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Override: Mech City Brawl

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Modus Games
Developer: The Balance Inc.
Release Date: Dec. 4, 2018


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PS4 Review - 'Override: Mech City Brawl'

by Fran Soto on Feb. 6, 2019 @ 12:05 a.m. PST

Override: Mech City Brawl is a 3D mech-based party brawler where you pilot your very own mech and pit them against other enormous robots in fully-destructible arenas modeled after real world locations like San Francisco, Egypt, Mexico, and Japan.

Buy Override: Mech City Brawl

There's nothing quite like giant robots fighting kaiju monsters in an all-out brawl to save humanity. That's the kind of entertainment Override: Mech City Brawl brings us. Taking inspiration from well-known mecha media, Override is a satirical and goofy take on the mecha genre. With story campaigns, online play, and multiplayer co-op, the title provides ample cooperative content for all of our giant robot needs. The title features a variety of mechs with their own special moves and personalities, so there's a robot for everyone. The campaign adds upgrades and loadouts for optimized brawling and even allows for a cooperative story. While the title surely has significant mecha flavor, the combat is a bit sluggish and clunky. Despite this, Override: Mech City Brawl delivers cooperative novelty to the genre.

Override provides ample content for players looking for game-type variety. There is a main story campaign where players can choose to play as one of 14 possible mechs and pilots to save the world from "Xenotypes." Mechs have bright, vibrant designs and different attacks. Each one isn't just a re-skin of another; some bots resemble well-known giant robots, like the Power Rangers' Megazord. Brawls take place in an arena with a variety of settings, from cities around the world to moon bases. The story follows a fairly generic format wherein our mech pilot is recruited by the world's military to fight aliens. The story is tropey and draws inspiration from anime to comic books.

Each pilot has a distinct personality with dialogue lines, and everything else about the story remains the same. Once recruited, we have the option to deploy on missions of varying difficulty across the world to fight these Xenotypes. After each mission, enemies drop rewards, such as upgrades for our mechs or cosmetic items. Each mech has various skins and cosmetic additions for customizable flair. Modifications for our mechs drop after each mission to add more attack damage or health. A currency system is also employed so we can purchase more upgrades and cosmetic items. While upgrades are only available within the story, cosmetic items can be used outside of the main campaign through online and PvP modes.

Override not only gives us a single-player experience, but it also adds various multiplayer options for party play. Players can play locally or online with and against each other. Players can even make teams where everyone gets their own mech in an all-out brawl. Override's most interesting cooperative feature is the co-piloting system. Up to four people can actually pilot a mech (a la Power Rangers' Megazord or Voltron) and control each of its quadrants. Players need to work together to defeat an enemy, and cooperative communication is required to pilot the robot for maximum efficiency. This feature shines through and becomes a funny exercise in teamwork as players initially stumble upon trying to control each of the robot's parts. This teamwork is especially necessary since each of the mech's attacks build up heat within the engine and can cause the mech to overheat. This means that we must communicate with our teammates about when to attack and when to allow the mech to cool down. We can eventually build up an ultimate attack meter that is also dependent on monitoring our internal heat. Override pays homage to our favorite robot media and does its best to create an accurate simulation of fighting robots.

While the title fills a local cooperative play gap on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, combat feels bulky and slow. We can block and dash, but it's a pain to fight Xenomorphs when there's no tracking with our attacks. This means that punches and kicks will easily sail by enemies if we don't properly account for their positioning. It can be a frustrating experience that combat within a brawler title isn't as polished as it should be.

Enemies are basic as well, some being stronger than others. The Xenomorphs don't necessarily pose much of a threat other than in their sheer numbers. They don't require specific attacks or tactics to take them down. There aren't even major variations of Xenomorphs or other aliens that can be defeated. It would've been a nice touch to have as much variety in the Xenomorphs as there is among the mechs. It's another detail that adds to the game's simplicity. Despite the overheat feature in place, there is nothing else about the title that requires any major strategy or planning. It's a game that quickly turns into button-mashing due to the lack of tactics needed.

Override is a straightforward game, which can be a good thing. It doesn't alienate newer players, and it has a control scheme that everyone can pick up. Its basic story also appeals to the general audience, but I can't say that it would appeal to hardcore brawler fans. While Override can be a title for everyone, its mechanics are merely on the surface and may seem repetitive or easy for more veteran players. It's possible within the main campaign to play higher difficulty missions, but nothing about Override is challenging. Once the main story is done, there isn't any other single-player content besides playing through the same story again with a different pilot. The title's true strength lies in its cooperative play, as it fills a necessary void in the couch co-op genre. It's a game that can be fun at parties or online with others.

Override: City Mech Brawl offers a variety of local and online cooperative play with silly robot fun at our fingertips. Incredibly reminiscent of well-known giant robot media, Override creates a stylish and colorful world where we can battle robots to our heart's content. The title allows players to team up and operate the same mech (or their own) against the Xenomorph enemy. The arcade offers a campaign story that provides upgrades and cosmetic items for mechs that allows for customization. There is online and offline versus if players want to battle against other humans.

While Override offers many game varieties, it falters heavily in its gameplay and available content. Fighting with giant robots should feel sleek and cool, but instead, the title finds a way to make it slow and clunky. Battle arenas are small, and there is no strategy necessary other than to button-mash against the Xenomorph enemies. The story mode also doesn't offer much in the way of content, as finishing the story once gives you almost everything you need to know. Despite being able to play with other pilots, the story doesn't change and becomes repetitive and boring.

Despite these flaws, Override: City Mech Brawl is a funny and lighthearted brawler title for everyone, and it's another multiplayer option during a time when consoles seem to be shying away from local cooperative play. It's a title that doesn't take itself too seriously, and it does a solid job of bringing lighthearted giant robot fun to consoles.

Score: 7.0/10

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