Developer: Zordix Racing
Publisher: BigBen Interactive
Genre: Racing, Simulation
Platform: Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC (reviewed)
Rating: E for Everyone
Overpass is a unique entry into the racing genre where it eliminates the notion of the fastest car wins. In this game, as it will tell you itself, it is not about speed, but rather, being precise with handling your vehicle that prevails. You are not racing against computer controlled AI in real time—you are racing against a clock. The only thing getting in your way is your ability to navigate the track.
Violence: Overpass is a racing game and there is always the possibility (which in this particular game is very high) of wrecking your vehicles.
As an aspiring gear-head and racing game aficionado, I have no idea how I had let Overpass slip under my radar. Upon viewing the trailer, it reminded me of a PS3 game called FUEL, a game that focused on intense offroad gameplay. I knew Overpass would be different from that game, but what I did not know was how different it was going to be. And boy was I in for quite the awakening!
As mentioned previously, Overpass is not about simply racing around the track and trying to be the quickest to the finish line. No, this game is quite different. I could compare it more to the likes of WRC Rally where you are racing against the clock rather than physical AI. However, in rally racing, the track is not intended to hinder you, thus causing your blood to boil to the point where it takes every fiber of your being to contain yourself from throwing your controller into the television screen. This is what Overpass is about. You do not have to be the quickest to win; you just have to know where, when and how to maneuver—kind of like life in a way.
Overpass offers a small variety of game modes for you to choose from:
Career mode has you battle through a web of challenges in chase to become the ultimate champion.
Don’t feel like playing through set races? Make your own rules! Choose your venue, track and vehicle and you be set on your way.
Want to skip career mode and make your own season? Challenge mode allows you to select multiple venues and tracks at the same time to be played sequentially so you do not have to keep going back and forth between Quick Races.
Overpass offers three different multiplayer modes
- Online: Race against the best times from players worldwide online!
- Split Screen: Race against someone in the same room with a shared screen.
- Hot Seat: Race against someone in the same room alternating turns.
During races in Overpass, you are tasked with overcoming a plethora of obstacles to maneuver your way around on a set track. These obstacles can range from giant wood logs, wood pilings and tire-hills, to ramps and steep rock hill climbs. Not only are you expected to overcome these obstacles, but you must navigate them in a precise manner or you’ll surely acquire a time penalty or worse, flip over your vehicle!
During career mode, the damage you accrue from these obstacles carries over. In between sessions, you can repair up to 25% damage to your vehicle. In between challenges however, you either have to use a repair kit, choose another vehicle, or possibly be unable to compete until repairs are made. So being able to properly maneuver through obstacles and keeping your vehicle right side up is crucial!
Overpass is challenging; there is no other way to put it. You really need to pay attention during the tutorial in the beginning and keep practicing one wheel at a time if you truly want to master this game.
For the most part I have enjoyed my time with Overpass, and it can be really fun and enjoyable, but this does not mean it’s perfect. For starters, there is barely any kind of presentation. Don’t get me wrong—graphically the game is beautiful. The textures in the track, the obstacles and the drivers are well done. The vehicles themselves look and sound really good, but other than that, there is not much else. The main menu is dull and the loading screens are bland. There is music, but it only plays while you’re on the menu or during the really long loading screens and there are only one or two songs. There’s also not much going around you during the races—no crowds cheering in the background, no flashy signs or lights. It’s just you, your vehicle, and the track.
All in all, I cannot say that Overpass is a bad game because of some presentation limits. I understand that the developers are a very small team and put all of the focus on the core aspects of the game instead of polish. The game at its core is indeed fantastic and a new challenge for fans of racing games. Had this title benefited from a larger budget and team, it would have been something really spectacular. The developers are a passionate bunch and should be proud of this title. Overpass is a great start, but if there’s a next title, they should keep the engine the same and just tune it up a little and I’m sure it’ll be a clear cut winner.
The Bottom Line
Overpass is a great addition to the genre, adding a new type of challenge and will truly test the bond between man and machine.