Override: Mech City Brawl (PS4) Review

Anyone remember King of the Monsters? The old SNK game in which you choose to be one of a number of giants creatures as you engage in one-on-one combat within the confines of a small, enclosed city? Well, Modus Games and The Balance Inc. certainly do as there are clear influences within their new game, Override: Mech City Brawl

With its silky smooth 60fps, frantic fast-paced action, and massive array or customisations to unlock, Override: Mech City Brawl is a multiplayer beat-em-up/fighting game which is really satisfying to play and a blast in multiplayer mode. So, let’s take a look at this late 2018 game which you may have missed out on…

Override Mech City Brawl 1

OH dear, someone looks angry!

Override: Mech City Brawl at its heart, and its major selling point, is the multiplayer modes. However, there is also a full 3-4 hour single player campaign for you to work through as you become accustomed to the various moves and unlock new skins and accessories for all game modes. I started off with the story and thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it does appear to be a string of progressively getting harder missions held together by a brief story about a global invasion. Basically, the story isn’t anything new but it is interesting and keeps you entertained.

After each story segment, you have the choice of one to three various missions at differing difficulties, the higher the difficulty, the bigger the reward. You must work your way through the various locations, fend off swarms of enemies, destroy massive bosses, and emerge the victor as the saviour of the world. There is one slight issue I have with the Story mode though – you only get one save slot, yet there are twelve characters to choose from, and completing the story makes a save just before the end boss. This means you have to delete the save via the in-game menu BEFORE you can play the story as another character. I’m not quite sure why it decides to do this – especially when that save file literally puts you at the point where the only mission you can select is the end boss – so not really needed if you’ve just beat him. 

Strange reasoning aside, I took thought the ‘story mode’ would just be an extended tutorial, so I’m glad it actually had more substance than that. I do wish we could customise and change our mech between missions though as I was unlocking things left, right and centre, yet I couldn’t use any of them in this mode unless I deleted the save and started again. Personally, I feel the Single Player was the secondary development within Override: Mech City Brawl, the primary development time went into its brilliant mechanics and robust multiplayer. Speaking of which…

Override Mech City Brawl 2

The bad guys go BOOM!

Combat
I simply adore the combat within Override: Mech City Brawl! Everything is so smooth and weighty. The whole combat feels very ‘Octodad’ as well – bear with me on this. L1 and R1 are your left and right fists respectively, so you can get a good rhythm as you alternate or push both for a powerful double punch. L2 and R2 are your left and right feet – the right foot is always a standard kick but the left foot is a unique kick attack for your character. Holding any of these four buttons down (or both fists) results in the chance to deliver a powerful charged attack which will literally knock your opponent off their feet!

That’s not all! If you hold Square and then press any of the four buttons above then you’ll do one of four special moves which are also unique to your character. But wait… There’s more! In the Single Player mode, you can obtain weapons which come down from the sky in random weapon drops. Once picked up, use your fist attacks to shoot the enemies until your ammo runs out. You also have a jetpack for flying, a dash to avoid attacks and a shield for protection! Oh, and each character has an ultra attack by holding both kick buttons.

The game also appears to run at a silky smooth 60fps (at least it appears to be 60fps) on the PS4 Pro (unsure about other platforms). The whole thing feels incredibly fluid and almost hypnotic how you can string together some fancy combos if you get in your moves before the enemy attacks, or you run out of stamina/heat. The individual limbs aren’t the only similarity to Octodad, there’s one other feature which is a laugh to try out and was one of Octodads funniest features…

Override Mech City Brawl 3

I’ve gotta say, the game looks really nice – even has real reflections in the water!

Co-op?!?
Not only is Override: Mech City Brawl a Single and Multiplayer game (which I’ll come to shortly), but you can also play it in co-op. Now, when you think of that, what do you imagine? I would say, maybe two mechs on the screen at once, both of you ganging up on the onslaught of aliens from a distant planet? Wrong. Up to four players can each take control of their own limb! Okay, so it’s not exactly like Octodad as you’re not walking around by holding the leg and pushing the stick to move, but you will have to all work together if you want your hits to land and damage to be dealt! 

This is a feature I personally never expected to see in the game, yet it’s a great addition and really opens up the game for some rather funny game sessions. I played it in this mode over the weekend and the whole match was a mixture of angry shouting, uncontrollable laughter, and a few friendships may have been broken that day. I do advise you to try it out though if you pick up the game and you have someone over as it’s very different yet fun to try out. 

Override Mech City Brawl 4

Multiplayer is where the game really shines.

Online Modes
This is the meat of Override: Mech City Brawl, if I’m being honest. I’ve played a few matches and the AI doesn’t compare to being up against a friend or stranger as you smack each other about with tonnes of metal! There are two multiplayer modes, Versus and Matchmaking – these are basically unranked and ranked respectively in my opinion. Versus allows you to play against up to three bots (as only four mechs can fight at a time), three friends locally, three friends online, or a mixture of the three, whereas Matchmaking is purely to find random people online. 

I obviously had no issues connecting to my friends on Versus and playing both locally and remotely over the internet delivered a solid fight with no apparent issues or slowdowns. However, finding a match in the matchmaking is a bit hit or miss. I’ve sat there for a while trying to look for people to play against and ended up resorting to playing with bots due to nobody biting my requests. It’s a shame because it’s a really fun game and rather competitive, but the online portion isn’t as active as I would have wished. Maybe it’s the times I’m trying to log in and play? 

This is why I’m very thankful that there is the option to invite friends who own the game to play with you and also for you to play locally with real people or bots. Trouble finding an online game isn’t restricted to this game either, I’ve got a bunch of Multiplayer focused games which I can’t really review due to the lack of people online and no option to play them offline with full functionality. However, even if you pick this up for the single player aspect then it’s only half the price of a new AAA title, a little more if you get the version with the Season Pass in it (all physical versions have the season pass), a price which I think is worth it for the content – speaking of…

Override Mech City Brawl 5

Cthulhu! I will have enough money for this one day!

The Garage
The last thing I’m taking a look at is the sheer volume of customisable items you can unlock! Each of the twelve base characters, and the extras if you get the Season Pass, all come with a metric tonne of customisable items. From a massive list of skins, many of which (if not all) are unique to that character, to a bunch of accessories such as a top hat or a moustache – the possibilities are endless. My personal favourite at the moment is the Metageckon mech with the Cthulhu skin and a top hat – he looks so dapper!

However, all these items cost money… thankfully, it’s all in-game as I can’t see any options to buy microtransactions. However, coin distribution doesn’t appear to be that plentiful from the modes I’ve played, but maybe it will increase in the online modes? As you play the story, each victory unlocks a random skin or accessory for any of the characters, just like how OnRush did it with their in-game loot crates. So, you could technically try and unlock all of them via playing the game in single player mode, but I imagine it will be faster if you use your coins and pick what you unlock. 

If I’m being honest, the amount of unlockable content blew me away – I know fighting games love their cosmetic options so that people can create all their characters in whatever style they want, but I’ve not seen anything with this many options (although I hear Soul Calibur has a tonne of customisation options). The only issue I had, which I mentioned above, was not being allowed to change my bot or skin whilst playing the single player story.

Override Mech City Brawl 6

It’s so pretty!

Technical
Override: Mech City Brawl runs perfectly on my PS4 Pro no matter how many explosions, enemies or collapsing buildings were on screen. The play area is quite small though – it’s as if giant mechs are battling enormous aliens within Sim City (2013) – if you remember that game? The combat is silky smooth, the takedowns are satisfying and the overall gameplay mechanics all work perfectly in conjunction with each other. It’s like a well-oiled machine, in more ways than one. Visually, the game looks gorgeous as well, with its bright colours, reflective surfaces and high-quality assets.

The music is rather generic yet it pumps you up for the battles and the overall sound design is well done. One small issue is that the story mode has visual novel-style cutscene segments yet no voices. It’s not a big issue but some people may prefer having voice acting as well as text.

Personal Opinion:
Personally, I enjoyed my time with Override: Mech City Brawl and I can certainly see myself coming back to it when I have a few minutes to spare and want a quick fight. I would say that the game is more suited for multiplayer or co-op if you want to get the most of out the game. The single player story is good enough, but the AI isn’t the greatest and there isn’t a lot of challenge – especially when you buff up your mech to have auto health regen as you literally become invincible! However, if you have mates or family to play it with, either online or locally, then Override: Mech City Brawl is a smashing game to pick up. 

I loved the vast amounts of customisation, even if it is luck-based until you get enough coins to unlock the ones you want. I can’t wait until I get that Cthulhu skin! If you recall playing King of the Monsters and you used to like that game, then you should seriously consider picking up Override: Mech City Brawl as it’s pretty much the same kind of game, only much smoother and satisfying to play.

Three random missions (my footage captured at 30fps but the game is 60):

Official Trailer:

Final Conclusion:
Single player, Multiplayer, or co-op, Override: Mech City Brawl is such a fun game to play whatever your preference. I’d say the game feels like the combat came first, then the multiplayer, and finally the single player – that’s not a bad thing, but the single player does wear thin after you’ve completed it a few times. The co-operative mode, in which up to four players control each limb, is rather amusing and can lead to some stressful moments as you must all work together or fail as a whole! I found it hard to jump into an online match, but locally and online with friends was a great experience and tonnes of fun – highly recommend if you’re looking for some local brawling action.

Override: Mech City Brawl won’t be for everyone, but those looking for a game comparable to Power Rangers when you summon the Megazord and take on Rita’s gigantic beasts will surely love the experience!

Is today before Tuesday 15th Jan 2019? If so, head over to this tweet – Follow and Retweet for a chance to win an EU code for Override: Mech City Brawl on the PS4!

A copy of the game was kindly provided for review purposes

Override: Mech City Brawl

£24.99
8

Final Score

8.0/10

The Good:

  • - Decent length Single player campaign which unlocks new skins and accessories
  • - A multitude of customisations for your mechs
  • - Extremely fun co-op action
  • - Very satisfying and polished combat and mechanics
  • - Really enjoyable multiplayer - both online and locally

The Bad:

  • - Hard to find multiplayer matches against strangers at the moment
  • - The story mode starts to get a bit stale after a few playthroughs as the AI isn't the greatest
  • - No Power Ranger themed skins (from what I've seen), yet you do have Iron-Man and Cthulhu!
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