Sunset Overdrive: Traversal and Guns – powering your Style Meter.
Sunset Overdrive is all about dynamic traversal and unconventional weapons. The core design of the game is focused on these elements, and everything we do in the game encourages the player to use traversal, and to especially use it in combat.
We’ve already shown how traversal is one of the core elements of Sunset Overdrive, as you’ve seen from the gameplay previews and our first episode of Sunset TV. Why though? Whether you are bouncing on the roof of a car, grinding down a building rail, or running along a wall, we want the player to keep moving. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to survive in the game, as the hordes of OD will make much quicker work of a stationary player at ground level.
Besides survival, we actively incentivize players to traverse in the game with the Style Meter. Think of this as the main combo mechanic in the game, and one of the ways you know you’re playing well. By traversing, killing enemies, and especially killing enemies while traversing, you’ll build up the style meter. That’s important, as filling each level of the style meter will activate the Amps you have equipped. If you stop traversing or killing enemies, your style meter will decrease, and eventually those amps will deactivate.
What are Amps? We’ll get more into detail on them next week – but at a basic level they are power-ups you can equip to your player and weapons that will only activate if you’re playing with enough style. If you check out the First Look video you can see some of them at play like the Energy Roll and Air Dash. You’ll find recipes and resources to craft amps during the game, and then equip the ones to best suit your playstyle.
It isn’t as simple as pressing X though. There is a skill level to dynamic traversal. Most of the time, you’ll notice the grinds are broken up. You’ll need to jump between them and start grinding again. Or if you want to go around the corner of a building while wall-running, you’ll need to tap the X button at the right moment to successfully pull off the cornering move. If you want to get a super jump off a car or awning, you’ll need to time your press of the A button perfectly. Furthermore, the higher up you scale in Sunset City, the more skillful at traversal you’ll need to be to stay there.
Even then, skillful traversal won’t do it alone. You’ll have to dispose of the mutant OD horde, SCABs and Fizzco Security along the way to max out the style meter. And the enemies won’t just directly attack you while traversing, they’ll also attempt to deny those traversal paths to you by jumping onto your grinds, or taking up a spot on the roof of that car you want to bounce on.
You’ll rely on an arsenal of weapons as large as our biggest ones in the Ratchet & Clank series to help you in clearing your route. Sunset Overdrive includes an Insomniac staple, the weapon wheel, which allows you to slow the game while you pick which weapon to use. To allow you to further customize your play style, each weapon can be equipped with an amp of its own (which will only be active while the style meter is charged up) as well.
By using weapons effectively, and by switching between them, you’ll power the style meter. Do that while traversing, and you’ll fill it up even faster. Getting to amps and even more awesome mayhem.
Effective play in Sunset Overdrive is all about dynamic traversal and weapons. By playing with skill, traversing and switching your weapons, you’ll keep your style meter full and your amps active. Stay tuned next week, as we get into more details on what your reward for playing with style: Amps.
And as always, if you have questions or comments, you can post below and we’ll do our best to answer!
James Stevenson is the Community Lead at Insomniac Games and has been at Insomniac for nearly 8 years. You can keep up with him on Twitter at @JamesStevenson or follow his gamertag: jstevens0n. You can follow Insomniac Games on Twitter at @InsomniacGames or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/InsomniacGames