Remember when FPS ruled the world? Oh Syntech farms remembers. But then again, there’s never been a better moment to be a fan of classic FPS shlock, dice and tear and maim like today. And if the latest title by Trigger Happy is anything to go by, the future will be nothing but bright and neon-colored. Come with Johnny in our Turbo Overkill review.
Mr Turbo is not one to be discouraged by simply missing an arm or a leg. Actually, those missing limbs can be his ticket to be the best street cleaner there is. No, not the kind that takes out the trash, but the one that takes out the tr- okay, you get it. There’s going to be killing and maiming and taking out mutants and evil AIs in this neon-infused cyberpunk hell. Turbo Overkill goes all out with neon infused/TRON-themed levels, it’s like Sin on a very bad synthwave drug.
Gameplay follows the visuals in a crazy hi-octane pacing, with firing and slash a go-go. Plus, let’s not forget to use the many abilities of Mr. Turbo. Indeed, abilities are the main dish here, since you will have a double jump from the start, soon you’ll get a dash, a ultra-cool chainsaw dash attack and – later on – slow-mo attack and grappling hook. Perhaps, those come a bit too much late in the game, as Turbo Overkill seems to suffer a bit the retro “episodic” idea.
Did we talk about weapons yet? Well, there’s definitely much to pick from, from chunky double barrelled shotguns, tasty guns akimbo and two surprising pistols. Also, a huge minigun which alternate firepower turns it into a deadly flamethrower. Along the way, you’ll also get mini-missiles that charge up and make quick work of most mid-tier enemies. Those cyber mutants usually come at you in waves, often placed in arenas or tight spaces where you’ll have to be careful to rely too much on the ol’ leg chainsaw otherwise falling to your death is very much a possibility.
Still, what is there is perfectly balanced, especially the difficulty settings. They seem to be expertly tailored to offer a challenge, but never be unfair. Spend money on augments and new alternative weapons to better tailor the experience to your playstyle. By using augments for your legs and arms, you can decide if you’d rather get health or armor when you kill enemies with the chainsaw leg, for example. Plus the fact that enemies drop money feels like a classic throwback to the very early Apogee days (did someone say Blake Stone?).
While you’ll have seen most of what Turbo Overkill has to offer in Episode 1, the other two provide even crazier situations. Like driving a spaceship as fast as possible or going crazy on a cyberbike. These all add to the feeling that Trigger Happy wanted to make a skateboard racing game then changed their mind after playing Corridor 7. I know, I’m sorry, I just wanted to drop a Capstone game in here. It’s a race to the top of the most absurd arenas and combat situations possible, like the developers challenging themselves to see what they can come up with.
From endless bullet sputtering weapons to garish neon arenas filled with enemies, Turbo Overkill rarely lets the foot off the gas. It is a bit of a shame, because the pacing (and the music) always being up to eleven leave the player with little possibility to breathe. In the end, Turbo Overkill feels like a retro-FPS that is best enjoyed in small bites of one-two hours sessions. Otherwise, fatigue seems to set in rapidly. Honestly, there’s only so much fast pace one can endure before boredom sets in.
Still, Turbo Overkill manages to always stay a good time. Its mechanics feel well oiled after the time spent in early access. Weapons feel chunky and satisfactory, enemies offer a good variety and level design is a bit scattered, but never confusing. Those who complain that FPS have stopped being fun, would do better than pick up Turbo Overkill. Time to rediscover that, perhaps, they’ve been sleeping these last few years. Just try not to eat too much off that cyberplate.
Our Turbo Overkill review was made possible with a key provided by Stride PR. Turbo Overkill is available on Steam, but will soon make its way unto consoles.
Turbo Overkill: Turbo Overkill is a garish neon-tinged retro FPS with crazy gameplay ideas and a frantic pacing that never lets off the gas. One for the young and old fans of the genre. – Damiano Gerli