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Sunset Overdrive: Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines
Score: 85%
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Insomniac Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1; 2 - 8 (Online)
Genre: Action/Free-Roaming/Online


Sunset Overdrive: Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines is a more confident and substantial downloadable content package than The Mystery of the Mooil Rig! was. Make no mistake: it can (and probably will) be finished in only one modest sitting, and you will hope that it went on for much longer. But between a new area, new enemies, and new weapons (not to mention the always excellent writing), Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines is both a fun excuse to return to the wacky world of Sunset Overdrive and a decent way to drop ten dollars and an hour and a half of your time. I still recommend the Season Pass, though...

Meta Much?:

At one point over the course of Sunset Overdrive's batsh*t story, the world's most unethical corporation deployed an army of killer robots to quarantine the mutant-ravaged Sunset City. And by "quarantine," they mean "kill everything that moves so we can cover our asses." So you spent a good chunk of the game fighting off Fizzco Bots of varying size and power. Well, now you get a chance to take the fight into their territory in Sunset Overdrive: Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines.

Sam receives word that Fiona and Lou, beloved teachers of the Oxfords, have been imprisoned somewhere inside the nearby Fizzco Robotics Factory. Being the errand boy for pretty much all of the denizens of Sunset City, you are charged with the task of infiltrating the factory, rescuing them, and raising some hell.

If you thought the fourth wall breakage of the core game was entertaining, you haven't really seen anything yet. When certain missions contain elements that are similar to those in other games, the Player will call attention to it. If you're a fan of gaming history, one particular reference had me waxing nostalgic and laughing at the same time. And the self-deprecating humor ultimately culminates in a boss encounter that is so memorable and unforgettable that I shouldn't even talk about it anymore.

New Sh*t:

Outside of the short but extremely enjoyable campaign, Sunset Overdrive: Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines rounds the same bases that its predecessor does. There's a handful of new challenges, some of which take elements from the regular missions, as well as the requisite points, traversal, and bomb delivery challenges. There are also UFOs hovering around the map; a welcome addition, since hunting collectibles has always been a ton of fun in this game.

New implements of destruction also make their debuts, as well. The Fizzco DSRC is an extremely fun and extremely expensive orbital strike weapon that deals massive damage to targets you lock on to. Just be sure to hoard away that Overcharge; at 200,000 cans, it's a doozy. The second can be earned by completing a mission for Buck National. The Swarming Nanobots are exactly what the name implies; an orb fired from the gun explodes into a tiny cloud of death that deals damage over time. Two new traps assist in your vat defense attempts. The Laser Mortis is an automatic laser turret, and the Dark Matter Device transforms OD into friendly Fizzco Bots. Two new Amps provide new bonuses for killing with style; the Heat Sink Smash freezes divebombed enemies, and Come, Boo-Boo gives you a chance to summon the most powerful NPC in the game, the cute little robotic death-dealing canine known Boo-Boo.

Chaos Squad offerings are mostly the same, but two of them deserve special mention: one for incorporating elements from the Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines campaign, and the other for reintroducing us to the foul-mouthed mascot Fizzie.


Sunset Overdrive: Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines isn't all it could be; it clocks in at under two hours and you can see everything there is to see in one sitting. But in terms of enriching the core experience, it does a fine job of getting us excited for where this series could eventually go. As long as the crazy ideas keep coming, I'll be up for anything Insomniac decides to throw at me.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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