows a mech pilot of your choosing, as you save the world from an alien invasion. In defence, the arcade mode doesn’t seem to be intended to be taken as serious storytelling or be an integral part of the game, but nonetheless it’s there and abounds with horrendous dialogue and a plot that makes no sense.
It was in arcade mode that the fruitlessness of using anything that isn’t the double fist attack was evident. No matter the different kinds of xenotypes you face, they all fell with the same attack. In the end, the story mode is just a string of mindless battles with a barely put together story that in the end is so forgettable, you wonder why any effort was put in the mode in the first place.
The visuals follow the general trend of the game – unambitious and forgettable. The mechs themselves are passable and somewhat differentiated from each other visually. The cities you fight in are different enough, but without an interactive environment it all feels so pointless.
Override is a game that had so much potential and could have done something great with more ambition. You look at a game such as War of Monsters that came out in the era of the PS2 and that game already does everything so much better than Override. If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift, even just a decent Christmas gift, this is a game you are better off avoiding. No amount of oil could polish this scrap metal into something decent and enjoyable.
Last Updated: December 20, 2018