Overpass – Review
Follow Genre: Racing
Developer: Zordix Racing
Publisher: Bigben
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Tested on: PC, PS4

Overpass – Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Overall a decent experience
Bad: Missing a decent physics engine
User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

“Where we are going, we don’t need roads”, these legendary words are often jokingly said by offroad enthusiasts. Since there is nothing as fun as rummaging through the mud and getting over obstacles, this hobby has spawned some really fun series. Games like Spintires and the Trials series have been representing the genre really well these last few years. Gamers might know Bigben Interactive from their Monster Energy Supercross series. While those games can be considered decent (except for the last one), their approach to Overpass brings up mixed feelings.

Story

In Overpass you start your driving career in offroad racing. You begin with an in-depth tutorial about how to pass through the rough terrains in the game. After completing the tutorial, your racing career starts and you must finish at the top to get recognized by sponsors to gain more funds. You already have one sponsor giving you some extra cash for finishing in the top three, but as you progress, you can sign better contracts with other sponsors. Money is used for many things, from upgrading parts to repairing damage and buying extra vehicles. If you wish to stand out, you can also customize your character to be a bit more unique. Gaining money isn’t hard and makes progression feel pretty fast. There isn’t a real red-thread through your career, just like in most racing games, but the many different options do make for an interesting story mode.

Graphics

Bigben games are known for their more budget approach and while their latest Monster Energy Supercross game did not look all that fabulous, they did redeem themselves with Overpass. We did have a look at the normal PlayStation 4 and PC version and there is a serious difference. The graphics are pretty decent looking on the PC with bright colors and decent details. Meanwhile, the PlayStation 4 version does look a bit left behind but that can be because newer games are being made for the Pro/X variants of the consoles. Attention to detail is present but is still lacking in a few ways, for example, while driving in the mud your vehicle will get dirty, but it won’t fall or wash off when driving through water. Mud will accumulate on your tires and will stay that way the entire time. Vehicles have unique liveries and you can customize your character in a few ways so you look stylish while covered in mud. There is a healthy variety between tracks and locations as nothing beats offroading on a nice tropical island or cool industrial mining site.

Sound

The sounds are pretty horrible in Overpass. When you think about offroad vehicles, you want some pretty beefy engines, loud exhausts and the deep howl of four-stroke engines. In Overpass, most vehicles sound like your neighbor is mowing the lawn or using a bushwhacker. There are a few vehicles that sound doable, but most will make your ears bleed since you can only drive on high RPM. Sound effects are also pretty stale and there is no real music playing in the background. It would have been cool to have some good music playing during races. The tutorial is nicely narrated, making it strange they did not invest in other parts of the sound design.

Gameplay

Overpass is a racing game that closely resembles trials and rock crawling racing games. The main goal is to cross the finish line in the fastest time possible, while overcoming the many obstacles on the track. People who have played the Trials or Spintires games will certainly know how fun these games can be, if they are done right. Here is where the first hiccup is in Overpass. The cars sometimes get past obstacles decently, but when you really have to crawl over objects, it feels like vehicles just float in the air and don’t get any grip at all. In the tutorial, your mentor mentions that you need to control the throttle so you can climb obstacles, yet it seems that you can only either stand still or go full speed. Overall, the gameplay just feels very cheaply done, the suspension is pretty active, but the bouncing will make your buggy fall on its roof way too easily and this gets frustrating quickly as completing the tutorial proves to be rather difficult.

When you finally start the career mode, you begin with a simple race. Just fly over the track while staying within the flags and don’t hit them or cut corners or you get a penalty. This will not always mean the end, but sometimes handling is so bad that you will be sliding into poles like a teenager in his first snowstorm. The obstacles are simple yet effective as they mostly consist of a bunch of tires, piles of wood, rocks and see-saws. The racing aspect can be quite fun as you race between obstacles and need to carefully navigate through them. During events, you will only be racing against the clock, as opponents set their time and you need to beat their scores. It would have been really cool to physically race against other vehicles just like in Dirt, as this is more challenging than boringly run around the tracks on your own.

In Overpass you do get a nice range of different vehicles to drive in. There are more than a handful of Buggies and ATVs from known brands world-wide available to ride. It would have been really cool to be able to drive some jeeps or trucks, yet it doesn’t feel too absent from Overpass. The Buggies almost all have an automatic transmission, two- and four-wheel drive and a lockable differential. The ATVs are very different to use as their wheelbase is smaller and some of them are only rear-wheel drive. The added challenge for ATVs is to shift the weight from the driver, yet it seems that your rider isn’t that stable and falls off for the stupidest of reasons. Now every vehicle can be used on any track, and Overpass does have quite some tracks available. There are several different venues such as a tropical island, mining zone and mountains with multiple tracks each.

Controlling the game is pretty easy, but the button layout isn’t that perfect. It will take some time to get used to the keys and buttons but once you do, it feels doable in races. Depending on your current drive train setting, your vehicle will respond accordingly. A two-wheel-drive is quicker and less stable, while locking the differential means that you barely can steer into objects but have a high grip. This is where you feel that there isn’t really a physics engine to make the tires grip and this is missed as it would make crawling over objectives way easier, fun and realistic.

Conclusion

Overpass isn’t a terrible game, but it isn’t a great one either. The graphics are decent enough to be enjoyable for PC, yet the normal console version seems to be pretty badly made. The absence of a good physics engine makes traversing different obstacles quite tricky as you fail to get a grip while trying to crawl up an obstacle. Despite its shortcomings, it can still be enjoyed with the help of a good beer. There is enough content to be played for a few hours and the career mode is nicely made. The worst thing about the game is the sound, so it is advised to turn down the sound to a pretty low volume, or your neighbor might complain about you mowing the lawn in the evening.

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Overpass – Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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