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20 Minutes Of Overland Gameplay On The Switch - GDC 2019
Sep 19, 2019Every movement you commit, every action you command, and every item or character you sacrifice for another will be an apprehensive decision. But taking each of those tough steps makes you even more grateful to hear the soft chime of your car's open-door alarm when you make it back, and the rev of the motor when you escape down the highway, relieved to leave another pack of abnormal creatures behind.
Sep 25, 2019Overland’s increasingly weird apocalypse and clever approach to tactical survival makes it an interesting take on the roguelike road trip genre. A decent variety of perks and upgrades make certain party members feel indispensable and others very disposable, though they don’t have a ton of personality beyond that. Its controls and interface could be a lot better, though, and some no-win situations are drawn out a lot longer than they should be.
Sep 23, 2019I’ll admit that I found Overland difficult and that it was designed to be like that, but more than that I felt it was limiting. There were some nice touches – every time you kill a monster, you attract more, which makes strategy more important than hacking and slashing – but without a sense of purpose or defiance when I overcame my challenges, it was hard to keep going back to it.
Sep 22, 2019Unlike a lot of the recent tactical games, Overland is a game of an unknown information. There are no clues over where the enemies would go.Unlike a lot of the recent tactical games, Overland is a game of an unknown information. There are no clues over where the enemies would go. You won't know what this new item is doing or what you would encounter on a new map.
If I'd say which games it reminds me of, I'd mention FTL (the journey in one direction, always low on fuel), Another World (the sudden deaths from the unknown and some of the general mood), older X-COMs (especially the brutal night missions).
Overland is an adventure into unexplored, and it can be very cruel and unforgiving. Don't expect it to be nice. Be ready to learn on your mistakes over and over. Then, at some point, it could click with you.
What makes it easier to get used to the rather steep difficulty curve is the overall production quality. The art direction is amazing, music and ambient is atmospheric, procedural generation would give you interesting scenarios each time you would start a new game.
And in case you don't want to see your characters die all the time, there is an option (that you need to check before starting a new game) that allows you to restart any level. It is completely fine to complete the game first time with this option turned on — even though you won't get all the achievements, it would allow you to learn the game enough to allow you then play it again “properly”. Overland has a very high replayability, so even if you'd complete it once, the new playthroughs would be as interesting as before.
Overland can expect of you to be patient, but the result is worth it. I can't wait to see what updates Finji would bring in the future to it, as the game's procedural structure should allow to add new stuff quite easily.… Expand
Sep 19, 2019While this is a nice game, I see a lot of wasted potential an inconsistency. The simplicity being 'Just get the gas and don't worry aboutWhile this is a nice game, I see a lot of wasted potential an inconsistency. The simplicity being 'Just get the gas and don't worry about anything', and the fact the characters do not have a decent story behind them takes away much what I would like to see here, and what probably the creators would wish me to see here. Some basic mechanics from the last decade would benefit the production greatly, and if lack of them is just a method of making the game more dificult - this is a poor choice.… Expand
Jun 16, 2020The most frustrating thing here is the wasted potential. The number of good ideas that were put into this could have made a road-trip FTL.The most frustrating thing here is the wasted potential. The number of good ideas that were put into this could have made a road-trip FTL. Unfortunately, the developers either forgot or willfully ignored half of what makes these games engaging: the ability to overcome diverse or potentially unfair challenges. NOT to just be at their mercy.
Even if you are "winning" in Overland (successfully making it from place to place) it will STILL be a miserable slog the entire time. The game tells you very little of what you need to know, and the immediate consequences for not knowing are your characters becoming crippled and useless, or your car being trashed. The healing and repair items are so rare that it can be easier to replace cars and characters than to actually fix them. Almost all weapons are temporary and take up space in your extremely limited inventory, and soon you will find that enemies are too durable to actually be killed in most circumstances. Even if you do kill them, every dead enemy is replaced by two more within two turns, and their bodies have the potential to block the road you need to use to escape each of the game's unfair scenarios. There are so many things to keep track of, and the game is great at creating diverse and interesting stories (in one of my runs, I left a survivor behind, and he swore vengeance and chased me down) but at some point in development discussions, Finji forgot a vitally important element: Is this actually fun?
And I can handle art that isn't necessarily fun. I will watch dark movies, or play dark games. But Overland is a game about surviving some ambiguous invasion of silly-looking alien bugs. There is no message attached to this game's incredible cruelty. It's not a meditation on humanity a la Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," but it's every bit as brutal and misery-inducing.
I have to give it 5. Because there were real moments on my first playthrough where I was enjoying myself, despite everything. But when I started over, the flaws became even more clear. If you make every optimal choice, you'll have the feeling that you're straggling along as if you made some mistake somewhere, and you will still probably eventually die. If you legitimately do make a mistake, your run is over. Because the enemies have a variety of powerful abilities, and you have no tools or weapons more advanced than anything you could find in your real-life garage, luck and persistence become the deciding factors. The latter because a "restart level" button is the only real bone that the game throws to you. And it serves to reduce this from a rogue-like to a "bash your head against the wall" simulator.
There probably is an audience somewhere out there for this grueling merciless meat-grinder, hateful toward anyone foolish enough to spend twenty five dollars on it, but I can tell you that I have a reputation for liking hard rogue-likes among my friends, and it still is not me. In fact, my affinity for the genre is the only thing that put my rating for this in the yellow.… Expand
Jan 13, 2020An interesting puzzle/TBS game spoiled by clumsy controls and questionable learn-by-dying design. You control a group of survivors inAn interesting puzzle/TBS game spoiled by clumsy controls and questionable learn-by-dying design. You control a group of survivors in turn-based battles where they fight alien creatures, refuel the car, pick up items, move and destroy obstacles etc on small puzzle-like maps.
- decent variety of maps, and high replay value due to randomly generated sequences of levels and randomized characters
- nice audio
- the game is difficult and keeps up the "survival feel"
- some unique mechanics, e.g. in one mission you have a generator which keep the street lamps on, and if you turn it off to siphon some fuel, light goes out and you don't see approaching enemies; you can smash smaller enemies with your car; enemies can push or destroy obstacles themselves
- graphics are low-poly 3D models without textures, which doesn't look too bad (even has some indie style) but still doesn't fit all that much with the post-apocalyptic setting
- nothing is explained. So, basically, you have to "try things out" to learn the actual rules of the game. E.g. what would happen if you "ram" obstacles with your car? Apparently, the obstacle (like a garbage container) would stay in place, and after the second ramming the car catches on fire and all characters inside it die on the next turn. Oops, didn't expect that at all. And sorry, no reload. I lost count of cases like that: when the rules were counter-intuitive or at least unclear, weren't explained, and learning them caused a situation where I'd want to reload - nope, no reload in this game. If you liked ADOM and other similar "permadeath" games, you might actually enjoy torturing yourself like that, getting a bit further in the game after every restart - just to learn a few new rules before a party wipe.. But I prefer when rules are known in advance so that it were a strategy game or at least a puzzle, not a "surprise me" experience..
- a questionable choice of making the enemies essentially unbeatable. Each time an enemy dies, another one appears elsewhere on the map. If you kill an enemy with a pipe, then 2 enemies spring up! This shifts the game from TBS to puzzle feel (and makes it closer to Into the Breach game of 2018) which is something not many players would expect or want when they see a JA2- or XCOM-like game..
- controls seem to be optimized for consoles? You can do everything with a keyboard even, without ever touching the mouse. Sorry but on PC I want to play with the mouse, and use right-click, maybe even middle-click and the wheel. Strangely, right-click switches between characters instead of deselecting (yet sometimes right-click exits menus?) Getting used to these clunky controls is almost impossible since, as said, the authors seem to not have cared for PC at all and focused on cross-compatibility with consoles and maybe mobile. Instead, they should have made separate, independent and completely different control systems for each platform. I'd also expect tooltips to appear over stuff at mouse-over. Also I'd expect mouse dragging to move items between inventories.
- can't rotate the map! So, if an item on the ground is behind a building or a container, it can't be seen at all
- can't see which items on the ground are lootable: no highlights. Can't loot by clicking on the item on the ground, instead you have to open inventory (by clicking on the character), then click on the item there to loot it. It's really a mess. Half of this game's difficulty comes from fighting with its horrendous interface and controls.
Overall, I'm split on whether to recommend it or not. It's definitely worth a look, but I doubt that many players would have the patience to learn all its convoluted rules through dying, let alone fight through its clumsy interface.… Expand
Sep 27, 2019So much potential wasted by clunky controls and ridiculous difficulty. This game should be rather called "Dying Simulator", because there's noSo much potential wasted by clunky controls and ridiculous difficulty. This game should be rather called "Dying Simulator", because there's no way to progress in this game with this obscene amount of forever spawning enemies, and in-game events making it impossible to progress.… Expand
Sep 21, 2019A really boring and tedious game that should be named ''Collect the Gas'' because thats all you do in this game.There is barely an story andA really boring and tedious game that should be named ''Collect the Gas'' because thats all you do in this game.There is barely an story and the gameplay gets boring fast.Do not BUY… Expand
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