When we think of video game bad guys, we commonly think of them as maniacal, pure evil, or devilishly smart. We think of them armed with devastating weapons, deadly armies, and an end goal that would endanger the lives of many. But, Pressure Overdrive, the newest game from Germany-Based Chasing Carrots decided that its bad guy doesn’t want world domination, but to create the worlds biggest hot tub, using water that doesn’t belong to him. That should hint to you as to what kind of game Pressure Overdrive will be, and it makes for a very solid, fun experience.
Pressure Overdrive is a driving action shooting game on a single path. As La Soap wishes to use his super spa, players join “La Resistance” in their quest to stop him. Along the way, players will be facing an army of vehicular robots, who will throw bullets, acid, dangerous electric coils, and all sort of other fodder to halt your progress. Your objective is to survive, and of course, shoot everything standing in your way. The more enemies you defeat, the more coins you can collect to upgrade your buggy. Each course will have its own challenges, along with a few boss fights on the way.
Before each level, players can outfit their buggy with an assortment of features. Players can decide what kind of chassis they want, along with front, side, and rear features. Players can customize their buggy for offensive and defensive measures. For example, I attached the front of my buggy with a steamroller that would damage enemies at close range. The sides were filled with spikes, and the rear featured a first aid repair kit for extra survivability. There is also an assortment of weapons to choose from, from machine guns to missiles. The weapons, along with each feature, can be upgraded multiple times or sold off to better suit a player’s needs. After time in the garage, players choose their level and they are off on the ride of their life.
The gameplay in pressure Overdrive is laid back, but pure fun and solid challenge. While players are isolated to a particular path, they can move around significantly to avoid enemy fire. The enemy will come in droves, and blasting them to pieces is a sheer joy. Seeing your buggy and weapons take down robot tanks and armored vehicles makes for very satisfying mayhem in Pressure Overdrive. However, pacing oneself is also important. Each shot fired uses steam, and firing too much can deplete you of enough team to continuously fire your weapon. However, with patience, players can manage to successfully defeat any robot in front of them and not have to worry about running out of steam power.
Each course also provides its own unique challenges. Some courses take you around an underground volcano on a path with no siding, with the lava below. Other courses feature big jumps and other damaging obstacles that could hinder your progress. Repeat gameplay will be essential to tackling the later levels. At times, power-ups will come across your path and provide some much-need relief.
Overall, the game is a wonderful sit-back and play type of experience, where players can easily jump right into the game’s cooky action and excitement. Additionally, the entire game is playable with another player, including the game’s campaign. This yielded another strength to the game and that was the game’s accessibility. I had my 7 year-old nephew join me in the campaign, where he proceeded to fight hordes of enemies alongside my buggy, firing charged electric shots as he went along. He also joined me in taking down some of the game’s challenging, yet thrilling bossfights.
If there is any drawback to Pressure Overdrive, its that the experience could have been longer. The game has a campaign of more than thirty levels, and the game also contains both a free play and endless mode. While each level in the campaign can be played multiple times on several different difficulties, the game can end fairly quickly, especially if played with another player. I really enjoyed the world depicted in pressure Overdrive, as it took steps back from the dreary bleakness of games on the market for an approach that felt more colorful, as well as pure fun. I would have wanted to see more boss fights and environments in this steam-focused world where the most important resources is water and hot tubs.