Overpass Review: Conquer the wild
Racing reimagined. Tackle rocks, hills, trees, & more in a bid to become world champion.
Racing games are just flying around a track as quickly as possible, right? How different could they really be? Overpass takes that idea and flips it on its head.
Get ready for off-roading like you’ve never experienced it before.
From Nacon & Swedish developers Zordix Racing, Overpass will test your concentration, precision, and patience like no other game.
Release date & price
Overpass is available from the 27 February on Xbox One, PS4, PC, & Nintendo Switch.
Overpass is an off-road obstacle course racer that asks you to solve the puzzle of the track rather than maximise your setup or turn up the bravery.
With wide courses that put bogs, logs, seesaws, and pipes in your way, you have to pick the fastest route through, rather than squeeze the throttle for as long as possible.
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That course could be wide but fast, or a direct line at a careful speed. It could be the treacherous but dry slope over the flat but muddy area. It is up to you to find the path and then get down to the business of shaving seconds off your time.
Everything has been put into the physics of the game. From gradients of grip on each surface to the handling of the ATVs and UTVs, and of course to the delicate player input that is required.
The game may take place in fairly wide-open areas, but the focal point is usually the three feet in front of you. Rarely can you take a breath to plot out three turns ahead as you might in a usual racing game.
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Each obstacle poses its own question that you have to answer. From the more simple pile of logs to the trickier large concrete pipes that you must scale. Approach angle, speed, steering input, and differential use all have to be balanced otherwise you will just get stuck.
Damage is easy to feel and hear as your steering gets compromised and your engine power is decreased. Then there is the high centre of gravity that makes cornering a risk and even turning on a slope could turn you into a turtle in no time.
One of the great things about racing games is that there is a clear reward for your effort as your time decreases.
In Overpass the reward is simply getting to the next obstacle, but it is an even greater sense of satisfaction than zipping through a tricky chain of corners on GRID or evading the cops in Need For Speed.
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Conquering a course comes at a much greater cost and as such brings a much greater reward. Impatience is the enemy of Overpass, while careful control, and the odd “F it” moment when approaching a steep hill, will see you through.
The backbone of this game will be career mode.
It has a nice tutorial to get you used to the challenges ahead of you, and then throws you into the path to glory.
You have to race in challenges to up your reputation and your funds. The more money you have the easier it is to fix damage on your vehicles and buy upgrades to them. There is also a catalogue of officially licenced UTVs and ATVs from the likes of Suzuki, Yamaha, and Polaris to buy.
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As your reputation grows you will attract sponsors and gain invites to further challenges, with the aim to get to the World Finals and reach the top of the mountain.
The UI is pretty easy to understand, and you can pick and choose upgrades and races to keep it all fresh.
Multiplayer & other game modes
There are six venues with 43 tracks to take on. These are broken into two modes, Hillclimb and Obstacle Course, each has a gold, silver, and bronze time to beat which goes onto a global leaderboard.
There are also multiplayer options, including that rarest of modes – splitscreen. While these don’t allow for wheel-to-wheel contact, it puts you on the track with ghosted opponents that allows for the thrill of the chase.
Overpass is like nothing you’ve played before.
A mix of WRC, Trials, and MudRunner, it pieces together the best of these into a strong, if occasionally infuriating, game.
There is little in the way of help for the user. There’s no racing line assist to show you how to plot your way through. That’s ok for the obstacle courses, but for hillclimbs it often means quitting rather than getting to the finish line.
Outside of that though, this game is very strong. Races don’t drag on, ending just after you feel you have got to grips with the course, which means you can dive back in and go again. Career mode isn’t quick, but it also isn’t some unconquerable quest.
It’s a fresh take on the motorsport genre and one that players will come back to again and again.
RealSport Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)