Sunset Overdrive Explained In A Bit More Detail
As is the case with us gamers, we were shown one trailer for Sunset Overdrive at E3 and were instantly in love. The quirky take on a zombie apocalypse as seen through the eyes of Insomniac Games certainly seems promising given their pedigree with Ratchet & Clank. Then again, Overstrike also started out promising, colourful and unique but then got devolved into Fuse, the definition of a by-the-numbers shooter.
We may not have seen any gameplay but the game got our attention and now it’s up to Ted Price and his team to deliver. The game is still in the early stages of development so Game Informer got a chance to talk to the man about the concept and thinking behind Sunset Overdrive.
- You’ll Be Able To Play (Expensive) PS2 Games On Your PS4 Now | 2 months ago
- Jessica Jones Disempowers Its Male Characters And The Effect Is Refreshing | 2 months ago
- Hell Is 30 000 Deathclaws Tearing Through Boston And It’s Glorious | 2 months ago
- Sony Santa Monica Is Teasing Something Truly Strange | 2 months ago
“The trailer we presented was a vision of the game,” Price told us. “But it represents very much who Insomniac is in terms of its style and tone and it shows of a world we are building right now that has been subjected to a catastrophe.”
Most apocalyptic games focus on the protagonist struggling to adapt and survive while also mourning the loss of what life used to be like.
That’s just not so in Sunset Overdrive. “You, as the player, have formerly worked in a dead-end job. You are not looking at a city that has been destroyed and is dark and gloomy. You’re looking at a playground.” Price calls the world of Sunset Overdrive an “awesomepocalypse.”
Price also believes that the vision put forth in the trailer will translate to what we see in the final game and how we interact with the world. This will come with lost of drive (pun intended) from creative directors Drew Murray and Marcus Smith (who were lead designer and creative director on Resistance 3 respectively).
The agile movement, climbing and parkour are critical. And finding a balance between that deft traversal and combat with firearms and other tools is tricky. “It isn’t an easy thing to pull off,” Price said. “We’re breaking away from the standard ‘lock you to the ground’ gameplay that we think is the norm for third-person and first-person shooters today.” A crucial part of that formula is Insomniac’s skill at creating fun and unique weapons.
Like any zombie title, there will be big multiplayer component that requires players to communicate with each other to survive. Speaking of communication, Insomniac wants an open dialogue with the community to help improve the game as it ages. This is now possible with Microsoft’s policies on content updates.
“On this generation, it’s difficult to have a connection to players where we are getting information including likes and dislikes or actions and then respond quickly,” Price said. “The hardware and the publishing policies prevent that kind of response when it comes to consoles.”
Price told us that things are changing with the Xbox One for the better. “We are seeing a lot of the barriers, mechanical and in terms of policy between developers and players, are coming down,” he explained. “This gives us a chance to make more regular changes and updates to the game based on what players are telling us and what we are observing them do. We’ll have an opportunity to create a much more living world.”
When asked if the changes to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade patch fees is indicative of a more fluid (and cost effective) approach to growing game content. “That is what we understand, but I can’t comment on Microsoft’s policies,” he shared.
One thing that Microsoft has not stopped talking about is the “power of the cloud” that Xbox One will boast and Insomniac will certainly be capitalising on that.
“Some of the hardcore data collection, correlation, and translation that we expect to do is difficult and takes a lot of horsepower, and that is one aspect of the cloud that is attractive to us,” Price told us. As for whether they’ll be tapping into that power for single-player, he is confident it won’t happen.
“Our intent is that you will be able to play the single-player without an online connection,” he explained. “The game will be updated with content we expect that all players will want. You won’t be able to access that without an online connect.” In other words, the way you access new single-player content now is how you’ll do it when Sunset Overdrive arrives.
Price did share his thoughts on the benefit of offloaded processing. “When people say ‘cloud’ it’s one of those broad terms that mean many things,” he said. “How we use the cloud depends on the genre, depends on the audience, and it depends on the state of the hardware behind the cloud. We’re learning that new opportunities and ideas are popping up every month when we discover how we can take aspects of the game offline [to the cloud]. We are going to be relying on heavy backend services to churn through the data we get from players to understand what they’re telling us and what they’re doing in the game.”
Price sees a bright future in cloud computing and Microsoft’s vision for how developers will use it. “The potential of the cloud for console developers is pretty large,” he stated. “Over the next five or six years, it’s one of those technologies that will change in meaning as we see more games come out and take innovative approach to the more and more offline processing that’s available.”
“It is proven that cloud services can improve products and services in other areas, so it’s cool that games are starting to take advantage of it,” Price told us, explaining that other industries have successfully integrated cloud computing to the benefit of industry and consumer alike.
“Looking at the world’s approach to this now-massive amount of hardware we have that can be taken advantage of, these are things are going to change faster and faster. Not just for games, but for every industry. It’s ultimately good for all of us who consume entertainment.”
Okay so this turned into more of a discussion on cloud computing than Sunset Overdrive but what do you want from a game that has yet to show any gameplay?
Sunset Overdrive will release on Xbox One at some point in the near future but it’s too early to put a release window on the title just yet.