Over the past few years, something I’ve come to realize is that if you don’t like a racing game that’s available, just wait a few days and a new one will be released. Overpass the newest title on the market that takes everything you know about what defines racing, and shakes the whole thing up.
An off-road racer, Overpass sees players take control of an ATV or UTV and attempt to complete various obstacle courses — 43 tracks over six venues — in the fastest time possible. Whether it’s climbing logs, navigating around stumps, or driving up a teeter-totter, Overpass is a game that will not only test your skill but also test your patience.
Conquer The Terrain
Overpass puts all of its eggs in the physics basket when it comes to gameplay. No matter how you decide to attack a specific obstacle, the angles and speed at which you move matter more than any game in recent memory. You can’t just think hammering the gas on your vehicle is going to get the job done. Rather, you need to think about the steering, approach, and speed in order to tackle the terrain your riding on.
For example, getting over a tire pile requires a most straightforward approach than, say, climbing a stump hill where you’ll need to precisely steer through the obstacle.
If you don’t take time, you’ll quickly find yourself damaging your vehicle to the point where you’ll have no chance of completing the course. From wheel damage to engine damage, every little mistake will have consequences for the rest of your run. Just don’t expect to actually see the damage as the way to track it is by the HUD in the bottom left of your screen.
And don’t expect to find success right away with ever course. There’s plenty of trial and error when figuring out a track, especially when it comes to hillclimbing events. Finding the perfect line to get the best grip possible is more important than anything else. Just hitting a patch of mud on an incline can mean the difference between a first place finish or having to retire from an event after tipping and damaging your vehicle.
The problem I have with the gameplay is that, even with the available tutorials, it can take too long to get the hang of. I mean, why would you switch between four-wheel and two-wheel drive? The tutorial doesn’t help you with that at all. But don’t worry, you’ll definitely be told that you can’t hit any of the cones on a track.
Likewise, it can be quite frustrating due to various hiccups like your vehicle not reversing when you want, the painfully awkward way you have to look behind you, and the fact, at least in my experience, the way the handling just doesn’t really feel all that responsive to what you want to do no matter the vehicle. There have also been times where your vehicle just tips in situations you should clearly be able to save it.
While there are other smaller modes to play, most of your time playing will be in the game’s career mode.
In the mode, players find themselves taking on 12 days of challenges with the goal being to increase your bank account, overall reputation, and end up vying for a championship in the World Finals. As you complete the challenges, you can buy new vehicles, attract new sponsors, and earn money to make sure you keep your ATV/UTV in peak condition.
My problem with the career is that though you can buy new vehicles, they don’t really give the sense of truly being better. Sure, they claim to be better, but you end up going in the blind as to whether the vehicle you shelled out for can actually handle the terrain a challenge presents.
Aside from the career mode, there’s Quick Race, split-screen and online multiplayer, and the Custom Challenge mode where you set your own schedule of events. The modes work well, but it just feels a bit too bare for a $40 game.
Visually, there’s nothing not to love about the game. Environments look beautiful, the licensed vehicles are authentic, and seeing the way the mud flies and covers your ATV or UTV is a well-done touch. It may feel empty to some with no crowd watching the events or any sort of announcer, but you are so focused on completing the courses that you rarely have a moment to think about what isn’t there.
Overpass is a unique and niche game that is sure to have its fair share of fans and detractors. There are clearly moments where the game feels like something special while others leave you frustrated.
There’s no one big thing that’s overly bothersome. Instead, it’s a bunch of little things that add up to leave a sour taste in your mouth after a while. It’s a good concept but it should’ve stayed in the incubator a little longer to make it truly a good game.
Overpass is a good concept, but it should’ve stayed in the incubator a little longer to make it truly a good game.