PREVIEW: ‘Turbo Overkill’ Is a Blistering Boomer Shooter (PC)

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Turbo Overkill - But Why Tho

A cyberpunk city enslaved by the world’s most advanced AI. One half-machine half-man bounty hunter is hired to take it down with an arsenal of weapons and a chainsaw for a leg. It is all the foundation of Turbo Overkill, the new FPS developed by Trigger Happy Interactive and published by Apogee Entertainment.  

The game’s trailer and screenshots show a shooter that sprints to the finish line, complete with environments saturated in neon, wall-running, explosions, and plenty of pixellated giblets. After playing through a few early missions in a preview build, I can confirm that that is precisely what Turbo Overkill offers. 

From the very opening, which puts players in the eyes of Johnny Turbo as he takes a long drag from a cigar before jumping down through a skylight to turn a man to mush with his chainsaw leg, the game is all about hedonistic violence. And it is everything that it should be. 

With clear inspiration from classic shooters like DOOM, Quake, and Duke Nukem, Turbo Overkill gives players access to a classic assortment of guns like dual-wielded pistols, an arm-mounted salvo of missiles, a shotgun and sawed-off double-barrel variant, two submachine guns, and a minigun. Of course, each weapon also has a unique alternative fire, like the pistols automatically locking on to enemies, the sawed-off shooting grenades, and the minigun also being a flamethrower because a minigun wouldn’t be badass enough on its own. 

Johnny’s arsenal is also supplemented by his quick movement, wall-running, a chainsaw slide, and two charges of a dash that allow him to dart around combat arenas and avoid damage. Turbo Overkill’s movement plays a massive role in making its combat as engaging and freeing as it is. Darting around the clever layouts of the arenas while cycling weapons to counter different enemy types and switching between primary and alt-firing modes is very rewarding. It gives the player an admirable level of control over every encounter. 

The levels in the preview also had a lot of variety between them, with their visuals and structures, each feeling distinct from one another and each being fun to play through even a fourth or fifth time. The levels also had several collectibles hidden throughout them, although the preview did not clarify what benefit they bestowed upon the player for collecting them. 

Another big aspect of the game that remains to be seen is its narrative. There were a couple of cutscenes in the preview that showed some punchy writing, but that was it. A game like Turbo Overkill definitely doesn’t need a riveting story to keep players gunning through its levels. Still, it would be a shame for it not to capitalize on the beautiful cyberpunk setting that players can see off in the distance throughout each level. 

The preview also did not showcase any of the leveling-up mechanics that the developers have said will be present in the game, but the foundation shown is so strong that there are many great avenues those upgrades could take. All in all, the game is already in a very solid place, and it could end up being a fantastic entry in the genre once it is finished up and polished to a shine.

Turbo Overkill will be available sometime in 2022 for PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

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