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December 2022

Turbo Overkill

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Publisher: Apogee Entertainment
Developer: Trigger Happy Interactive
Release Date: 2023


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Switch/PS5/PS4/XSX/XOne/PC Preview - 'Turbo Overkill'

by Cody Medellin on Sept. 16, 2022 @ 12:45 a.m. PDT

Turbo Overkill is an ultraviolent cyberpunk FPS where you hunt down a rogue AI in Paradise, a dystopian Blade Runner-meets-DOOM hellscape.

Turbo Overkill is the latest in a line of boomer shooters, first-person shooter games that try to emulate the fast-paced action of decades ago, before the genre slowed down in the name of realism. As far as living up to that form of FPS, it does so in spades. You have no run button, but that's not needed since your default movement speed is blazingly fast. You have limited ammo for your guns, but there's no reloading needed, and you can carry every weapon you find on your person instead of being limited to a handful. Combined with a synth/metal hybrid soundtrack and some awesome-looking graphics that mix in a pixelated look with extreme lighting and high frame rates, and this game has that formula nailed.

Turbo Overkill also does something a bit different by embracing some modern sensibilities. All of your guns have secondary functions when upgraded, so you have guided bullets or items that can stun foes. Enemies drop cash that can be used in various stores to buy more ammo, gun upgrades, and body augments. You'll need to go to a kiosk to implement the augments, which range from wrist-mounted rockets to the ability to gain armor from doing a chainsaw power slide.

That last part is intentional because by default, you have a chainsaw that juts out of your leg when you do a power slide. It fits with the game's cyberpunk setting, and it's still silly and cool. It's useful for destroying wooden barriers, but you'll also be using it to slide into enemies for an instant kill. Other movement tech includes being able to run along walls, swing around with a grappling hook, use jump pads, and slow down time while you move faster.

The result is a game where the expanded movement set gives you a ton of freedom to bounce around and get a good shot while varying your attacks. Get into an area with tons of ramps and runnable walls, and it starts to feel like a game of shooting parkour. You can slide into rows of enemies, swing to another place to get the drop on some foes, and pick off the rest with a teleporting sniper rifle. It's a fever dream that feels good, even if you keep things basic by only running and gunning.

At the moment, this amounts to an old shareware game with eight episodes on tap and several secret ones left to uncover. Six weapons are available, and there's already support for user-made levels thanks to some recently released level tools. According to the roadmap, there are more episodes, weapons, tweaks and modes to be implemented before it gets to its full release. For Early Access, this is quite plentiful.

Thanks to the inclusion of gamepad controls, Turbo Overkill already feels at home on the Steam Deck. You sacrifice some of that precision when going from keyboard and mouse to gamepad, but the default gamepad scheme still handles the fast-paced action and platforming quite well. Since it's in Steam Early Access, don't expect it to be optimized yet, and the default high settings and active special effects put this at around 45fps, with the game lasting about two hours on a full battery. Thanks to the game's modern retro look, you can drop a few settings to squeeze more performance and battery life out of the game, but the fact that it already runs on the device means you can immediately enjoy it on the go.

Even though it is still in Early Access, Turbo Overkill is proving itself to be an absolutely bonkers first-person shooter that hits the right notes for all genre fans. Those who love the recent boomer shooter revival will be happy to see that the game gets the feeling of speed and constant action just right. Those who crave more modern sensibilities will enjoy having a constant upgrade system to work toward. We're eager to see how Turbo Overkill progresses with its roadmap as it marches toward a full release next year.

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