For Years, Robert Rodriguez's films have enjoyed a cult following, with his unsubtle blend of humour and extreme violence set in dusty Mexican locales proving a winning formula, most notably with the likes of Desperados - Wanted Dead or Alive and From Dusk Till Dawn. However, this begs the question - why hasn't anyone caught onto the fact that Rodriguez's approach to film-making would be ideal for games? You know what? Someone finally has.
About Time Too
Total Overdose is a third-person shooter which sits somewhere between Max Payne and Serious Sam II, and has its tongue firmly superglued to its inner cheek. Borrowing heavily from Rodriguez's gangster-driven plotlines, you play as three different characters, though two of them make little more than cameo appearances. Confused? Let me explain.
You start off in the shoes of Ernesto Cruz (no relation to Beckham), a hardened I tequila-swilling DEA operative (Drugs Enforcement Administration), on the trail of the world's most notorious drug barons. However, at the end of the first level, Cruz is killed by another DEA agent and his death covered up. Skip forward a few years and enter his son Tommy, a rookie DEA recruit who goes in search of the truth behind his father's untimely demise. However, after his first mission he ends up in a wheelchair - due to extreme incompetence in the line of duty - and has to bust his delinquent twin brother out of the clink to track down his father's murderers instead.
Admittedly it's a bit on the tenuous side, but from what we've seen, the highly cinematic cut-scene-driven storyline is shaping up to potentially be both entertaining and - that rarest of gaming phenomena - genuinely amusing too.
So, onto the action - and believe me, there's plenty of it. Total Overdose simply haemorrhages carnage, action and gratuitous violence, offset by some outrageously eccentric and devastatingly effective special moves called Loco Moves. Oh, and loads of guns too.
The more people you kill the more Loco Moves and power-ups you get, explains Dax Ginn, SCi's external designer on the game. There are eight Loco Move in all, such as the Golden Gun which gives you five guaranteed headshots."
Dax took us through a typical level in order to show off some of the others. The most basic Loco Move sees your character jumping 360-degrees while firing twin machine guns (you can dual-wield any two identical weapons), wiping out every enemy around him in a seamless cinematic mini cut-scene. Next up is the Pinata Of Death, a plaster horse stuffed full of explosives that detonate when a group of gormless enemies start trashing at it in hope of finding sweets. The twats.
Meanwhile, El Mariachi will be familiar to Desperado fans, enabling you to dual-wield a couple of machine guns posing as classical guitar cases; while the Sombrero Of Death is particularly amusing - a large hat that you throw onto the head of an enemy so that their comrades mercilessly turn on them. Best of all though is the Mexican Wrestler, which sees a maniacal hooded madman charging around the level cleaving up anyone in his way with a machete. Now that's entertainment.
Loco Moves and other special features aside (see Back In |p Bullet-Time', above), W Total Overdose doesn't f hold back when it comes to weaponry either. Among others, you get to blow Mexican bandits away with M16s, bazookas, AK47s, Magnums and is, and if you like to eople's heads in a sonal way, you'll be inote the inclusion of I bats, machetes and kes. Yes, you read rakes, le great thing about ame is that you can any weapon that jnemy drops, some horn are armed with anything that comes to hand, such as planks k of wood with spikes or a rake, explains Dax. Your enemies will also throw Tequila cocktails at you (like the Molotov version, only with tequila) which you can blow out of the sky before they get to you.
The majority of missions see you taking on legions of enemies while undertaking numerous tasks, such as driving trucks into oil tankers and ziplining into a warehouse before blowing it to pieces, with the mayhem rarely abating for more than a few brief moments. There's also a host of checkpoint-based driving mini-games that'll hopefully help break up the carnage.
While at first glance Total Overdose may look like a mindless shooter, it's just possible that if the humour and action live up to their billing, this could turn out to be a humorous Max Payne - though admittedly, Total Overdose lacks the polish and pizzazz of Rockstar s mega-hit. One thing's for sure though: if you're a fan of Rodriguez's movies, then this is certainly one game to be keeping in your sights.
Just Been Shot Dead? Never Mind, Try Again...
Total Overdose is set to feature a couple of great features that'll hopefully ensure the frenetic gameplay remains unabated, but not overly repetitive.
First off is the now-standard bullettime mode, which, unlike a few recent games that have shoehorned the feature in, feels totally at home in Total Overdose's manic firefights.
Another great addition is the Rewind feature that means you can literally rewind the action and have another go should you meet an untimely death. These rewinds are limited of course, so you have to use them sparingly - but they should prove far more entertaining than constantly slapping the reload key.
Download Total Overdose
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP