hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Early Access Review: Overgrowth

6:00 PM on 02.09.2014 // Patrick Hancock
  @therealhancock

Fighting like rabbits

[Want to know how an Early Access game is coming along? Check out our Early Access Reviews, which will be a series going forward with the intent of informing you whether or not a game is worth buying into at this time.]

I’ve always held Lugaru as one of the finest indie games out there, largely due to its combat system and difficulty curve. Beating things up in Lugaru is incredibly satisfying, so naturally I’m excited for its sequel, Overgrowth. After being in development for approximately ever, Overgrowth is now on Steam Early Access in a still-pretty-early state, but that doesn't mean that it isn't worth getting in on early.

Even in its current state, Overgrowth has proven to be one of the most intense fighting games I've ever played.

Overgrowth (Linux, Mac, PC)
Developer: Wolfire
Publisher: Wolfire
MSRP: $29.99
Estimated Release Date: TBD 

Currently, there’s not all that much going on in Overgrowth. The Steam store page description does a pretty good job of summing it all up: “it is more like a sandbox of technology and martial arts, and less like a story-driven action-adventure.” There’s only a small hint of anything that might be seen as a “campaign,” but that somehow did not stop me and my friends from playing round after round of Overgrowth.

One of the biggest features in the current state of Overgrowth is being able to utilize its complex combat mechanics in its arena mode. This mode simply pits the player against one to three AI opponents, round after round, with the objective being not to die. Sometimes the round will be a 2v2, sometimes it’ll be a 1v1, and other times it’s a free-for-all. It is a perfect mode to highlight the most interesting thing about Overgrowth, the combat, and a wonderful place to refine the skills needed to comprehend what’s going on.

You’ll need to confront the wiki in order to understand the combat, but although it may seem daunting, the basics are easy enough to comprehend. Much of the combat mechanics are context sensitive. That is to say, when you press “attack,” various actions may happen depending on whether or not the character is moving, where the opponent is in relation to the player, and so on. Knowing these contexts is where the high skill ceiling comes into play in Overgrowth. There always seems to be room for improvement.

Death comes very quickly in Overgrowth, sometimes by your own actions. Weapons will kill someone with one successful strike, but they’re a little unwieldy. Things like force and inertia really do matter when fighting. I've jumped off of someone’s face, flipped away, landed on my neck, and died…only to see them get up a second later. It’s a fighting game that really puts caution and patience over anything else. That isn't to say, however, that a head-on charge towards someone won’t win every so often!

At the beginning of my time with Overgrowth, I was very defensive; waiting for an enemy to attack and trying to parry or counter-punch my way to victory. Now though, I go for much more flair. Running away towards a wall, jumping at the wall and bouncing off of it, only to use my momentum to spring-kick my enemy into the ground is easily one of my favorite moments from the arena.

Outside of the arena are some smaller concept levels, multiplayer, and a level editor. Multiplayer is currently limited to controllers and playing locally with friends, but it can still be an absolute blast. Since the editor and the game are the same thing right now, I managed to just plop an arena down on a regular map around the spawn point, allowing my girlfriend and I to fight in a more enclosed area. Since I hardly aimed this arena “plop,” the hilly ground was protruding through it, giving it a lot more variety than a simple straight floor. I should also mention that the first time I tried this, I put the arena somewhere in the sky. The editor isn’t the easiest thing to figure out on your own.

We then spent a good while dueling it out in this faux-arena. We’d come up with “house rules,” like only being able to use your weapon in combat, and only being able to throw it for a kill. This meant that once someone threw their weapon, they had to pick it up before attacking again if they missed. There were a lot of intense moments, and a lot of hiding in tiny nooks and crannies while totally not screen-looking. It truly felt reminiscent of “the good ole days” of Slappers-only Goldeneye or a knife fight in Counter-Strike. It’s amazing what people come up with when a limited toolset is presented to them.

The team at Wolfire have been tremendously communicative, with update videos published to their YouTube channel very frequently. It’s clear that they aren’t rushing Overgrowth out the door simply because people want it. This also means that new features are being added in at a much slower pace than you might expect, which is important to keep in mind when deciding if you want early access.

The biggest arguments in favor of purchasing Overgrowth at this time are to play the local multiplayer aspect of it, hone your combat skills, and of course to support a development team that clearly loves their craft. You can even import custom maps made by other players if you’d like, allowing for a fuller experience after a little effort. Also, pre-ordering comes with a free copy of Receiver, which is a great incentive in and of itself. If you’re mostly interested in experiencing the story, then hold out for the real deal. 



Patrick Hancock, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure therealhancock Tips
Watching and playing competitive games like Dota and StarCraft take up most of his time. His three favorite non-video game things in the world are space, dinosaurs, and puppets. So if there we... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Snaveage avatarSnaveage
Phantom Pain is fucking glorious.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
Anyone remember the cartoon "Freakazoid"? I'm doing artwork for a box for work to hold my supplies, but I cant remember some of the better characters. Freakazoid, Steph, Cosgrove, Candlejack, the Lobe, Caveguy... but who else?
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Gotta love all those Dtoid community members that magically appear whenever there's a giveaway.
DSBrad avatarDSBrad
Newest Madden may be one of my favorites. Been taking all my time up.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
TWITCHTOID! I'll be playing some more PS4 Zombi and then some Until Dawn if'n I want to change things up. Link: [url=http://www.twitch.tv/thedefenestrator]Twitch.tv: TheDefenestrator[/url]
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Bless Wasteland 2's custom portraits [img]http://i.imgur.com/JuWaB1W.png?1[/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Sorting out a bunch of university stuff and going through a bit of writers block. I'm also holding some of my best stuff back for freelancing purposes (uni ain't cheap!), so sorry if my blogs have been a bit lackluster lately. And will be for 4-ish weeks.
gajknight avatargajknight
Been looking for a car to buy today. I swear, I am so sick of my mums voice. "It's too expensive!" "Don't you think it's a little big..." "INSURANCE!" Goddamn woman, chill your beans.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Hey look! I bought some toys and stuff and junk and what-not. [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-08/IMAG0656.jpg~original[/IMG]
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Yes, it's essentially a trace job, but this is my first piece of pixel art: [img]http://i.imgur.com/N0zmHiL.png[/img]
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Oh for fuck's sake, why is there no Netflix app for my PSTV?
Zenbrains avatarZenbrains
A new fun game for iOS and Android devices. Featuring a beautiful minimalistic design and an easy gesture based interface. Hope you'll like it. [url] https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1022015201[/url] [img]http://bit.ly/1EtWjdJ[/img]
Ben Davis avatarBen Davis
Apologies for the lack of Experience Points lately! I'm taking a short break from writing them, but don't worry. They'll be back soon enough!
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Am I the only one excited to play the Forza Motorsport 6 demo?
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
Adventure games are a big part of the indie scene, but there's a reason their popularity plummeted as graphics evolved. This clicking on everything, just in case, nonsense is for the birds. 90s birds, but birds.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Spotted some "The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3" (1989) DVDs in a store. Hearing music and sound effects from the game is more amusing than it should be - although the running shrill gets old quickly.
extatix avatarextatix
Diablo 3 patch 2.3.0 equals more grinding. Good.
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Funny coincidence: Last week saw the release of Until Dawn, which talked about a Canadian tribe of Native Americans called the Cree,and last night a Cree woman (Ms. Canada) won the Ms. Universe contest. Butterfly Effect updated.
MeeGhoulz avatarMeeGhoulz
Playing UNTIL DAWN 1st time:I'm alright with QTE,but an option to use direction as choices instead of buttons poppin' on screen would be welcome!Also:NO SHINY ITENS TO INDICATE CLUES!LET ME DISCOVER THEM!All in all,it's fun enough...
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
If I was to play through the NES library, besides being madness, what order do I do it? Alphabetically or Release date-wise? Whats the Dtoid universe think?
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Overgrowth


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -