Publisher: Bigben Interactive
Genre: Racing, Sports, Simulator
Platform: PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 17/03/2020
Price: – £49.99 Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Most motorsport genre games I get to play focus on high performance, luxury race cars cruising around tarmac tracks under the sun. Well, Overpass wasn’t going to offer any of that, instead it is time to get dirty. Developed by Zordix and published by Bigben Interactive, Overpass is here to offer a tough off-road challenge; putting your ATV and buggy handling skills to the test across a range of courses with obstacles and hill climbs.
Thankfully there is a good tutorial to introduce the ins and outs of off-road buggy driving. Enter one wheel at a time seems to be a key message, maintaining momentum being the golden rule. However, this is easier said than done when approaching some of the obstacles on these courses. Be prepared for piles of logs to climb, thick mud hills to climb, jagged rock formations to clear and see-saws to navigate.
Career mode offered an interesting approach to mapping your progress. You work through a grid of competitions with a completion opening up both the next competition and also rewards. Finish in the top 3 and you unlock new gear for your player or upgrades for vehicles. You will be offered new contracts and challenges at the end of each round as well.
Very early on you learn that holding down R2 isn’t going to get you through this game. Once you get rid of your need for speed, you start to appreciate the complexity of Overpass. You need to pick the best route through a course that considers the type of ground you are driving on and what obstacles are ahead. There is an element of puzzle solving to it. You can very quickly find yourself rolling over or with a lack of momentum to make that next climb. This is unfortunately where people will either accept the challenge and push on or put the controller down.
Despite the complexity of the courses the game has kept its controls very simple. Your ATV/lightweight buggy has either Drive or Reverse as its gear options. You can switch between 4WD or DIF, depending on what scenario you are facing. There is also a 2WD option, but I haven’t found a time to use this yet. Brake and handbrake complete your options. ATVs allow you to move the weight of the rider to help with balance as well.
The problem comes when you want a bit more help from the game to conquer its challenges. For instance, the camera does not offer any movement apart from the standard rear, cockpit and front views. This isn’t helpful when you want to see the best way to attack the next section. With a game that is so environmentally focused, this is not helpful. Considering how easy it is to roll your vehicle, thanks to the game physics, you really do want to see where you are going. There is no controller feedback apart from a little rumble when it is all too late and you are on the roof either.
Outside of career mode you have a few other options. Quick race opens up all tracks and vehicles to you and is the best way to get some practice in. Multiplayer pits you against the ghost of another player or through split screen. There are custom races where you can set it up how you like.
The game’s visuals are good, and the tracks are well put together, but the view is abruptly interrupted by the audio. When on a course the only audio you get is that of your exhaust and let me tell you a Polaris Ace 900XC does not have a pleasant exhaust. You will very quickly clear a room. This is disappointing as there is some good music when in the menus that would have been very welcome on courses.
Overpass is a good game. It is a different take on the motorsports genre which will challenge people. There are no braking assists, route guidance displays or short cuts. It is you, the mud and the clock. Some people won’t like this game because it is difficult but that doesn’t make it a bad game. Could there be some more player comfort improvements? Yes, but at the heart of it this is either your sort of game or not.