Override: Mech City Brawl Review

Earth is under attack. A mysterious alien race has invaded and is attacking major cities around the globe. The government has started employing mech pilots – trained to compete in battles for entertainment – to take on this new threat to the world, so why not have a little fun and take them out in style? Override: Mech City Brawl is the B-movie action robot brawler you didn’t know you needed.

Developed by The Balance Inc. Override: Mech City Brawl is a 3D brawler that does not take itself too seriously. With inspiration taken from games like King of the Monsters, Override lets you choose one of several themed mech suits to use while defending the Earth from alien invaders through massive combat, special moves, and weapons, all while rampaging through real-world locations. If you are looking for a deep and twisting narrative to take you through this alien invasion, you’ve come to the wrong place. This game is about one thing and one thing only: giant mech fights!

Override does offer a single player campaign mode for each playable mech, giving the player a solid B-movie narrative to follow with the bare minimum motivation to make it to the next encounter. During this story mode you’ll be able to upgrade your mechs stats and abilities, unlocking new skins, weapons, and mods along the way. Each mech has its own pilot, however, their story and subsequently their dialogue is nearly identical from what I’ve seen. Each mech has a surprisingly unique feel in combat despite all having the same control scheme: Vidar is built for fighting at a distance and moving nimbly through the air. Mya is a small, mechanical cat-ninja with throwing stars and fast attacks, Watchbot is your classic balanced mech that looks like what you might expect from a typical cartoon-style robot, but my personal favorite is Metageckon – essentially MechaGodzilla complete with laser breath.

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It can take a little to get used to the combat but the controls are simple and easy to master: each shoulder button controls a corresponding right or left attack – a punch or a kick depending which button is pressed. Holding them in unleashes a charged attack from said limb, and pressing the power attack button while hitting a shoulder button unleashes a special attack as well. For Metageckon this includes a thrusting strike, laser breath, and rolling into a spiked ball to ram enemies. Each attack and character feels different which is a great experience and tough to pull off. The stages themselves are thankfully not all the same size and shape, often offering at least one other level of play such as a raised platform or falling into a tomb in Egypt, with plenty in the environment to destroy from attacks, explosions, or just getting knocked silly.

Outside of the campaign Override’s gameplay heavily relies on multiplayer combat – either on the couch with friends or online. It’s a little bit of a let down that so much of the replayability and gameplay options come from online battles, but that is the nature of such a combat title. Still, if The Balance Inc. were to implement a few other single player features this would easily appeal to a much wider audience. The campaign takes roughly an hour to complete with each character, but any sort of challenge mode or additional customization would make this a game worthy of a full retail price tag. Given the game features less content, the publisher decided to launch the game at a reduced price and for that, I feel this is a game easily worth picking up for a party night.

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While missions do have difficulty settings attached to them, even the very hard mode doesn’t seem different from medium; the AI reacts the same regardless, although there are more enemies the harder the difficulty is set. Combat is frantic and hectic but not enough you feel lost or overwhelmed if anything it helps pull you into the moment and leads to some truly epic battles. This is one of those games where it has all the makings of something big, it just needs a little more of everything to come out in front and make a solid name for itself.

Override: Mech City Brawl is a game that knows exactly what it is: its short, sweet, and all about explosions and destruction. With the unique styles and appearance of each mech you can clearly feel the care and attention the developers put into having a roster that stood out, but I can’t help but feel with a little more added to the campaign or a few skirmishes or single player touches, this could easily have been a sleeper hit. The combat is fun if a little awkward at first, and customization options are a bit limited, but all in all, this is a game that’s fun to go a few rounds with friends and knows how to entertain players in the short term.

**PS4 code provided by the publisher**