Fuel Overdose Review
Fuel Overdose is a content-packed game with an interesting concept, but camera issues and brutal enemy A.I. drag it down.
Released on December, 2012 and published by I-FRIQIYA, Fuel Overdose is a tactical, combat, racing game with a top down view. I love racing games, especially with combat, so when I had a chance to check out Fuel Overdose, I was pretty excited.
In a world where modern societies as we know them no longer exist, Fuel Overdose is bringing the action racing experience to a new level. Customizable weapons and vehicles, grappling hooks, climatic catastrophes as well as a whole fighting system are at your disposal to finish first. You’ll have to play hard, but also to play smart as every decision made before or during the race has an impact on your chances of success. -Playstation Network
The world of Fuel Overdose is set in an apocalyptic future, where a virus, known as Lilith, has decimated the land, during Downfall Day. A vaccine is created, but it is quickly stolen by a group, who call themselves The Consortium. The Consortium rises to power, and creates the Race of Chaos, in which people race to the death, with tricked out cars, in order to gain a chance at claiming the vaccine.
There are twelve racers to choose from. The artwork for each character is nicely drawn, with a lot of color and detail, done by the talented Hideyuki Saito. Fuel Overdose’s characters range from the small, headstrong Rosa, to the burly brute A.J., and the mysterious Hermod. The cast is varied, with a lot of different personalities and archetypes.
When it comes to leading your racer through the tracks, there is a lot of variety to be had here. For basic controls, you lead your car with the left analog stick, and gas is set to R2, with L2 used for the break. You have three default weapons at you disposal, which can be switched on the fly by pressing L1: a machine gun, missiles, and land mines. You fire the weapons with X, Square guards, Triangle blows up bombs on screen, and O throws a grappling hook.
The grappling hook has several uses. It can latch onto other cars, and when released, it gives you a burst of instantaneous speed. You can also latch to poles, which can throw you around corners and give you an advantage over the competition, and in a pinch, you can lock onto another car and send off a blaze of electricity to incapacitate them.
Aside from the standard controls, you also have Skill Moves, Specials, and Ultra Moves which can be utilized once you’ve filled up enough of a berserk bar. Each is unique to each racer and requires a different set of combinations to unleash. In order to trigger one of them, you need to input Street Fighter esque moves with the right analog stick. For Rosa, down then up causes the car to jump, while Odessa will spin 180 degrees with a slight flick of up and down. Special moves are small area effects that usually circulate around your vehicle, while the Ultra Move is a screen filling super that does a lot of damage to other cars.
There are a lot of great ideas in this game.
At the beginning of every race, you get to outfit your car with weapons and ammo. You have a finite amount of grappling hooks, don’t have an unlimited machine gun, or mines, so you need to think about your weapons cache before heading off to the next track. This adds a bit of depth to customizing how you’ll race, allowing you to use only what you need to survive.
The first car takes some of getting used to, since the handling is a bit difficult. However, as you progress in the game, you can unlock other vehicles, which have better handling and maneuverability. You eventually unlock a huge truck, capable of plowing through the competition.
There are several diverse stages to wage through in Fuel Overdose, each with unique hazards to deal with. New York, Cairo, Praha, Kyoto, and Las Vegas are flooded, on fire, and devastated. Not only will you need to traverse the threat of other racers, you’ll also have to keep an eye on the dangers of the track. On most tracks, taking a wrong turn will throw you into a pit of lava, or hurl you straight into the ocean, forcing you further and further behind. It’s dangerous. Every race is a constant struggle for supremacy against everything around you. Races are quick and chaotic, and you’ll have to strategize quickly in order to survive.
Every racer has a health bar. Dying causes you to respawn, and so does driving off the track into a body of water. Cars rain bullets, and missiles, and Ultra Moves on you. Crashing into obstacles, and bombs in the road, also cause damage. So, you’ll need to utilize every bit of your artillery in order to stay alive. Use your grappling hook to boost past other cars, launch missiles and Super Attacks to wipe out the competition, and drift around corners to keep from spinning off the track. There’s a limited amount of ammo and supplies, so every decision you make matters. The reckless usually burn up in last place.
Which brings me to the visuals. You have the brightly colored User Interface, explosions, the screen shattering like glass, character portraits taking up half the screen during Ultra Moves, and ice, and dust, and powers surging all over the place. Not to mention that Fuel Overdose’s tracks themselves fluctuate with rain, water, molten lava, and a host of other disasters. There’s a lot of chaos going on. Models have a moderate amount of detail, and the effects are quick and colorful.
One issue I had with the game was the camera. It would have been nice to have more control over it, with the ability to change its orientation. I also had difficulty trying to control the first car, as everything kept spinning me around, but you can upgrade to better vehicle later in the game. Fuel Overdose requires a lot of thought and skill in order to progress. Races are quick and ruthless, while there are enough characters, vehicle choices, and ammo upgrades to suit various play styles. It’s now available for the Playstation Network.