14th Dec2018

‘Override: Mech City Battle Brawl’ Review (PC)

by Britt Roberts

Override_PC_2D_STEAM_Box-PEGI

Override: Mech City Battle Brawl is a fighting game featuring towering robots going at each other like there’s adultery involved. You choose from a selection of colourful, building-sized mechs each armed with their own fighting styles and special moves as you take on the game either through its story mode or online versus action, including a worldwide leader board. Whilst Override: Mech City Battle Brawl has a great sense of humour about itself and looks great, there wasn’t enough here to keep my interest up for an extended period of time and I think the inclusion of local multiplayer would help solve that side of it for me.

Set on Earth in the near future, Override: Mech City Battle Brawl is essentially a series of fights taking place in rounds based on different cities throughout the world, from the exposed tombs of Egypt to the futuristic glassy sheen of Japan, the scenarios look very different although they do share some things in common which I’ll go into later. The mechs themselves look impressive, the visuals are quite sumptuous and the frame-rate silky smooth. On top of this, there is a suitably fitting muscular soundtrack marching over the proceedings.

Combat is handled by each button controlling a limb, presented in a third-person perspective, Override: Mech City Battle Brawl sets each shoulder button and trigger to a leg or arm with the face buttons handling charged attacks, shielding, jumping and dodge. This all works well and allows for some impressive looking moved and small combos but the normal attacks feel sloppy, I choose a Mexican wrestler mech with a fish-head called Pescado and his standard attacks were slaps which just felt ineffective and his charged suplex didn’t actually work on standard enemies in the story mode as the ‘throw’ animation wasn’t implemented and only seemed to work against other mechs, this gave me the impression that the story mode is more of a tutorial for the online action and exists mainly to unlock the various colours, accessories and upgrades for the mechs in your garage. The fact that you have to manage a heat-meter (stopping you from button-bashing as your mech locks up when it overheats) adds some strategy but your shield doesn’t drain this meaning that defence and counter-attacks, if timed perfectly can be extremely effective.

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As I played my way through Override: Mech City Battle Brawl‘s story mode, with its Eastern-styled character portraits, unlocking my way to victory (each mission is graded by difficulty and the rewards escalate as such), my usual love of loot-gaining wasn’t in effect here as a lot of the upgrades were essentially different colours, comedy accessories are all well and good but it would have been nice to change specific parts of the mech to make it feel like it was truly my own. There are also weapons which can land in the playing field with which you can batter your opponents (or throw at them) which adds some variety to the brawling but after a while, the cardboard-like buildings which collapse under the slightest touch and fade from view add to the slight sense of weightlessness that is present in the game. I loved the visuals and soundtrack, powering up massive punches and hoofing-kicks but I’m not sure that there’s enough here to make this a truly memorable experience.

Override: Mech City Battle Brawl gets a lot right, it looks and sounds great, doesn’t take itself too seriously and is a wonderful mash-up of the arcade (and Mega Drive) classic King of the Monsters, Godzilla and Transformers but it feels more like a sugar-rush than a full-on session game, for me at least. If you love the idea of mechs battering each other throughout the world and fancy getting to the top of the pile, this is definitely for you but it’s more of an online experience than off. There’s even a mode whereby each player (up to four) controls an individual part of the mech for some very technical co-op action but whatever way you play the game, you may want to turn off the screen-shake. My partner was watching me for a while and it made her feel queasy and the sheer amount of it makes the game difficult to enjoy. That said, this is definitely a developer I will be keeping an eye on in the future.

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Override: Mech City Battle Brawl is available now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

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