Overpass – Review
When Trackmania meets Spintires but they didn't hit it off.
As the timer ticks away due to a cascade of poor judgment and timing, my final run led to my Yamaha ATV machine stuck in the mud with the finish line just up the road. I pressed the accelerator to no avail and I was forced into a judgment call: Do I force myself to run another 10 minute obstacle course for the 5th time or call it quits?
Well, judging by this opening crawl dear readers, fair to say that I chose the latter as Overpass is a good game concept on paper but it’s restrictive nature of career mode, race events falters it’s authentic vehicle systems that perhaps makes it not as appealing as it rivals like MX Vs ATV, Spintires or even Trackmania in some form.
Overpass opens with a tutorial showing off the fundamentals of the game, learn to climb the terrain using a small buggy and ATM while emphasizing on any cuts of the course will lead to a penalty. This is one of the few fundamental issues I had with this game.
Yes, I get that it is a real motorsport game where any cut is a penalty but it makes players feel more restrictive instead of making them feel like they’re rock climbing a boulder and making their own path.
But to the developer Zordix’s credit, it’s the environment is quite detailed with mud deformation on the path where you have taken in the past lap, along with a good variation of locals terrain from the likes of a mining area Hillclimb, a forestry patch with mud everywhere to a beach area cheekily named “Long Beach”.
UI itself is quite clean and easy to navigate and shows the essentials as you ride across terrains or navigating menus. Sound is also quite accurate towards its real counterpart so another point to them. But there are some slowdowns within the game map as you race against time, particularly within the chase cam where dropping frames when dust picks up is quite consistent. Perhaps a patch in the future could fix this.
Overpass highest point I believe is its vehicle physics model. It’s climbing and how you have to balance from using the gas pedal and rotating your wheel at an angle to make sure the vehicle isn’t stuck between two rocks. And when you do get stuck, you won’t have a winch to save you (which is a miss because that’s quite a tool to have in Spintires), which sucks because you have to do that run all over again.
The Career mode is fairly balanced, so to speak. It comprises stages, where each block has a different amount of stages and winning a stage, will grant players cash prizes, and even at some point gain sponsors which includes outfits the players can outfit their character with.
It also has an on-going championship mode where each stage won contributes to the final total of points. Another negative I had with this game is that the vehicle can get damaged which persists even after the stage is done, no matter how small that damage is. My issue is that if you don’t have a working buggy or ATV, then you’re out of luck as your rivals will be miles ahead of you if you choose to fix the buggy.
Another point of contention is perhaps the lack of feedback when you climb a terrain. You won’t have any feeling of being in-control or utterly stuck at a small rock. A little bit of more feedback comes a long way for these types of racing games.
I enjoy my time playing Overpass. It is a hard racing game where patience is a virtue as you climb something hard and tough while the time ticks off but is it a good substitution of the likes of Spintires? Not really. Its restrictive nature I feel makes it a game that could have been a good rival but my time with this game is perhaps quite hampered by its bad quirks. Though having a friend or sibling over to play multiplayer is always good fun in any hard racing game as this one.
Overpass is a game whose potential has been quite underutilized but given its minuscule budget. But I believe that if given another chance to polish the issues and perhaps make the game more open-worldish, I believe that this series has the backing to be an MX v. ATV rival.
Played on a PlayStation 4 Slim, Review copy provided by Nacon.