Turbo Overkill: Review
This game was reviewed on PC.
Reviewed by: Nikola Hristov
We're in an age where boomer shooters are becoming better and better at what they do - which is giving you endless hordes of enemies to massacre. Where these games shine is giving the player the ability to feel like the ultimate badass - demolishing every obstacle in their path, while listening to banger soundtracks. Turbo Overkill is no exception - in fact, it may be one of the best games of the genre, making it absolutely worth your time.
Though we're releasing this review now, Turbo Overkill has been in early access for quite some time now - however, the developers really took their time with each of the three episodes - that serve as story chapters. By releasing them one at a time, and even in halves, you get lots of polished levels that introduce new gameplay features and look vastly different from the previous ones, giving the game a feel of constant change and freshness. Now that the game is in 1.0 however, meaning it's fully released, we can judge the experience as a whole instead of the episodes separately.
To start things off with the main premise of the game - it's a combination of DOOM and the cyberpunk franchises such as Blade Runner and 2077. This is reflected in every aspect of the game - the weapons, characters, level design and even the music. The story is relatively simple - you play as the mercenary Johnny Turbo who is, like I already said, pretty much a futuristic version of Doomguy. Sporting the now iconic Chainsaw Leg and a bunch of weapons in your arsenal, you're given a task by your AI companion S.A.M.M. to take down the super AI virus Syn, which is aiming to take control of everything. Though the narrative isn't its strongest part, the voice acting in particular is good enough to keep you invested in the characters, even when Johnny is silent. Much of the story of the world of Turbo Overkill and its main protagonist is revealed throughout the three episodes.
But let's be honest, most players are here to cause mayhem with their guns and chainsaws. Thankfully, this is the best aspect and selling point of the game. Obviously in a shooter like this you have insane weapon options - your basic pistol, machine gun, SMG, rocket launcher and even a sniper rifle. All of them serve their purpose well, but what truly transcends the gunplay in this game is the alternate fire of the firearms. I'll leave you to figure them out for yourself, but as an appetizer - the sniper rifle allows you to teleport to an opponent, instantly taking their position and ripping them from the inside out, also known as tele-fragging. However, all of these weapons are present in other bullet hells as well, so in order to differentiate, Trigger Happy Interactive made the decision to give Johnny a chainsaw leg - allowing him to slide through enemies, cutting them into pieces. This mechanic is so fun, because it combines traversal and combat successfully. There's also augmentations which allow both the guns and the chainsaw limbs to improve - giving them healing per enemy killed, more damage, or other powerful effects to upgrade your build. And yes, eventually you're able to transform more than just your leg into chainsaws - giving you the ability to become Chainsaw Man.
Another amazing part of this game is the atmosphere. It features a Blade Runner influence for lots of the levels, with futuristic buildings, neon pink billboards and hologramme palm trees, mixed with the blood mass horror of games like DOOM. This really gives us an insight into the inspirations behind Turbo Overkill. The soundtrack is absolutely amazing - imagine DOOM's badassery with CD Projekt Red's 2077 futuristic feeling. The game also features traversal options, such as wall riding and a grapple hook, allowing for more mobile freedom than other games of the genre give you. In terms of performance, there's nothing to complain about as everything during my playthrough went flawlessly.
All in all, this game may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you ever catch it discounted on Steam I would easily recommend it. One of the most fun boomer shooters out there, this may be the perfect combination of gorey carnage and cyberpunk dystopia. In a time where we have tons of options in this increasingly popular genre, I can safely say that this is one of the best ones out there. Fun dialogue, amazing gunplay, satisfying traversal and a great soundtrack are a recipe for success. And chainsaws, who the hell doesn't love chainsaws!
Reviewed by: Nikola Hristov