Override: Mech City Brawl – Review
Follow Genre: 3D Brawler, Mech fighter
Developer: The Balance Inc
Publisher: Modus Games
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Override: Mech City Brawl – Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: Childhood dreams revisited, giant robots and aliens
Bad: Sluggish combat even though the combat is the main focus
User Score
7.8
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.8/10 (4 votes cast)

If you are in your twenties, or parent of somebody who is, there’s a big chance you remember seeing the Power Rangers on the TV in your living room. With a lot of explosions and costumes, there would always be some point that the Rangers would get into a giant robot to fight some other giant creature. Keep that concept in mind, and you have a pretty good idea of what Override: Mech City Brawl is about. Kicking ass in a giant metal suit while obliterating everything that’s around you.

Story

The game has a story mode, though according to the developers the main focus is to play with others, either online, on your couch, or a combination of both. Although the gameplay in the story mode is repeating itself very fast, mainly killing monsters with your giant robot as you go from country to country depending on the offer that’s available for you, it’s not too shabby. It’s an easy way of letting you play around with one chosen character as you kick alien butt since there’s an invasion going on. Especially for a younger audience, it’s an easily accessible, childhood dream.

During the story mode, you will get some new pieces of information as you go through multiple selected areas. After repeating the same type of fight several times, some more special story missions will be available, that offer a slightly different approach at times. But mostly the story stays the same. Read some text, choose a level, kick the same alien’s butt and eventually save Earth. Sometimes, this will be accompanied by in-game cutscenes.

Graphics

The graphics are not at all disappointing, and also seem appealing for mainly a younger audience. Everything is colorful and sometimes has a bit of a wacky twist. Whatever is made with visual elements is made to please the eye, and even though there are only a limited number of areas available to play the game in, at least visually it doesn’t quickly feel old. Animations are done properly as well, though they don’t work great with the gameplay controls at all times.

Sound

Most of the sound could be described as cinematic, especially the background music. A bit of an orchestral touch here and there, and it fits the game well. The sound effects, i.e. punches, monster growls et cetera, are not that special and even a bit bland at times. Furthermore, there are no voice actors present in the game, so any unique qualities that a character has, it has from its appearance and attacks.

Gameplay

Override: Mech City Brawl is like the title suggests, a brawler. It’s also a game that’s dividing itself into two parts. On one side, the developers want it to be about competitive gameplay where you fight each other in a city and totally destroy everything around you in an effort to be the best. On the other side, there is a story mode that allows you to fight computer-controlled aliens in an effort to save the planet. This story mode combines a type of interface we’ve seen previously at the XCOM games, where a strategic holographic globe of the world shows you what’s going on and allows you to choose your next goal. The ”military base” where you select these missions from is interesting, but essentially just a fancy place to prepare for the next fight by upgrading your mech or adding different disposable weapons. Outside, in the main menu, you can also customize your mech a bit with cosmetics. No matter what mode though, there’s one major issue with the game that’s holding it back.

What seems to be a conflicting element is that the mechs are designed to simulate real reactions to the gravity of Earth as we know it, making them huge and a bit slow. For a game that wants to focus its attention on competitive gameplay though, this is conflicting. You expect controls to be responsive and able to easily dodge or deflect attacks as in most or maybe even any fighter game. In Override: Mech City Brawl, there are some examples of this not working so well. To explain, you have four triggers or buttons that control punches and kicks for the left and right arms or legs. You can lock on an enemy, and you have special attacks, a shield to block, dashes to move around, and counterattacks when timed correctly while blocking. Sometimes a kick or punch will miss cause you don’t have much control over it, and this control issue rings true for multiple moves. The dash is short and doesn’t move you around that much, some charged punches or special attacks lock you into a direction which basically makes you screwed if you changed your mind. For advanced giant robots, there seems to be little control over the mechs.

In other games such as the original Xbox Classic’s Mech Assault, you wouldn’t have noticed this too much since you were mainly shooting up the place, but for some reason, whenever a game involves giants mechs fighting mainly through melee combat, it’s a very hard thing to get it right. Instead of making it realistic in gravity, it’s probably better to look for solutions that make the game flow smooth and responsive. In the end, Override has some elements right but needs a lot of tweaking to make you really feel in control of a powerful robot.

Conclusion

Even though the game has a nice design with multiple unique mechs and a good feel for destroying the environment and even with its ambitious goals in place you don’t get to the best product yet. For a game that puts so much focus on fighting with melee combat, the controls and flow just don’t feel right enough to actually become seriously competitive. The story mode will add some fun, and the game will be fun for a younger audience no matter what, but it has a lot to improve to be more than ”okay”.

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Rating: 7.8/10 (4 votes cast)
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Override: Mech City Brawl - Review, 7.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Pim Hoogeveen
Pim Hoogeveen


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