Sunset Overdrive

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Sunset Overdrive Game Poster Image
Stylized tongue-in-cheek shooter has lots of gory violence.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 22 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This fast-paced fantasy shooter has you fighting mutated people -- and even though you're fighting bad guys, it doesn't really offer any positive messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You can customize the protagonist in a number of ways, but little is known about your character. You play as a janitor-turned-hero who's fighting mutated people who drank a contaminated energy soda. Your job is to clean up the mess by killing said mutants, robots, and other humans with over-the-top weapons.

Ease of Play

Adopts familiar third-person-shooter control mechanics, placing the character's movement with the right analog sticks, aiming with the left, and using a combination of buttons and triggers for parkour moves, jumping, and shooting.

Violence

Despite the game's seemingly innocent visual style, it's very violent, bloody, and gory. Players will shoot, blow up, and dismember enemies -- mostly mutants but also robots and humans. Enemies scream in pain before dying. Cut scenes are quite gory and include beheading.

Sex

Many sexual references, such as "I am a prostitute!" and "How hard was it to make a porn flip book?" A radio commercial states, "It’s so good you won’t be able to contain your urges to rub it all over your Sex … Burger." Characters can dress in only panties and a bra (or be topless for a male).

Language

Strong language, including words like "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "bitch," bastard," "damn," and "hell."

Consumerism

Optional downloadable content, including a $20 bundle offered on Xbox Live and at retailers that includes two campaign expansions, bonus weapons, outfits, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many references to narcotics. References includ, "You guys have been eating weed" and "Oh, when I get back with your drugs, we'll discuss my offense at your assumption that I would know where to find drugs."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sunset Overdrive​ might have a cartoon-like look, but it's a violent, bloody, gory third-person shooter. You must kill thousands of mutants (who once were human), as well as robots and some human enemies, using wild weapons that seem silly (for example, a grenade launcher that shoots explosive teddy bears, deadly golf clubs, and a harpoon gun). There also are many drug references, sexual comments between characters (and heard on the radio), strong profanity ("f--k," "s--t," and more), and unmonitored voice support for online multiplayer games.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bykeith7198 November 14, 2014

Fun and humorous but....

Rarely do games combine fun action-based gameplay with a great sense of humor. Sunset Overdrive does that. From its addictive traversal mechanics to it's i... Continue reading
Adult Written bybrucen1 November 29, 2014
Sunset over drive is a great game. But There is a lot of gore and swearing but that can be disabled in the menus so I'd say it's appropriate enough fo... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byNeath November 6, 2014

Great Game!

Sunset Overdrive is a colorful, humorous, open-world action-adventure game in which the players take the role of their own customized hero. the game does not ha... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byLego_Aidan November 30, 2014

Sunset Overdrive - 14+

This may be the one time CSM gets it right, Iffy for 14+ is a perfect rating for this game. Sunset Overdrive is a very fun game with a really cool style. This i... Continue reading

What's it about?

An Xbox One exclusive, Insomniac Games' SUNSET OVERDRIVE is an over-the-top third-person shooter that takes place in the near future, where the world is controlled by the FizzCo Corporation. You play as a janitor who must clean up the mess following the launch of an energy drink that has transformed people into mutants (hey, we said it was over the top). Along with running and gunning -- with zany weapons including harpoon guns, exploding toys, golf clubs, and fireworks -- this colorful open-world action game includes agile-based combat: using zip lines, grinding down power lines, and doing mid-air acrobatics, for example. Along with the single-player campaign, there are online multiplayer modes that allow up to eight people to play cooperatively ("co-op").

Is it any good?

Sunset Overdrive is a stylized, colorful, and fast-paced third-person shooter that never takes itself seriously -- even the characters acknowledge it's a video game -- but it proves to be a fun, over-the-top adventure that's well worth the price of admission. Perhaps the game's charm and polish shouldn't be much of a surprise given developer Insomniac Games' experience in creating engaging worlds -- especially with its award-winning Ratchet & Clank series -- but they've done it again with Sunset Overdrive, this time mixing in parkour, aerial moves, and skateboard-like tricks. Although the mission objectives can be a bit stale -- go to such-and-such location, help this character fetch this or that, or kill a number of ODs (infected enemies) -- the combat is frenetic against the myriad of monsters including the Blower, Popper, and Spawner, each with its own abilities. 

Along with comfortable and intuitive controls, vast sandbox environments, and a ridiculous assortment of weaponry to play around with, this Xbox One exclusive offers an ambitious co-op mode to keep the game fresh long after you finish the campaign (plus you can replay single-player missions for extra goodies). Add in special abilities, in-game rewards, and collectibles, and this will be a huge hit for the Xbox One.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Sunset Overdrive. Does it matter less if you destroy unrealistic mutant enemies because they're no longer human, or does it not make a difference? Because the story line and game world are clearly fictional and over the top, how does the impact compare to photorealistic military shooters?

  • Discuss the language used within the game. Did the publishers need to include the sexual and drug references, as well as the swearing? Does that content add to the over-the-top nature of the gameplay, or is it simply gratuitous?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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