The racing genre is low-key one of my favorite types of video games. Simulation, arcade, hover cars, gravity-defying tracks…you name it and I’ve enjoyed it. I can’t think of any racer that I couldn’t say nice things about at some level. That is until this week. Overpass had a chance to be something different and unique with the race gaming experience. A more hardcore version of Motorstorm if you will. True offroad racing brought to our consoles from the niche of professional racing leagues. Instead, we got a frustrating barrel of unpleasantries and questionable game design that I haven’t seen since Submersed.
The campaign to Overpass is a pretty barebones career mode anyone familiar with the genre can expect. There’s a certain amount of races, challenges, and events per season and how well you place in a race will determine your standings. Continue this until you reach the championships if you can and win it all. Along the way, there are sponsorships and items to collect, but they’re nothing more than selecting them with a button press. However, there are no races as we know them. What makes up the vast majority of the career mode is glorified time trials. There are no opponents to directly face, no lap ghosts, and only the player completing lap after lap on different tracks in different areas. Then the time totals are added up after the “races” to determine who’s first, second, etc.
Overpass is a racer that you can never go full throttle in. If you try you’ll be punished by the wonky physics, map design, and/or the smallest of obstacles on the track. The different areas and tracks therein attempt to present an offroad likeness with logs, tires, pipes, rocks, hills, dirt, sand, gravel, mud, and more for either a buggy or ATV to overcome. Yes, those are the only two vehicle types you will be able to use. More often than not those challenges serve as major speed bumps to my patience as vehicles could barely climb a moderately steep hill. You’ll more than likely get stuck on a small rock and lose all momentum anyway. Combine that with the wonky physics though and you have a whole new excuse to pull out your hair. Make too sharp a turn with the unadjustable hairpin sensitivity and you’ll turn over, go over an obstacle slightly wrong you’ll turn over, go up a part of a hill that you apparently weren’t supposed to, you’ll turn over.
It’s sad too because even if you could race A.I. opponents in real-time, doing so would be even more difficult because of the aforementioned issues. If you don’t get over a line of tires or through a log pit the way that Overpass wants you to, you’re dinged with a time penalty. So imagine you are fighting the title on a physics front and do your best to get over a tough part of the track just to suffer in your lap time. Adding opponents who could bump and hit you in all of this would make things infinitely worse. Your vehicle will already take damage from simply racing around as it is with even wonkier physics. If you’re thinking the handbrake or options to choose the two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, or differential drive gears will help you, I applaud your naivety. The only helpful tool you’ll be utilizing is the respawn vehicle option which will then return you to the pure offroad racing hell you just failed from.
If you for some reason want to torture yourself with chugging up inclines like The Little Engine That Could, there are quick and custom race options available. The former allows you to jump right into the venue, track, and vehicle of your choice to hopefully enjoy racing. The latter enables the player to choose multiple venues and tracks for a grand prix type of deal. Overpass also offers online and local multiplayer if you truly want to punish yourself in front of others. If you have friends over you can take turns running a glorified time trial or compete through split-screen. Online is pretty by the numbers with either a quick join option or create a lobby. No this does not make the game suddenly fun. Other than those few games modes that’s it for content. Unless you want to rummage through the disappointing options menu. What I’m about to list is the totality of things you can edit or enable: ghosts appearing in all but career mode, automatic transmission, motion blur, language, master volume, music volume, menu volume, SFX volume, and vibration. Definitely one of the smallest offerings for what tries to be a physics-based experience.
I know it may be hard to distinguish crap physics with technical problems, but I was able to discover one. If you come to a complete stop, or almost to one, the vehicles won’t register your next reverse or forward command. You’ll have to double press the left or right trigger for Overpass to wake up and realize it’s supposed to work even with all the broken mechanics around it. Also, while it may not be a technical problem it’s certainly a misjudgment one. I’m more than positive that there’s only one song that plays in the entirety of menus. Not even the soundtrack will win praises with me.
Overpass PS4 Review
Overall - Really Bad - 3/10
I may not have been into the offroad racing scene, but Overpass has pretty much turned me off to it by putting such a bad taste in my mouth from this game. I can’t believe that most track design choices were actually made with such a terrible physics engine. Which is all wrapped up with an empty career mode and meagre content that I wouldn’t expect anyone to play for fun anyway. It obviously inspires no joy in me to say that Overpass is the worst racing game I’ve ever played.
- Nonsensical physics
- Career mode is just glorified time trials with extra steps
- Track design ensures vehicular physics will frustrate
- No meaningful content found anywhere
- One song on loop for all menus is not beneficial for anyone involved
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.