Sunset Overdrive is a lot of things: colourful, cheeky, crazy. It's also tricky to master.
The demo shown off at Microsoft's Xbox E3 media briefing showed our protagonist deftly swinging from wires, grinding on ledges, activating traps and shooting mutant enemies with deft style. It looked like adding guns and mutants to a Tony Hawks game.
But when we played Sunset Overdrive we get the feeling we were thrown in at the deep end. Dashing around the colourful land the mutant enemies quickly amassed on us and the combo-style dashes and jumps felt considerably slower than we'd hoped when threading them together. It's easy to get bogged down with hoardes of mutant baddies and that's that: you're dead, time to restart.
It's also a melting pot of concepts and genres. In a strange way Sunset Overdrive is like the Xbox One's answer to the PS4's Infamous: Second Son. Just minus all the serious stuff. So nothing alike then, we suppose. Insomniac Games has gone bonkers for Microsoft.
There are gnomes with pick axes, exploding teddy bears, fireworks and all kinds of amusing weapons in among the hectic gameplay - it's like a super-fast Dead Rising with an added dose of humour.
The more we played the more we grasped the controls. We suspect that's the key to the game: mastering the routes and combos. For example, you'll need to double press the jump on specific objects to get additional height and grinding only engages when hitting a button while landing on a relevant object. At first connecting these buttons while resisting attacks and performing melee counters is a bit like playing an open-world Street Fighter. Master it and the scope for success will be greater we should think.
A weapons wheel, which slows down the real-time play but doesn't freeze it, is the way to select between a variety of weapons. From a gun that fires vinyl records to an AK-47, through to fire and ice weapons options, you'll need to take down certain mutants using a specific arsenal.
Despite the strong visual style and comic nature of the game we found its slap dash gameplay lacked the sort of depth many modern games have. There's an arcade style to it that appeals for its hop in, hop out nature - but we wanted to be thrilled and, for us, we instead felt underwhelmed by Sunset Overdrive, like we'd seen all of it before but in purer forms.