Hello friends. This is the long awaited review of Turbo Overkill, an ultra-fast old-school-inspired FPS with pixelated graphics, a metal soundtrack, and a chainsaw for a leg used as a weapon currently in Early Access! Set in a cyberpunk future the Duke Nukem and Doom influences are obvious. And this is expected as the publisher Apogee Entertainment is directly involved with many of those FPS you loved in the past including Duke Nukem and Rise of the Triad known as 3D Realms.
Developer: Trigger Happy Interactive Publisher: Apogee Entertainment Genre: Action, Indie, Early Access, First Person Shooter Release Date: 22 Apr 2022 Reviewed on: PC/Windows Available on: PC/Windows Link: Steam Discord Link: Discord Review copy was provided.
You’re Johnny Turbo, returning to your hometown of “Paradise”. Paradise is already in flames when you arrive while your trusted computer (S.A.M.M) informs you that the Syn virus is at large infecting most of its population. Your mission? Purge the virus – at any cost. Dropping from your hover car in a spectacular fashion landing on an enemy using your chainsaw leg to decimate him starts your mission on the right foot (pun intended!).
The game’s first few levels explain some keybindings used, some unique mechanics, as well as making sure you look out for any secret while killing (preferably) all the enemies on the level. The level design is brilliant (as is expected from a developer that started by making Doom II maps in the past). At the end of the level, you will get the usual “level finished” stats screen where you can see if you missed any secrets and how much time it took to complete the level – with the option to move on to the next sector or restarting for 100% completeness and faster time.
Additional secret levels are unlocked when you collect Cassette Tapes. Those secret levels include various horde modes (survive X number of waves) and they’re accessible from your save slot in the main menu. Tech-Chips are collectible as well, and gathering all of them at a level grants you access to new modifiers if you wish to playthrough again in the future. Another item that is useful to be opened (if you can find their keys) are Chests. Chests give you free upgrades which are welcome as most of the upgrades, in general, are expensive. While playing this, we came across a bug where a secret we picked up somehow removed from our sum after a death having to restart the level to pick it up again – a small nuisance for that particular one as it was early in the game but imagine having to replay one of the tougher levels due to this!
The gameplay is frantic as you would expect from a game having “Turbo” in its name. It takes some queues from the best traditional old-school shooters while adding flair from more modern games – this means that the quick respawning and responsive controls will always have you on your toes! Gunplay is also majestic and satisfying with every weapon having a distinct feel and each being useful for certain encounters. Weapon selection is large including pistols, shotguns, precision rifles, rockets, flamethrowers, etc. The whole lot! Additionally to the selection and to mix things further, alternative fire exists (but needs unlocking first) on all weapons allowing for some great (and usually gruesome) kill combos as well as -expensive- weapon upgrades to all of them! Using Gun Shops throughout the levels, you can purchase items and ammo or upgrades to aid you in your mission. You can also use augments to enhance your killing – slots include Cortex, Right/Left arm as well as Right/Left leg. Augmentations are either bought or dropped by killing Bosses.
There are 5 difficulty levels using modifiers for Enemy Projectile Speed and Enemy Damage Output, while also restricting what you can buy from vending machines or what drops from enemies on kill for higher difficulty levels. Balancing is done around the normal (Regular Joe) difficulty (with modifiers being 1x) but we expect the developer to refine this more in future updates.
Graphics are obviously being taken into great consideration. The game has a gritty cyberpunk feel thanks to those and is really fitting to the overall atmosphere. There’s also a photomode included which shows that the developer trusts his graphics are photo-material! Music on the other hand is a suitable metal soundtrack. The majority of the soundtrack is composed by Nikola Nikita Jeremić and Chipper Hammond. Controls are responsive which is critical for this type of game. Keybinds include the usual WASD flavor with some additions for this game’s quirks: Left Control while moving to slide and use your trusty chainsaw leg to execute enemies and Shift to Dash (up to multiple times) in the air to reach those far-away platforms. Settings include some accessibility options too, such as enabling/disabling enemy highlights or changing the screen flash effect and shake amount at your preference.
As this game is still in Early Access, the developer has published a roadmap for future updates – Mod support drops next, while 2 more episodes are planned for release also! These episodes include new levels, weapons, enemies, augments, and lots more. Finally for full-release multiplayer, localization and full mod support are in the plans.
On the contrary to most games being released in EA being an incomplete mess, this game already feels complete and surely will quench that fast-paced FPS gameplay you grew up with – but beware this is very addicting! Aside from a few bugs, this is a sure-fire hit, and we totally recommend it for you to give it a try!
Graphics: 8 Sound: 8 Gameplay: 9 Fun Factor: 9 Final Verdict/Overall: 8,7 Time to beat: ~5 hours (for current content)