Reviewed in PC
I grew up on mechs and Kaiju. I’ve been a fan of Godzilla since I was a young child – yes, the new King of the Monsters looks amazing – and I’ve always felt like video games have never managed to quite capture the feeling of battling the city-destroying beasts properly. PlayStation 2’s War of the Monsters is a worth a fun frolic through and Godzilla PS4 was an absolute train wreck that I guiltily adore. Override though, Override is where it’s at.
As a lifelong fan of mechs and kaiju, Override does manage to sort-of capture the spirit of monster movies. Godzilla may be a metaphor for nuclear destruction but boosting through buildings and following up with a roundhouse kick as one of this game’s colossal mechs makes Godzilla look like a big reptilian pansy. It’s definitely anime inspired – you can tell that just through its visuals – so it never manages to make you feel fear like certain Kaiju movies do. However, it does make you feel pretty bloody cool.
Combat is intuitive; Q and E control your left and right legs respectively whilst left and right click control your punches. Combining one of those buttons with a swift hold of the control button will unleash a devasting special. There’re a few other techniques, such as reversals and ultimate attacks, but everything is kept remarkably simple. With twelve mechs to choose from, all with different playstyles, there’s a lot of content here to chew through even if you’re just playing local or online versus modes.
The real meat and potatoes of Override’s package comes in the form of its arcade mode. Much like your traditional fighting game, each of the twelve playable characters has their own arcade storyline to play through. Each mission sees you tackle waves of butt-ugly-but-cutely-stylised Kaiju with an occasional boss fight bookending certain timeframes.
While the arcade mode adds variety to what would otherwise be a rather barebones package, the wave-upon-wave defense missions that Arcade consistently fires at you can get rather dull as time goes on. There’s no spice there and, as grateful as I am for their inclusion, the text-based dialogue in between battles is rather bland.
Override is certainly a game that could have done with some tightening before leaving the development garage. There’s an overwhelming sense of looseness in your movements that fail to make you feel as tall and confident as a skyscraper-sized mech should. It’s incredibly satisfying to stomp through buildings, jetpack into the air and kick your way back down to ground level, but you never feel firmly rooted in the world. There’s too much float – something that even Godzilla PS4 got right despite everything else in that game being rather shite.
What’s here is still enjoyable, although there is an overwhelming sense that Override may only be as enjoyable as it is because it is so unique. Outside of Gundam, there aren’t any action-packed mech games anymore, and Godzilla PS4 single-handedly killed any chance of getting a new official Toho Kaiju fighter. No matter what, this is a good game – it’s just fairly disappointing.
I want to recommend Override, but I know I shouldn’t. It’s a frantic Mech-Kaiju battler that does bring me a lot of joy. How much of that is personal joy due to my specific interests (more like fanboy-ism) is rather subjective. On the surface, it’s the perfect game to throw on during a party. Going deeper, it’s fairly shallow. It’s pretty bloody cool though.