Opinion: Sunset Overdrive Better Earn Big Review Scores


The hype will continue to grow, and the pressure is on Insomniac to meet expectations.

The hype will continue to grow, and the pressure is on Insomniac to meet expectations.

On June 9, Microsoft will release a version of the Xbox One that doesn’t include Kinect. This means the unit will be sold at a much more reasonable $399, which should in turn generate more consumer interest in the next-gen console.

Around the same time, a bevy of info and media for the anticipated Sunset Overdrive assaulted the Internet, and it’s lookin’ mighty fine. It’s easily one of the most anticipated new IPs of the generation, and it’s important for Microsoft that it scores big with the critics.

There are a couple reasons for this:

1. A new IP and a new generation

Expectations are high, as the new, more powerful consoles are on the market. Outside of a few titles that have given us glimpses of each console’s potential (such as March’s Titanfall and inFamous: Second Son), we really haven’t seen too many games – if any – that make everyone stand up and say: “Yep, this is next-gen.” The further we go, the more gamers will be looking for those definitive productions. Sunset Overdrive is in a position to prove itself and the capability of the Xbox One.

It has the potential to be fantastic and wildly successful...

It has the potential to be fantastic and wildly successful…

On top of which, all new IPs really need to go over well with critics. Very often, it’s the review scores that determine whether or not a new property will become a franchise. Microsoft is very much interested in sales potential and if Insomniac offers up a flop, there’s little to no chance we’ll see another entry. Let’s not forget that Microsoft likely wants the game to become a successful franchise; for that to happen, it must begin on a positive note.

2. The Xbox brand needs to prove it’s about more than HaloGears of Warand Forza

These are the Big 3 for the brand, even though we’re well aware of several other exclusives (a few of our favorites from the previous generation were Alan WakeViva Pinata and Lost Odyssey). We also know that Titanfall won’t be exclusive forever; there’s a very good chance that the sequel will be multiplatform. Therefore, it would really help Xbox this generation if it could point to another top-tier exclusive franchise. Sunset Overdrive is also a departure from the standard action/shooter genre, which would be another feather in Microsoft’s cap.

In the end, we’re fairly certain that Insomniac is aiming for scores of 9+ from the critics. Remember, this is the team that produced fantastic franchises like Resistance and Ratchet & Clank, so they’re accustomed to acclaim and success. However, despite the well-known status of the developer, they’re still going to need a positive reaction from critics if they want this new effort to fly…and fly high.

5 thoughts on “Opinion: Sunset Overdrive Better Earn Big Review Scores”

I’m just annoyed that Insomniac jumped ship and went over to Microsoft.

The bitter part of me wants this game to fail and maybe the developer will come back to Sony. 😉

There’s no doubt that Insomniac and the Xbox One have a lot to prove.

Just because the system will drop to $399 doesn’t mean much. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the price it should’ve launched at. Ditching Kinect was the right move but they still need exclusive software.

That being said, far as I’m concerned, Sony owns the exclusive software battle, no matter what Sunset Overdrive does.

As for your last point, I do agree.

However, I’m seeing more exclusives for the Xbox One right now as opposed to the PS4. That might change during E3 but I’m just saying…

Yeah, but I don’t hold out much hope for those exclusives. We’ve heard this rhetoric from Microsoft before…remember Peter Molyneux’s infamous “Fable will be the best game ever made” claim? LOL

I’ll just say it: I have no interest in Sunset Overdrive. It doesn’t look like my kind of game at all.

Edit: Still, I guess if the game scores really well, I MIGHT give it a try.

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