If you’re a fan of kaiju movies or anything remotely close to the Transformers or Power Rangers, then you might find something appealing about Override: Mech City Brawl. The simple concept of giant robots duking it out amongst a city-wide destructive landscape does have a simple charm that can be mindlessly fun. But once you look pass the giant robots and Japanese monster inspired creatures, there isn’t much to be excited about. A myriad of bugs & glitches, very repetitive gameplay, and dull online multiplayer make for a very bland experience in this giant robot jamboree.
The controls for controlling your mech in Override can be incredibly heavy-handed and stifling. Moving around the maps you can fight in feels very sluggish, as does the various attacks you have available for each robot in game. The shoulder buttons on the controller are mapped to different limbs, with two arms and legs respectively, and can be customized in the game’s menus before a match qith different weapons and attacks. However, even with the quickest weapon can feel sluggish when fighting in a battle.
Trying to react quickly to enemy movements and counterattack can be a real chore, especially if there are large groups of baddies within the area. Planning ahead and working the limitations to your advantage can help get around this, but that sense of limitation with your movements never truly goes away and can be the cause of many defeats in matches. In addition, the camera can sometimes become a nuisance in tight areas or places with many buildings in the way. There is a lock-on feature to target specific enemies, but won’t do much good when a large concentration of enemies is converging onto your position.
Override has a few game modes that are pretty basic, with the exception of the game’s Arcade Story mode that has a very light narrative attached to it. You can either partake in single battles or free-for-alls with up to four contestants, with the mayhem and craziness being significantly increased with more fighters added.
While this is great, having more players doesn’t make the limitations of controlling your robot any easier, let alone give you more opportunities to use it to your advantage against opponents. This is especially true with human opponents online where everyone is wildly moving around. Completing matches and exploring different modes can unlock new parts and bonus items for you to customize your robots. This is great, but the items you gain aren’t always useful and don’t appear as frequent as they probably should.
The single player Arcade Story mode is very basic, with minor branching paths that allow you to select certain missions at various points. The plot isn’t all that interesting but does have a lot of nods to familiar tropes and fanfare from kaiju movies and giant robot cartoons. Mission objects range from defeating a group of enemies within a time limit to winning a boss fight against a bigger enemy.
Unfortunately, all of the battles you get into all feel nearly identical with how quick and somewhat buggy they can be when roaming around to fight enemies on the map. Objects out of view can suddenly stop your movement, hit detection can be inconsistent with attacks, and enemies will either stay docile for you to attack them or fight you relentlessly with the same attack over and over again. This can get very annoying throughout the entire experience and will often make an otherwise fun mission into a mindless struggle against the game’s bugs.
The online multiplayer in Override is a big mess. While you can get together with your friends in private matches, playing with others online is a lot more frustrating. Connecting to others in matchmaking can be fast but will also place you in nearly unplayable games due to latency issues that occur frequently. Most online matches, either single and free-for-all battles, will end up with players struggling to attack anyone as they chase opponents with erratic and glitchy movements. Gathering a full group for team battles or free-for-alls can lead to long wait times in matchmaking, as well as put you in matches with an uneven number of players. Its moments like these that make playing Override online not fun at all.
Giant robots may be fun, but it doesn’t feel that way in Override: Mech City Brawl. It’s great having multiple playable characters with different designs and customization items, but the core gameplay has so many issues that take away the fun of enjoying that. The controls are sluggish, fighting can be glitch and frustrating, and the online modes offer a pretty lackluster experience. It might be smart to look elsewhere for a fun game with giant robots for the time being, at least until this one gets a major upgrade.
This review was based on a digital review code for Override: Mech City Brawl for the PlayStation 4, provided by Modus Games.