Thursday, 27 December 2018

Asylum Reviews: Override: Mech City Brawl [Xbox One].

Created by Modus Games and The Balance Inc., Override: Mech City Brawl is, as the title suggests, a game about big mechs fighting. We sure do love some mecha and/or kaiju related media, so we were desperate to play this prior to release. (Sidenote: apologies for how long this review has taken to post, it was written weeks ago and was accidentally left as a draft! Oops!) With twelve gigantic mechs to choose from, each with their own skills and fighting styles, there's plenty to discover whilst playing. Mechs can be customized and accessorized within the Garage, giving you the freedom to style your mech however you like, and we always love the ability to unlock skins and other cosmetic items, as opposed to them always being tied to microtransactions. The different mechs are all wonderfully designed, with Vintage - a retro computer looking mech - being the one I think is the most adorable - although I didn't find it to be the best in battle.

The basic controls are very straightforward, with each button controlling a different limb of your mech, allowing for easy precision of where you want your hits to land. A meter shows the temperature gauge of your mech, so you must always be sure not to spam the buttons too much, otherwise you'll overheat and leave yourself open to attack whilst you cool down and recover. Additional parts and weapons will drop occasionally for you to pick up and utilise, giving you extra methods of fighting as well as a new type of assault. Sometimes the fighting would feel quite clunky and awkward, however this was more noticeable on some mechs than others - so could be more down to their playstyles and individual design than an inherent design flaw.

The arenas are nicely designed, with them being modelled off of real world locations such as Egypt and Tokyo, but the actual implementation of the cities' buildings is not as great as I'd have hoped. Mechs seem to turn buildings to dust with very little effort, and entire cities will collapse by you simply walking all over. The buildings don't seem to have a lot of ability to take damage and resist it, which is a little disappointing - it would have been good to feel more of an impact when crushing the city - maybe even administering a Game Mode where doing as little damage to the city as possible could be an objective (or a deciding factor in whether you succeed or not).

Completing arenas gives you research points which can be used to further upgrade your mech, adding another layer of customisation to your character. You can choose how to spend these, giving you a great deal of control in how you'd like your mech to function and what skills they can improve upon. The game itself is gorgeous, with bright colours and crisp animations, and well done sound design to tie it all together.

The game includes both local and online co-op, as well as Versus modes and the main campaign, which is great to see. It adds a little more diversity into how you can play, and increases the longevity of the title. You can also play as a party of four, each controlling a separate part of the mech - this can be a little odd at first, but truly encourages teamwork. The multiplayer modes are definitely the biggest and best part of Override, and seem to be where the game really shines. The main story campaign just feels too repetitive for the most part, although still enjoyable, but the multiplayer keeps things fresh and interesting for much longer.

Sadly, the game is plagued by frequent frame rate issues, and the occasional glitch or two - the glitches tend to be avoidable once you see what triggers them, but the frame rate drops are definitely pretty frustrating, and can make the game less enjoyable to play. It wasn't a huge issue, but when it cropped up it did impact things and left me feeling quite bummed out over it.

In the end we decided to give Override: Mech City Brawl a 7/10. It has a few flaws, but for the most part, it is still a fun time that we'll come back to.

Have you played Override? What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

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