From Bigben and developer Zordix racing, Overpass is a new racing/skill game coming to Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch early next year (February 2020). We went hands on during Gamescom – read on to find out what we learned.
What we know
Zordix might not be a household name in racing like Codemasters, but they’ve been responsible for arcade-inspired racing like Aqua Moto Racing and Snow Moto Racing. Overpass takes a different approach and focuses on obstacle courses that you navigate with a selection of buggies and quads. To add realism, an elaborate physics model was developed and over two dozen licensed vehicles from the likes of Yamaha and Suzuki have been included as well.
Your choice of vehicle matters, since it’s not just speed or power that matters, it can also be control – depending on the surface and obstacles you face. Overpass will feature forty different routes to traverse, spread across different terrain choices and with both natural hills and mud sections and man-made obstacles.
In true “in order to finish first, you first have to finish” fashion, you’ll spend your first playthrough getting comfortable with the car and the track before trying to get through it faster a second time. Master a course? Then you can try again with a different vehicle for a fresh experience. You can also play with different settings for your car, including a differential setting for more grip but less control.
What we saw
Visiting the Bigben booth at Gamescom, we met with the team at Zordix for a brief presentation on the game. Afterwards, we went hands on with the game as well, trying out one of its tracks. The track was long, diverse and took us about fifteen to twenty minutes to complete.
What we thought
A blend of Spintires/Mudrunner and Trials, I loved our time with Overpass. While Trials eventually goes a bit off the rails with tracks that require a level of gamepad mastery that I’ll probably never achieve, Overpass always feels fair, even with the toughest of obstacles. Fail at an obstacle? I can probably try going slower then, or try a different approach or angle. The course is challenging, but never unfair. And never “not unfair” to the point of being too easy, since slamming down on the gas is a certain recipe for failure.
Even though it’s not Trials, it’s also not Spintires or Mudrunner. I played Mudrunner again recently and it just couldn’t hold my attention long enough even though I adore the physics of it all. Overpass also has a lot of diversity in its obstacles that a game like Mudrunner simply can’t offer because of its core mechanic of hauling logs from A to B. I suppose that, in short, the “fun factor” is higher in Zordix’ upcoming game.
Game modes include a career mode, a quick race option and several on- and offline multiplayer modes – though we are hoping for a few (achievement-bound?) objective-based modes as well. Finish a track without falling over here, clear an obstacle without turning on any special settings for your vehicle, things like that – the game would be a great fit for that.
Something that makes Overpass even more of an exciting prospect is a feature that we didn’t get to test yet: local split screen multiplayer. There’s a danger of one player being so far ahead of the other that the appeal is lost, but the prospect seems great and we can’t wait to try it out. It’s a shame that Overpass’ release date was recently pushed back, because after Gamescom this one’s high on our “most wanted” list.