Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Start your engines, racing fans: Fuel Overdose has entered the mix in the racing genre. Developer I-FRIQIYA has taken elements from other driving games, added a story element, and brings you a new title in Fuel Overdose. Does this title have what it takes to race away with the checkered flag, or will you need to have your stomach pumped?
End of the World, Can’t Hold Anything Back Now
The story of Fuel Overdose basically follows the premise of the human populace becoming infected with a disease caused by global warming. A cure is developed, but it is soon found that the people taking it become addicted to it. After this, an asteroid devastates the Earth and dwindles the populace to small tribes. One tribe takes control of the vaccine, and decides to hold a Death-Race like event where the prize is a share of the vaccine for their tribe.
After that, the story is broken up into six different parts, each one having one unlockable chapter, similar to a fighting game. Each character has their own back-story. Cut-scenes in the game are basically the character art and speech texts telling the stories of each chapter. Altogether, the story is forgettable at best, but this is a racing game. The story won’t always be the shining point in a game like this.
Driving From the Top Down
As stated earlier, Fuel Overdose combines elements from other racing genres, such as kart racers, vehicular combat, and a little street racing. Before gameplay, players have the opportunity to equip more ammunition for their weapons used during the races. Missiles, mines, and guns serve as the standard weapons. Remote bombs already planted in certain areas also come in handy to cause some damage. The grappling hook serves as a tool to either overtake opponents or help the player maneuver around tight corners.
With each different character comes a different super move, which can be used when you have a full Berserker Gauge. The super moves are triggered by the right analog stick, and range in damage from local areas to affecting the entire field. The downside is that the gauge is only filled by inflicting damage on other players, but is filled up faster by taking damage.
When everything is working well, Fuel Overdose is a fast-paced, action-packed racing game that involves some strategy during gameplay. Players can earn unlockable items and credits used to purchase upgrades by playing in the Championship and Challenge modes. Championship mode is a grand prix mode for the game, and Challenge mode mixes up between straight races and combat. Standard online and single races are also available for those that just wish to race against the AI to hone their skills or race against friends.
As ambitious of a title as Fuel Overdose is, the tracks just fall flat because of the lack of depth. Locations of each level separate the look of each track; however, with only a handful of locations and a few different tracks, the environment makes the game feel a little repetitive. Still, the developers did do a nice enough job throwing in hazards for each map and showing some of the devastation that has left the world in ruin. The graphics might not be great when compared to a higher end, Triple A title, but in the end, it’s more about the racing.
Unfortunately for Fuel Overdose, the game does have some issues with bugs. The game does suffer because of this, and can become frustrating at times because of its difficulty curve. The top-down style of the camera works occasionally for the game; however, at times the camera will stay in place around turns, which adds to the difficulty of using a driver’s perspective control on a third-person view from the top. Along with the rubber banding of the AI, Fuel Overdose becomes quite a difficult game to really master.
With that said, the difficulty of learning how to use the game might turn some people away. When firing on all cylinders, gameplay is a challenge, but can be a fun challenge. However, with the occasional bugs and glitches that can throw a monkey wrench into the overall experience, it’s hard for racing fans to want to put a lot of time (if any at all) into this game. Fuel Overdose is not an underground gem and does indeed need some fine tuning.
Final Verdict: Fuel Overdose gets 5 addicting vaccines out of 10
This review is based on a review copy of the Playstation 3 version of Fuel Overdose by I-FRIQIYA