Hands-On: ‘Overturn’ is a Serviceable Fast-paced VR Shooter But Missing a Standout Feature
Described as an “action-puzzle adventure game”, Overturn’s puzzle elements play a secondary role; the game weighs heavily on fast, first-person action, combining projectile weapons and frantic melee combat with fists, shields, and blades. Overturn is available now on Steam for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift; it is also in development for PSVR.
Waking up in a laboratory complex, you’re immediately introduced to the game’s narrative design, which is text-based, describing your character’s thoughts in the centre of your vision. It’s a welcome choice in this case, as even the best voice talent would struggle to deliver this questionable script in a convincing manner. Once you begin exploring the laboratory, you’ll find the text ‘checkpoints’ already laid out across the level—similar in appearance to Valve’s ‘developer commentary’ text bubbles—hardly conducive to maintaining immersion.
Floating text aside, Overturn delivers a sharp presentation, with intuitive menu systems, useful tips placed logically in the game world, and slick environments, lighting, and effects. Production values aren’t sky-high, but there are atmospheric moments, particularly when it goes dark and you’re given a flashlight (I just wish it could be held it in both orientations), and levels have been designed intelligently to play to the strengths of VR. The anime-style character design might not be to all tastes, but it is less exaggerated than the work-in-progress footage (and the studio’s previous title that appears to be based in the same universe, Smashing The Battle VR) and works well with the overall aesthetic.