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OVERRIDE: MECH CITY BRAWL
Smash up the town.

HANDS ON PREVIEW (CLOSED BETA)
By JAY TEE
13/08/18

There’s a gleeful silliness to Override: Mech City Brawl that lends it a certain charm, often lacking in games that perhaps take themselves too seriously. The relentlessly cheerful soundtrack and exaggerated character designs create an aesthetic that is bright and likeable. From the moment you start demolishing a cityscape with a giant robot that looks a Power Ranger Megazord, you know you’re in for a treat.

In many ways, Override feels like a game out of time, ripped straight from the GameCube era of classic couch gaming. Developer ‘The Balance Inc.’ have smartly included a local four player split screen option, alongside modern tropes like online matchmaking and a robust party system. And even though the destruction tech is impressive, Override understands what it’s trying to be.

Bottom line: this is a game about big robots smacking each other until someone blows up. And we’re absolutely fine with that.   

THE BASICS - Third person arena combat featuring huge mechs of various different classes and abilities.

PLATFORMS - PS4, Xbox One, and PC

PLAYERS - Offline - 4, Online - 4

CO-OP? MULTIPLAYER? - 4 player split screen versus, as well as co-op and online competitive multiplayer.

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT - The Season Pass includes 4 extra mechs and 16 new skins.

TARPS? - At the bottom of all our previews, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.

PREVIEWS KEY:

Back of the Box - A broad overview of key features and gameplay mechanics.

Get Schooled - Background info on the developer, fun facts, and viewing the game in a broader context.

Inside Scoop - Random thoughts and musings, along with hopes and concerns.

You can destroy buildings by walking into them. This is very satisfying.
More of this please EVERY OTHER GAME DEVELOPER.

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ARTICLE!
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TWEET US @JAYTEE_GA, OR E-MAIL: EDITOR@JTGA.CO.UK.

TARP BADGES:

FROSTBITE MECHS -  Each of the twelve mechs boast a broad set of special abilities with a shared basic moveset. You’ll punch, kick, dodge, and demolish your surroundings across a handful of medium sized arenas, all of which are fully destructible. There’s four special moves per mech, but the lack of onscreen prompts for these abilities may cause confusion for new players.

SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM - The emphasis here is on smart positioning; knowing when to back away from a skirmish or double down and push your opponent. Each round plays out with up to four players, and there’s enough breathing room to disengage, find a power up, and jump back into the action.

PRO TIP - We found it easier to make liberal use of the targeting mechanic, which keeps you locked on to your chosen foe.

MIXED BAG - Developer ‘The Balance Inc.’ has a curious history. They’d dabbled in a couple of experimental, game jam style proofs of concept, before attempting to kickstart the original premise for Override. After failing to secure funding, they went back to the drawing board and made sweeping improvements to their pitch, before securing the support of Modus Games.

TENTACLE FUN - In a clear homage to bonkers physics based indie title Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Override includes a co-op party mode where each player is responsible for one part of the mech. Although this wasn’t available to try in the Beta, we can only imagine how ridiculously stupid (and unintentionally hilarious) this will be when you’re trying to co-ordinate with friends…

FUN FACT - There’s a fish-luchador hybrid bot named Pescado and an enormous lizard mech called MetaGeckon.

NOOB COMBO - The closed beta wasn’t without its issues; weapon pickups are in desperate need of balancing. There were too many spawning at any one time, and some of the projectile based hardware felt dangerously overpowered. The aforementioned lack of on screen prompts for special abilities is also an issue, and there’s noticeable dips in performance during hectic encounters.

BEAT THE BULLIES - A big bugbear during our time with the game was being pinned by an opponent against the arena boundary, and getting spammed with continuous knockdown attacks. Even when we thought we’d managed to recover and raise our guard, we’d continue getting pushed back into an inescapable loop. Perhaps a more effective counter / dodge roll mechanic would help?

GANG BEASTS - Overall, we enjoyed our time playing the Beta, even if things can quickly devolve into a wild melee of madness!

Override: Mech City Brawl is a fun, self aware good time. The core concept has been proven, and with some simple tweaks to balance, this could be a winner.

*Closed beta access provided by Modus Games*

The LEARNING CURVE badge is awarded if you’ll need to allow a fair bit of time in
order to fully
grasp the controls.

The LEFT FIELD badge is awarded when a game surprises us by being really good and it hadn’t previously been on our radar.

The SMALL FRY badge is for a title from a smaller development team that is absolutely worth your time and should not be ignored.

The KABOOM! badge is for a game that has excellent explosions (with Halo 1 frag grenades being the gold standard).

The CLOONEY badge is for a game with outstanding character design.

The BLEEDING EYES badge is for a game where bump mapping doesn’t happen as often as you might think…

The PICK UP AND PLAY badge is for when a game is better suited to brief, impromptu sessions that give a quick blast of escapism.

The KILLSTEAK badge is for a game where
wins / kills are really satisfying.

The MAYORAL ELECTION badge is for a game filled with high pressure moments that put your skills to the test.  

The FRAMERATE VIAGRA badge is for a game with mostly solid performance, but has occasional dips or stuttering.

The COUCH MADNESS badge is awarded when a game nails split/same screen gameplay.

The BEST WITH FRIENDS badge is earned if a game is significantly more fun playing with people you know, either in campaign or online.

The JOHNNY FIVE HOLE badge is earned for a game where you are likely to get destroyed in multiplayer if you're new to it.  

The CAPTAIN JONWAY badge is earned for a game that lets you party up / invite friends into online matchmaking so you can play together.   

The REFELLIAN’S GLOVE badge is for a game that lets you customise your character.

The TGSN badge is for a game that's seemingly held together with Blue Peter's sticky backed plastic.

The SIMPSONS ROAD RAGE badge is for a game that's better than Simpsons Road Rage.

The IT’S A TARP! badge is awarded when a game offers a real challenge.

The SCRATCH THAT RASH badge is for a game you should take a risk on. You might love it!  

The QUANTUM OF SOLACE badge is for a game that is played (or should be played) by Mike Hazleton.

The WAR-ROCK! badge is for a game that absolutely deserves ongoing player support.

The ROMULAJON badge is for a game that is played (or should be played) by
Jay Tee.

The ARENA LAMP badge is for a game with a weapon that is far too overpowered.  

The BOND THEME badge is for a game that makes you feel like a badass.

The NOOB COMBO badge is for a game that lacks balance in multiplayer.

The DOME badge is for a multiplayer game with small to medium sized maps / courses / levels.

 

The NON-DROWSY badge is for a game that always keeps you fully engaged.

The DEANNA TROI badge is for a game that had a great Demo, Alpha and / or Beta[zed] test.

The COMMANDER DATA badge is for a game where death has a profound impact on your experience.

The HAVOK PHYSICS badge is for a game where enemies visibly react to weapon hits.

The JANKY badge is for a game that is a little rough around the edges, but still a charmer.

The DISNEY PIXAR badge is for a game with a unique and / or interesting graphical style.

The KILLJOYS badge is for a game where you can deliberately make it so other players have a miserable time.  

The INTER ACTABLE badge is for a game with lots of things in the game that can be interacted with, within the game.