Just stop for a second
Go, go, go. Always on the move. That's all that we've seen of Insomniac Games' Sunset Overdrive since its initial 2013 reveal. Seriously, think back. Do you remember seeing any footage of the game where the oddball protagonist isn't running, jumping, or grinding along?
Chances are you haven't, because the developers have built Sunset Overdrive around the notion of motion. Standing still will get you killed, and maybe more criminally, it's just so damn boring. If you're going to let the player build any character they want -- say a cross between an '80s punk rocker and a Cold War-era Russian trooper -- that high-octane approach needs to permeate every aspect of the game, and it begins with the concept of momentum.
At a presentation at gamescom, Insomniac went into a little more detail about Sunset City, the virtual skatepark that Sunset Overdrive gives the player free rein of. And, when we say free rein, we mean it. The entire map will be unlocked right from the very beginning of the game, leaving the player to explore to their heart's desire. Popping into debug mode, the developers raised the camera high into the sky to lend some perspective as to how big the world is. It's quite impressive, and should prove to be an aptly sized playground -- even for someone that's constantly on the go.
The only reprieve from the ceaseless movement (ironically) comes from Sunset Overdrive's fast-travel system. Yes, for a game about bustling activeness, sometimes you'll want to thoughtlessly warp to the other side of the map. Even when Sunset Overdrive betrays the very foundation of its own experience, at least it does it in style. After selecting an available fast-travel spot, the game cuts back to the protagonist who pulls out a bottle and chugs it until blacking out. Seconds later, they stumble out of a port-a-potty with a wicked hangover, but at the desired location.
Ridiculous? Definitely, but it's just another example in a long line of what Insomniac's preached from the beginning -- with Sunset Overdrive, fun trumps realism. That's why an entire city has seemingly turned into a giant bouncy house. That's why I watched the developers forge a legendary sword by repeatedly trampolining it to the bottom of a nuclear reactor. And, that's why alcohol's the quickest way to get across Sunset City -- because it's just the most fun prospect. Coincidentally, it's also the only time you'll get a break.