There’s a human-killing virus called Lilith wreaking havoc across the earth. You have to race to win a cure, but it’s not just a straightforward speed race, so you drive a vehicle that possesses a number of weapons to help you achieve your goal. Oh, did I tell you that there’s also a meteor that’s going to hit the earth? Well there’s one on its way, so you better get prepared for a lot of destruction!
In summary, Fuel Overdose is an action racing game with customisable vehicles and weapons and a whole fighting system that you can utilize to your advantage. You would think a fighting racing game with such a tale, i.e. viruses and possible human extinction would be great story-led entertainment. Unfortunately, Fuel Overdose fails to pass its MOT thanks to a number of faulty parts.
The interspersed story scenes contain a variety of characters you can play with and follow the usual stereotypes such as buxom blonde Lene. The stories themselves aren’t particularly interesting, but the graphical portrayals are quite bold and colourful so they do catch your attention at the start. The various cars on offer have an entire arsenal of weapons to contend with. You can utilise grappling hooks to gain boosts via track corners or competitor cars. There’s the usual array of landmines, machines guns, remote bombs, rockets etc. The weapons produce almighty explosions and a whole manner of pyrotechnics which look pretty and fairly satisfying on screen, although there isn’t much customisation in your vehicles besides the colour.
The camera in Fuel Overdose is truly one of the worse you will come across, which you would think would be impossible considering it’s a top down racing game. It often turns with the track which means you have to adjust your handling which is already very suspect anyway. It doesn’t give a fixed perspective whilst you race, preferring to zoom in and pan out in addition to rotating with the track. You have to spend so much effort trying to keep on the track that you miss out on many opportunities to use your weapons.
The tracks themselves are monotonous affairs, with no one track being any more that average to race around. There’s no great sense of excitement or satisfaction in overtaking an opponent or blowing an enemy sky high. There are five kinds of levels of tracks that range from the usual desert to jungle environments. Unfortunately, each track is charmless lacking anything to make you smile or notice. With such a bold anime-led story, the tracks themselves, whilst post-apocalyptic, have simply been done much better elsewhere.
There are a few single player modes on offer which at least mix up what Fuel Overdose does. There are challenge levels, a vaguely interesting but silly story mode for each character and the Championship Mode which is where you’ll get the majority of the credits required to purchase/upgrade your fleet of vehicles. The Championship mode is the most enjoyable of all the modes, but suffers from poor AI which doesn’t seem to want to utilise half the weapons at their disposal.
The problem with Fuel Overdose is that it is hampered by a series of energy depleting issues that take the enjoyment out of the game. There are some decent ideas on offer but the implementation leaves you feeling mostly frustrated with what could have been a mildly entertaining and energetic racing/fighting game which would have come in to its own when playing the multiplayer sections. Fuel Overdose seems to have ‘overdosed’ on the cure it was designed to win, so it’s definitely time to take it back to the mechanic before it’s too late.
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