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Video Game / Sunset Overdrive

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Welcome to the awesomepocalypse.

Okay, here's the situation: A contaminated energy drink has turned everyone into mutants. There are survivors, doing whatever they can to get by. And some are dicks, attacking others for their stuff...but it's not all bad. All this place needs is a hero! One who doesn't just survive...but does it with style! Who is this hero? ME!...n-not me? Oh. YOU! Can you survive the many dangers? Can you help others survive? Can you save Sunset City? Can you?! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CAN YOU?!?!

...of course ya can. It's a fuckin' video game!

Sunset Overdrive is an open-world Third-Person Shooter developed by Insomniac Games. The game is somewhat a spiritual successor to Total Overdose, and parodies every video game tropes and takes place in Sunset City, a locale that suffers from a mutant outbreak after the nefarious company Fizzco releases their energy drink, Overcharge. You play as a highly customizable character who eventually takes the turn of events in stride, moving around the city and destroying mutants with glee.

Gameplay is reminiscent of Total Overdose, Burnout Paradise, Crackdown, [PROTOTYPE], Infamous, Ratchet & Clank, and Jet Set Radio with Saints Row-equse character customization and Le Parkour thrown in for good measure. Referred to as "traversals", you are able, and highly encouraged, to run on walls, grind on rails, and use various objects to hurtle yourself upwards in your quest to escape the city. As you might expect from an Insomniac game, the weapon selection is out there, as your arsenal can consist of a bowling ball launcher, vinyl record gun, toy helicopters with pistols attached to them, and teddy bears strapped with dynamite.

The game was released on October 2014 on Xbox One, and a Microsoft Windows port was released on November 2018.

Sunset Overdrive provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: You can shoot all sorts of unconventional ammo, like bowling balls, vinyl records, and fireworks.
  • Action Girl: 4Kim manages to take out an entire train car of scabs by herself.
    "Note: Don't mess with 4Kim."
    • The Las Catrinas are an entire faction of action girls.
    • Of course, we couldn't discount the player character herself.
  • Abusive Parents: Max's parents, from the quest of the same name. The Player Character is sent to their high rise to find out what happened to them. They left behind a voice recording in their panic room (which is wired with an explosive, incidentally) informing Max that they decided to spend his trust fund and take off for the Bahamas. They end by suggesting that he try the new OverCharge drink. Not surprisingly, when Max hears that they abandoned him, he's actually overjoyed.
  • Achievement System: Completing the collection of some types of collectibles, provides some Cosmetic Awards, like getting the free Camera Hat from destroying all the cameras, and 10 OverCharge and 10 Money.
  • Action Bomb: The Poppers, regular OD who have consumed too much Overcharge, violently explode into acidic, volatile sprays of orange goop. If you kill them, the resulting explosion can dispatch and knock away other enemies.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: The PC version of the game introduced a few of them:
    • In "Fizzie: The Inside Story", the player mentions that their name is only visible in multiplayer mode. However, this mode is absent in the PC version.
    • In "The B-Win Protocol", the player enters inside the Xbox One that the game is being played on, complete with Kinect Voice Commands.
  • Adjustable Censorship: You can turn on a profanity filter or low gore mode in the options menu.
  • Airborne Mook: Winger OD, first encountered near the end of the Floating Garbage mission.
  • A.K.A.-47: Your standard assault rifle, the "AK-FU", with another variant known as the "AK-FOFF".
  • Alan Smithee: The "Mooil Rig" mission called Alan Smithee's Treasure Ocean, where a film director called "Alan Smithee" starts with talking about directing:
    Alan Smithee: You know what the key is to directing a great film? Lots of money.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: A sidequest does this for Fizzie - after Sam accidentally activates his empathy chip, Fizzie is horrified about what he has done and tries to blow himself up (and the player - they did kill him). Eventually at the end, he asks you to throw his AI core into the ocean, content with death.
  • Alien Blood: All of the OD bleed bright orange blood, likely from all the Overcharge in their systems.
  • Amazon Brigade: Las Catrinas are a small group of powerful ninja cheerleaders that the player meets near the end of the game.
  • Anaphora: Used twice in the website used to promote the game, when they're promoting locations:
    • Japanese Heritage Museum: "Want to":
    Want to delve into a lively and fascinating culture? Want to appear more sophisticated on your next date? Want to make penance for the joke that didn't seem racist at the time, but in retrospect was pretty racist?
    • Sunset City Park and Play Area: "Real":
    Virtual reality may be the primary babysitter for kids these days, but why not take them to the lovely Sunset City Park & Play Area? Let them experience real grass, real air, and real pain from falling off of metal contraptions.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Unlike most other quests which give EXP and OverCharge in addition to possibly clothes or weaponry, "One Man is an Island" only gives the Cosmetic Award of Pirate-themed clothing, however, it does give $7000 if replayed.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you're in a mission that requires you to be high up and you accidentally fall, the game will teleport you to the highest point you reached, so you don't have to go through the same segment all over again. The player character is verbally thankful for this.
    • Some boss fights and challenges give you unlimited ammo for your weapons, so you can concentrate on shooting the enemies.
    • The lower your health is, the more likely enemies are to drop health when you kill them. Likewise, you'll more likely get ammo pickups for weapons that are close to empty.
    • The PC release removes the multiplayer mode, but the unlockable Amp upgrades and weapons from it are now obtained in the normal campaign.
  • Apocalypse How: Anywhere from Class 0 (current in-game situation) to Class 3 through 5, depending on how you interpret the ending.
  • Apocalypse Wow: The OD outbreak is this on certain levels. At one point, in the flashback to the start of the apoalypse, fiery letters created from explosions actually spell out "APOCALYPSE".
    Floyd: I call it the AWESOMEPOCALYPSE.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Once Wendy takes on the role of bard, she plays bard rock for your party as you collect tree bark for the King. Later in the game, Wendy and your other friends play a rock concert for sick children while you defend the area.
  • Arm Cannon: The Blower OD has a leaf blower for an arm, that it can use to shoot at you.
  • Arms Dealer: Two Hat Jack builds most of your weapon arsenal and sells them to you for Overcharge cans.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In one mission, you go wade through leech-infested ponds to gather dozens of the bloodsuckers on your person. You then chug an entire bottle of fever medicine, to gorge the leeches on heavily-medicated blood. After an intense Mushroom Samba, you then use the leeches to cure a man suffering a fever. Your character lampshades the fact that this is not how leeches work. It does here only because this is a videogame.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Lampshaded in the final boss.
    Fizzie: WHAT?! I HAVE A POWER CORE?! Why did I not know this?! Everybody knows the only reason you have a power core is so someone can DESTROY THE POWER CORE!
  • Auto Cannibalism: When you meet Troop Master Bryllcream, he's a quadruple amputee — no arms, no legs. In a flashback, about 17 days before he was trapped in a garbage truck with no food nor water, he is seen with all four limbs intact.
  • Badass Normal: Every survivor in Sunset City has nothing to their name but their wits, their skills, post-apocalyptic engineering, lots of guns, lots of ammunition, and the fact that they're in a video game.
  • Ball Cannon: "The Dude" launches bowling balls that can take out multiple enemies at once. The weapon needs to be charged before use, and the projectile travels strictly on the ground, making it ineffective against aerial enemies.
  • Ballistic Discount: While triangulating the location of Bryllcream, you can overhear a few conversations. One of them is a guy trying to hold up a gun store with a gun. He asks for a loan, which goes about as well as you'd expect.
  • Bamboo Technology / MacGyvering: Most of the weapons the player uses seems to be hobbled together from various scrap. The TnTeddy is a notable example as the player is shown actually creating the thing.
    • The LARPers as well, using crossbows made of wire hangers.
  • Batter Up!: One of the replacement melee weapons a player can buy if they get tired of using their crowbar.
  • Bee-Bee Gun: In the Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines DLC, players can receive the Swarming Nanobots weapon as a prize for finishing the Cloudamajigger side quest. This gun releases swarms of nanobots that track and inflict continuous damage on adversaries. Players can also merge the clouds to form a larger swarm. Once the swarm reaches its maximum size, the nanobots can shock and electrocute opponents.
  • Benevolent Architecture: Lampshaded by the player character when looking through a set of tourist binoculars to the left of the Radio Tower Zip Mode point and opposite the Sunset Medical Center:
    "It's like Sunset City was built expressly for me to bounce and grind all over it. Funny how that worked out."
  • Black Comedy: The game engages in quite a bit of this, including the aforementioned Troop Master Bryllcream eating all his limbs and virtually everything Fizzie says.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Dirty Harry. It's perhaps the most normal-looking of all the guns you can acquire, but by virtue of being a Hand Cannon, it deals sick damage to virtually every enemy in the game, scoring a One-Hit Kill on nearly everything when leveled up and dealing large hits on Herkers, Spawners, and Fizzco robots.
    • The Flaming Compensator. It's the very first weapon you pick up in the game and is very effective at mowing through OD and Scabs even late into the game when the player already has many other weapons to pick from. It's ability to inflict the burn status on those two enemy variants helps in taking them out if they don't get destroyed in one hit.
    • The AK-FU/FOFF and the Fizzbot Rifle are just regular assault rifles (although the Fizzbot Rifle is at least an energy assault rifle), but they have large ammo pools, high rate of fire and are quite accurate even over longer distances. Both are very good at efficiently dealing with their preferred targets, Scabs and Fizzco bots respectively.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: You'll be hard-pressed to go 30 minutes in the game without someone going at the Fourth Wall like it insulted their mother.
    • Characters will frequently acknowledge that they're in a video game and reference various HUD elements when needed.
    • The main character brings up the weapon wheel when being held at gunpoint to show that they have guns, which actually gets Buck National holding them up to lay off.
    • At one point, the player character takes the style meter from their HUD and uses it as a club.
    • The Fake-Out Fade-Out has the player character being killed, only to interrupt the credits and criticize this ending before rewinding to show us the true ending.
    Player character: (after defeating the Final Boss) "Now THAT is how you end a game!"
    • It's taken further in the Fallen Machines DLC, with the final boss. It specifically has a fourth wall-breaking protocol. It uses it to first wipe out the game's reality, then you spend the next few moments fighting ads behind a literal paywall and defragmenting your hard drive, and finally, it combines with Brandon Winfrey of Sunset TV for its final form. Once you beat the boss, the player character thanks you specifically for all your help.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: The Oxfords are a faction of trust fund kiddies who happen to be geniuses who mostly just sit around texting on their phones and refuse to help you unless you get them stuff that they lost outside of their bases.
  • Bullying a Dragon: A scab tried to rob Two Hat Jack… without a weapon. It went about as well as expected.
  • The Cameo: Buzz Osborne (King Buzzo) of the Melvins. This hair mop is also an option in the character creator.
  • Camera Abuse:
    • In the gameplay trailer, the main character does this.
    • Also happens when you load the game; the camera starts close, and the character looks back and shoves it away to the normal distance, leading to the cracks near around the Mini Map, Health Meter, and at the upper right of the screen.
  • Cap:
    • Your character doesn't have levels to speak of and has no use for XP, but that's what King Ignatius offers as a reward for The Most Epic Quest for EXP. By the end of the quest, you have enough XP to reach the level cap at 99 and have been granted the title of Sr. Captain and Commander, which is a meaningless title for the rest of the game.
    • Weapon Levels stop at 5.
    • Overdrive levels stop at 4.
    • OverCharge must have a cap, but it's higher than 100,000.
  • Car Cushion: Cars and other vehicles basically serve as giant springs in this game and the player is encouraged to bounce off them when jumping off of buildings so that they can stay in the air longer.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: The main character does this in the trailer, not at all concerned with the mutants trying to swarm the rooftop he's on as he's talking to the audience.
  • Character Customization: You can equip Overdrives and Amps that give various abilities and upgrades. Not to mention a fairly deep character customization page, complete with every piece of clothing in the game being agendered.
  • Closed Circle: You are trapped in the city because invisible walls prevent you from leaving. The main goal of the game is to try and escape.
  • Collection Sidequest: Balloons, comic books, shoes, toilet paper… the game has a LOT of collectibles to find whenever the player isn't busy blasting OD. Most of these items are just ingredients to make Amps but a few have their own unique purpose.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Landmines from each opposing factions are displayed in different colors. The Scab Tosser's Proximity Mines emits red light, and the Fizzco Bomb Bot's Pulse Mines generate blue shockwaves, while both of the same weapons used by the player are indicated as green.
  • Cool Sword: One mission has you try to impress Las Catrinas by retrieving a Fizzco executive's Cool Sword from his penthouse to give to them... except it was literally the only thing he took with him when he fled the city. So instead, you take a bunch of metal junk lying around and go forge your own sword in a nuclear plant, which is so awesome its pommel looks like the head of an electric guitar and it shoots both fire and lightning with every swing. They still aren't impressed, and in fact hate you even more for bringing such a dangerous weapon near the sick kids they zealously take care of and protect. After they kill you again and you respawn, you are disappointed to find that the sword has lost all of its special power and is now just another melee weapon skin in your collection.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Mooil Rig DLC gives us Bryllcream's sister Gwyenth, who plans to replace all of the rig's current workers with cheap overseas labor. Her title card introduces her as an entitled executive, which then morphs into evil executive.
  • Cosplay: You can dress your character to look like a member of the various factions you meet, usually after you completed their quest lines.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: Well, marketing called it an "Awesomepocalypse", but it still very much applies. Nearly everyone in the city turned into soda-crazed monsters by too much partying? Grab a teddy bear stuffed with TNT, skate on a powerline, and party even harder! Just… don't drink the soda this time.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Sunset City is pretty much the poster child for Totally Radical in city form, fun and constantly sunny. It'd be perfect, if not for the evil faceless corporation creating mutants.
  • Crate Expectations: The game is filled with smashable crates that contain money, ammo and health pickups.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Microsoft Studios and Insomniac Games appear as flyers on the player's fridge during the title sequence.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Certain weapons are geared more for fighting enemies of a certain type (Small OD, Scab, Fizzco Bot, and Large OD) than others. It's possible to make some weapons useful against types that aren't recommended to be attacked with that weapon via Evolving Weapon and Weapon Amps.
  • Crosshair Aware: Several attacks, like the Blowers' and Gunkers' shots, will show you where they'll hit.
  • Crowbar Combatant: You start off with a crowbar as your primary melee weapon, as well as using it to undergrind on rails.
  • Damage Is Fire: The H.M.S. Doomed steadily catches fire the more damaged it is.
  • Death from Above: The Fizzco DSRC from the Fallen Machines DLC will occasionally drop a satellite on enemies instead of lasers.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Run out of health and you'll respawn nearby with very little progress lost, if any. The player-character will even comment on this such as when an NPC tells him/her that everybody will die if you fail a mission.
    Well, you guys will die, I'll just respawn over there.
  • Degraded Boss: After meeting and fighting the Spawner OD, it and the Herker OD begin making uncommon appearances on the streets along with the lesser, more common OD. By this point, you will likely have access to a wider array of weapons to dispatch them quickly. Wingers will join them much later in the game.
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: When Bryllcream meets his sister, she notes that he looks different for some reason. Probably because he's a quadruple amputee riding on a robot.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: The player does this at the end of the Mooil Rig DLC, after they bring up a recent tragedy, and their attempts to lighten the mood still go back to the tragic event.
  • Disaster Scavengers: Though everyone is technically this, the Scabs are the most obvious example.
  • Downloadable Content: Apart from the pre-order items, there are some larger packs released that come with the Steam port by default.
    • A weapons pack, which adds four unique weapons to your arsenal — the Plague Bomb, Rager, Shield Buddy, and Multi-Lock Rocket Launcher.
    • "Mystery of the Mooil Rig", which gives a new area to explore, along with a handful of new weapons and outfits to acquire.
    • "Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines", focusing on a Fizzco factory, which adds another new area, more weapons and outfits, and has some new enemies to fight.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In one mission in New Tokyo, the PC slaughters a Herker and wears its head as a mask (alongside stripping down to just their underwear) to drive some Scabs out of a building.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe, it happens at the end of the Mooil Rig DLC. Bryllcream says "We're all safe for now", and the player responds that there are some exceptions. Bryllcream gives a look that essentially says "you seriously brought that up?".
  • Dynamic Difficulty: More enemy types are introduced as you progress through the game. While exploring the city outside of a mission, each new type of enemy will join its faction in battle against the PC, increasing the general difficulty of street brawls.
  • Easter Egg: There are twelve drawings around the city that have nothing more than a button prompt to them, and are not tracked anywhere. Find all of them and you unlock a special outfit based on the game director's daughter.
  • Eat Me: The Player Character uses this trope to defeat the DL Sea Monster by attacking it from the inside.
  • Elite Mook: The OD has Muggers, giant creatures that latch onto walls and lunge at the player.
  • Enemy Chatter:
    • One of the bits of dialogue from Scabs robbing Virtual Trust trucks of money, talk about orphans, for the player:
      Scab Shooter #1: All right! Let's grab this money and give it to the orphans!
      Scab Shooter #3: What're you talkin' about, orphans?
      Scab Shooter #1: It's in case somebody's listenin' to us, dumbass!
      Scab Shooter #3: Oh! Yeah, we can finally buy some parents for all those orphans!
    • Fizzco Bots say lines like "Survivor ammunition depleted" if the player runs out of ammo while attacking them.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Scab Rusher #3 doesn't. The "La Venganza" mission's required use of the Bloom Amp reveals that flowers connect to her thoughts of her mom, and she hates her mom.
  • Evil, Inc.: Fizzco, the company that created OverCharge, feared competition and rushed the product out the door without testing it first, and even knew of the dangerous chemicals that were being put into it. Floyd, a scientist who used to work for them, even tried to warn them of the dangers, but they wouldn't listen. When the drink proved to mutate people, they started doing all they could to keep the bad press from getting out.
  • Evolving Weapon:
    • Your weapons will steadily grow more powerful, be able to store more ammo, and have decorative milestones to show off your progress. High Fidelity will, for example, gain gold records instead of plain black vinyl.
    • As befitting a trap from the LARPer Fargarthians, Siegfried the Great will steadily level up with each kill, becoming more and more powerful, and getting better gear, while he's at it.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Scabs are identified by their primary fighting tactic, or in one case, position. One type of OD is also given a completely literal name.
    • Shooters fire at you with AK-FUs.
    • Rushers charge you then try to brain you with blunt weapons.
    • Tossers have modified leaf-blowers that "toss" explosive darts.
    • The Scab King boss is the King of the Scabs, and even has his own (roller coaster) castle.
    • The Spawner OD will spawn new OD from the dumpster on its back.
  • The Exile:
  • Eye Beams: An attack used by Fizzie, the giant floating balloon boss.
  • Faking the Dead: One member of Las Catrinas does this because she has a Forbidden Love with a member of the Scabs.
  • Fastball Special: The Herker can throw smaller ODs at you.
    • In The Mystery of Mooil Rig, Bryllcream uses his mecha to throw the Player Character around the rig with enough force to set them on fire. This is key to defeating the DL Sea Monster.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The final boss has a time limit requiring you to move quickly across the city forcing you to be efficient with the traversals the game taught you.
  • Fish People: The OD begin to resemble this trope in The Mystery of Mooil Rig Downloadable Content. The Spawner, for instance, looks like a giant crustacean.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: After completing the death ritual of the Las Catrinas, your character points out that the victory screen hasn't showed up, meaning there's more to the quest.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The Insomniac Games flyer at the beginning of the game has a list based off of the games and franchises they've worked on previously (albeit with the names modified), but you only see the whole of it for a few seconds.
  • From Bad to Worse: The rescue of Troop Master Bryllcream. For starters, the Scabs are going to use the compacter in the garbage truck he's in to crush him. You disable the machinery, only for the Scabs to set fire to the truck. You put out the fire with Overcharge, the only liquid in the area, which of course attracts hordes of OD to the truck, who destroy the brakes, and send it rolling down the parking complex and down about 5 blocks of uncontrollable momentum and mayhem, Bryllcream screaming the entire way. In the end, you learn that the man is also missing all four limbs, though that last one's not your fault.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Las Catrinas end up killing the protagonist several times during their quest line. They just respawn as usual and continue about their business.
  • Get a Room!: The player frequently has this reaction when Sam and 4Kim flirt with each other.
  • Grind Boots: You can grind on rails, wires, and other thin surfaces as part of your parkour move set. Later on, you can grind on water for a short time before sinking, with no explanation in sight, other than the fact that the "Text Guy" now tells you you can. Note: as the PC is highly customizable, no specific footwear is needed. Or any at all for that matter.
  • Girls with Moustaches: Facial hair is not limited to male characters, meaning that you can customize your girl PC with a hearty beard.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Fizzco itself. It's an unusual case where it's both the big bad and the greater scope villain at the same time, because while Fizzie is the final boss, he's just another robot that works for them. Also, despite not being entirely present in the main game due to most of its execs and the CEO being outside of the city at the time of the game, Fizzco is accidentally responsible for the mutant apocalypse, and thus the entire game by extension. Also, they know of the player and their actions and involve themselves directly in the plot by sending minions and robots to kill them.
    • Dr. Rupert F. Kane, CEO of Fizzco and the one who pushed for Overcharge's creation and untested release. The only mention of his existence is in texts on the various smartphones scattered through Sunset City. Dr. Kane's daughter Shelly is also mentioned to be in Sunset City at the time of Horror Night, but you never see or hear from her at all.
  • A God Am I: In the Fallen Machines DLC, Brandon Winfrey from the Sunset TV web videos proclaims his godhood once he merges with the invincible nanobot cloud.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted by the Scabs, whose girl members wield baseball bats, while the guys use assault rifles and grenade launchers. Also inverted by the Fizzco robots; despite being robots and having no actual sex to speak of, the Rifle Bots have masculine voices and the Blade Bots have feminine ones.
  • Hammerspace: One of the quests involves you doing a funeral ritual. Said ritual involves constructing an effigy using materials you couldn't have possibly carried.
  • Hand Cannon: The Dirty Harry, naturally. At level 5 it can easily dispatch most foes with just a couple well-aimed shots and tears huge chunks off the HP bar of the giant mutants.
  • Handicapped Badass: By the time you find Troop Master Bryllcream in the game proper, he has lost all four limbs due to having to "do whatever it takes" to survive. This does not prevent him from being an incredibly useful ally in the least.
  • Healing Checkpoint: Using the Zip Mode to get to a potty restores ammo to right before the ammo counter starts flashing red, and recovers all health.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Walter throws you from the plane when he spots the Invisible Wall.
    • Subverted in the last mission of the game. It initially plays out like this, with the player crushed under some rubble after riding a giant overcharge bottle into a building, and the credits rolling… and then the player walks out in front, admonishes the developers, and ends the game on a more exciting note.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Guns that are similar to the weapons used by the Scabs and Fizzco bots are often good counters to them.
  • Humongous Mecha: Fizzie.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Your character can equip eight weapons at any given time and switch between all available weapons at any time. Once, when threatened with a pistol by Wendy, who wants to escape the city, they pull out an entire armory from nowhere.
  • An Ice Person: Gunker OD have mutated with freezers and spoiled hot dogs, giving them freezing puke that they can hurl over great distances.
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: An announcer in the pigeon killing challenge gives increasingly ridiculous pigeon combo names as you mass-kill them.
  • Idle Animation: If the Player doesn't move while near a ledge, they might put a foot up on it.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Things like strapping pistols to helicopters and making them fire automatically would be highly impractical in real life, but luckily, this is a video game.
  • Improvised Weapon: Your available weapons include a bowling ball launcher, vinyl record gun, toy helicopters with pistols attached to them, and dynamite strapped to teddy bears. After all, this is a mutant apocalypse, and conventional guns are hard to come by. Luckily, the people left behind are an extremely creative bunch. In the end, it's all about you having fun.
  • Improvised Zipline: Though technically the PC does not improvise it on the spot, they do use an unconventional means of travel through "undergrinding", where a crowbar is used on certain grindable things, like telephone wires.
  • In Medias Res: The game starts just as the mutant outbreak begins, with your character trying to make their way home amongst the chaos. It then flashes back three hours ago to your character working at a launch party for Overcharge before all Hell breaks loose.
  • In-Universe Nickname:
    • The Fargarthians refer to you as "Hero," and later, "Paladin." Should you progress or finish "The Most Epic Quest for EXP" they will refer to you by title and level. Las Catrinas' Esperanza calls you "Pendejo/Pendeja." ("Idiot", male and female version, respectively.)
    • Sam is referred to by Esperanza as "Cabron." (Coward.)
    • Fizzie calls you "Asshole." When your character asks them to stop calling them that, the robot asks what their real name is and the PC admits they don't know.
    Fizzie: Ha! "Asshole" it is.
  • Invisible Wall: Lampshaded when it actually displays a holographic saying as such when anything large enough collides with it. It's keeping people from flying out of the city and will vaporize any who collide with it. Walter dies because of this.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Chandler wishes for his "cloak of invisibility", when seeing "cave trolls", a.k.a Herkers in "The King's Feast".
  • Kill It Through Its Stomach: How the DL-Sea Monster is defeated, the player is Swallowed Whole then they "Melee Monster Internally", as the button prompt says.
  • Kill Sat: The Fizzco DSRC, introduced in the Fallen Machines DLC, calls upon one to rain lasers and occasionally satellites on your enemies.
  • Large Ham: You can tell that Yuri Lowenthal was having a lot of fun in the reveal trailer.
  • LARP: The Fargarthians were and still are these, only this time, the weapons and the fighting is very much real.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In the Mooil Rig DLC, Gwyneth is splattered by the DL Sea Monster mere moments after she reveals her scheme to replace the rig's workers with cheap overseas labor. The splatter even spells "karma" to drive the point home.
  • Leave No Witnesses: Fizzco initially quarantines the city to prevent the OD from escaping, but also to prevent anyone from alerting the outside world as to what Fizzco has done. Their automated security force then attempts to finish off any survivors in the city in order to fulfill this trope.
  • Le Parkour: One big draw of the game. You can wall run and rail grind like no one else. You can also bounce upon pretty much anything, even things that you would either logically fall through (trees) or things that aren't even bouncy (car roofs).
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: Happens after the player makes an ill-timed remark at the end of the Mooil Rig DLC.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • The Fargarthians, for all of their missions before the final stage of The Siege of Wonder Town, have been shown to be hilariously, catastrophically backwards, necessitating such "authentic" 12th century customs as crossbows, "tree bark soup," and healing with leeches. (For reference, this only works because you gorged them with your overdosed, heavily-medicated blood.) Then, when their leader is struck down — and angrily, loudly, triumphantly comes back up — they proceed to grab AK-FUs and are now able to properly defend themselves and mount a more thorough, epic offense.
    King Ignatius: (after being shot in the chest) Give me a fucking gun!
    • In the final chapter of the game, every faction's base is being assaulted. What do the inhabitants do? Set up traps, grab guns, and start shooting. Special mention goes to the Oxfords, who are essentially lazy trust-fund kiddies who barely lift a finger to do anything.
    • Downplayed to some extent with every faction, though. Every one of them has been shown to be competent in some respect — the Oxfords are geniuses (if lazy), your character remarks that Troop Bushido has impressive traps, the Fargarthians do have fully-functional catapults and siege engines that can wipe out hordes of OD, and Las Catrinas are ninja cheerleaders and have kept at least the children's ward of a major hospital safe and supplied.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Enemies can be frozen solid and smashed to pieces with the right weapon.
  • Long List: The last bit of fine print on the website used to promote the game, is this list of OverCharge Delirium XT symptoms:
    Fizzco is also not responsible for any illnesses or problems that may occur from drinking OverCharge Delirium XT, including, but not limited to: urinary tract infections, tummy aches, gross burping, water intoxication, acid reflux, heart attack, depression, tripping embarrassingly, urinating, urinating a lot, urinating way too much, gastrointestinal reaction, brain aneurisms, disturbing fantasies, assault and battery, poor judgment, pregnancy, itching, aggression, uncoordinated dancing, and death. Drink at your own risk. Love at your own risk.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The OD always explode into puddles of orange goop when killed, even the giant versions. Powerful attacks can also splatter human enemies as well.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Rocket Man amp and the Multi Lock Rocket Launcher weapon fire a swarm of missiles that automatically fly towards targets.
  • Man Bites Man: When Bryllcream is being captured by Tentacles, the player suggests him to bite them.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Or, rather, the many Respawns of you. Players will respawn in a number of Big-Lipped Alligator Moment ways, such as coming out of a portal, emerging from the ground in a giant drill, popping out of a coffin, walking out of a phone booth, being kicked out of a van by mutants, and so on.
  • Mass Monster-Slaughter Sidequest: Just Kim tasks you to kill a million OD. This is ridiculous, but she eventually bumps it down to a more reasonable 125 OD.
  • Meaningful Name: The OD are identified by their fighting tactic, and their physical appearance. Examples:
    • The Blower has a leaf blower mutated into its arm, and uses it to shoot acidic goop.
    • The Herker tends to throw enemies, and large chunks of the ground at you, using its backhoe hand.
    • Poppers explode into volatile, orange goop with a loud "POP!" that shows up as actual in-game text.
    • Gunkers hurl freezing blobs of refrigeration chemicals, alongside being covered in dirty ice and spoiled hot-dogs.
    • Muggers have multiple extremely sharp objects embedded into their body, and tend to pounce on you when you least expect it.
    • Wingers have are the only flying OD, and very tough. They also shoot fire and can quickly turn grind rails hazardous.
  • Medium Awareness: The player character is very much aware that they are a video game protagonist. Several other characters remark on video game tropes as well.
  • Mega-Corp: Fizzco, full stop. Twenty billion cans of its previous soft drink, UNTZ, are consumed each day, and it also has a number of subsidiaries. The disaster in Sunset City is only contained because the company controls all of its infrastructure and law enforcement.
  • Mêlée à Trois: All three of the enemy types (OD, Scab, and Fizzco Bot) will fight one another if two of them are in the same place.
  • Mirrors Reflect Everything: When talking about the Fizzco Executive's Mirror in relevance to swordsmithing, the player talks about reflecting spells with it.
  • Money for Nothing: It's very easy to make lots of money, but the only thing there is to spend it on is clothing. Subverted with Overdrive, which is the currency used to buy guns, Amps and maps and unless you do an insane amount of farming, you'll likely not have enough to buy everything.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: Each new enemy gets a short scene and splash screen upon its first appearance.
  • Mook Maker:
    • Spawners continuously pop out ODs from the garbage bins on their backs and the streets will soon be swarmed with them if left unattended. Killing the spawner will cause the ODs originating from it to die off.
    • Wingers will sometimes make three mooks that are flying tumors with teeth to harass the player.
  • MST3K Mantra: 4Kim asks how Sam as able to communicate with them despite neither holding any cell-phones. The player responds with "Let's not complicate things by poking holes in the way we deliver our story." invoked
  • Mushroom Samba: As a result of having dozens of leeches on you, severe blood loss, and overdosing on an entire bottle of fever medicine.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Player dropped a helicopter that Walter was going to use to escape Just in Time to save both of their lives… which then caused the chopper to fall, destroying it. Walter is pissed at you as a result. Now, why he didn't have blocks behind the wheels is an entirely different matter.
  • The '90s: Although the game takes place in 2027, the setting largely parodies 90's culture.
  • No Fourth Wall: Practically everyone is aware that they are in a game and as such lampshade everything endlessly.
  • No Hero Discount: New weapons and collectable maps from Two Hat Jack and Amps from Floyd all cost exhorbitant amounts of Overcharge, to the point where the player won't come close to unlocking all their stock even after completing every mission, side-quest and DLC mission. This is despite the fact that the player is clearly the only thing stopping the survivor factions being exterminated by Fizzco. This is compounded as:
    • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Two Hat Jack's sells maps of collectables for each area of the game world, but each collectable type and optional activity is a separate purchase and each area's maps are more expensive than the last. By the final area each map costs 10,000 Overcharge, meaning getting every icon on your map will set you back almost 100,000, more than all but the most expensive weapons.
  • No Name Given: The player character is only referred to by their gender or the various nicknames they accrue like "Paladin" from the Fargarthians. In "Fizzie: The Inside Story", the main character admits that they don't know their own name, since the only time it shows up is during multiplayer, and it's always floating out of their field of view.
  • Notice This: Security Cameras, High Points binoculars, Eavesdropping satellites, and Grind Rails sparkle in white when close enough.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The player character attempts to call the OD "zombies" at one point but Walter immediately corrects him. Justified, because he's right: they aren't zombies. After all, they aren't contagious or undead, aren't they?
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Mentioned in one post-mission cutscene when 4Kim says she'll suddenly be back at the Oxfords' base once the scene ends.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted with numerous Kims, such as 4Kim and Just Kim.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Troop Master Norton transforms into a horrific OD monster once he's finally exposed for the fraud he is.
    • In the Fallen Machines DLC, this is the result of the nanobot cloud's Protocol B-Win, where it combines with Brandon Winfrey of Sunset TV to form a multi-TV monstrosity.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The OD behave in a very zombie-like fashion, but they crave energy drink rather than brains. They'll just slaughter humans who happen to be nearby, especially if they're in the way of an Overcharge supply. Also, they aren't contagious or undead, so… make of it what you will.
  • Pass Through the Rings: The traversal and some of the glider challenges have you racing through a series of rings.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Missions that have segments where OD spawn endlessly, like in "Bryllcream" and "Getting the Band Back Together". If you can keep yourself alive, you can level up your weapons and collect as much money and Overcharge as you want.
  • Phallic Weapon: The first gun you get is a shotgun called the "Flaming Compensator", which has two suspiciously-placed spherical containers near the trigger.
  • Playing Games at Work: The player is shown playing on their mobile while on the job just before the OD outbreak. Interestingly, they are playing Sunset Overdrive.
  • Political Overcorrectness: Smartphone #13 contains an email whose humorously long and multi-word "To" line is "Fizzco_ScienceGuys_(andgirlstobePC)". PC stands for "Politically Correct".
  • Pokémon Speak: Hardcore of the Fargarthians only ever says "Hardcore".
  • Power of Love: Parodied. Ignatius says you managed to succeed because you have the strength of Samson and the wisdom of Solomon. You can helpfully add you have the power of love.
  • Product Placement:
    • A Windows Phone appears in the E3 2014 trailer.
    • You can obtain Vans skateboarding shoes and clothes once you unlock the ability to buy clothing.
  • Protection Mission: The Night Defense missions require you to protect the vats as they cook Amps. You can place traps to help you with the oncoming hordes.
  • Psycho Serum: Overcharge is an addictive soft drink that has one minor side-effect - it turns people into mutants who, more than anything, want to kill people and get more Overcharge. Floyd however is capable of processing Overcharge into Amps that you can use.
  • Punny Name: Several.
    • TnTeddy, the game's equivalent of a grenade launcher.
    • AK-FU, a sendup on AK-47.
    • The Murderang, a disc launcher whose ammunition will boomerang back at you and can actually be reused if you do catch it.
    • The final boss of the Mooil Rig DLC is called the DL-Sea Monster. Appropriate for a DLC monster.
    • The Hindenburg reference, Hinden, proprietor of "Hinden's Dirigibles & Weaponry, Inc."
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: It makes no difference whether you choose to play as a male or female character, although the entire game is fully voiced and both genders have their own voice actor/actress.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The Excalimune weapon eventually shoots fire and lightning with every swing and restores your health with every kill. Naturally, it loses its power after the mission it's featured in.
  • Pyromaniac: Just Kim is this.
  • Rage Quit: Your character threatens to do so if they haven't found the right key to operate a crane and have to go around killing tons of OD hoping for one of them to have the right one.
  • Recursive Reality: An early cutscene shows your character playing Sunset Overdrive as a game on their phone.
  • Regenerating Health: One of the upgrades players can get. Unfortunately, it's so slow and expensive players are probably better off just buying straight up health increases instead.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: You can destroy Fizzco machines and crates around the city to get money and Overcharge.
  • Riding the Bomb: Well, Riding the Giant Overcharge Bottle. This is what the player does to destroy the Fizzco HQ initially.
  • Robot Dog: Margaret's companion Boo Boo, who apparently cost her parents $100,000. Easily one of the most lethal examples of this trope in media, as Boo Boo is equipped with sonic barks and other weapons that can devastate hordes of enemies.
  • Rousing Speech: Parodied. After completing a series of quests to convince Sam's friends to help but none of them budge, Sam gives a speech about how the Player being a hero inspires him to be a hero and hopes that his friends would be inspired as well. It doesn't work, so the Player threatens to throw them out on the streets. That gets them moving.
  • Rule of Fun: In the words of the developers, "Fun trumps realism.", which brings us various fun things, like the following-
    • The ways you can respawn, which include-
      • Coming out from the ground in a sarcophagus and walking out mummy style, complete with woman screaming.
      • Teleporting from the ground in a telephone booth.
      • Getting shot out of portals.
      • Landing from space in a rocket ship.
      • Getting dropped off by aliens in their UFO.
      • Two OD's drive by in a van and kick you out the side.
      • Warping in Star Trek or Terminator-style.
      • Being lowered down on a wire, Mission: Impossible-style.
      • Driving a time-traveling flying DeLorean onto the scene, which is then driven off by either Marty McFly or Walter.
    • Your various traversal abilities, like air dashing and skating on water. You just gain these abilities, and there's no explanation as to how you get them or why you're able to do them.
  • Rule of Three: Name-dropped by the Bora Bora AI in a mission which fittingly has you lowering a water level and then grinding to a pressure switch three times.
  • Sequel Hook: The game ends with FizzCo helicopters leaving to distribute Overcharge all over the world.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook:
    • As explained under Mêlée à Trois, enemies of different factions will go to war against each other if they meet. Some missions encountered mid-game encourage this if such a thing happens.
    • The Hater amp allows weapons to inflict a confusion status effect that causes its victims to turn against their comrades and explode into a puff of red smoke shaped like a skull. Additionally, the weapon DLC pack introduces the Rager, which is a weaponized version of the amp in the form of a grenade launcher. Enemies under the effects of the Rager will sport Red Boxing Gloves.
    • The robot factory, which is unlocked by playing the Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines DLC, has reprogramming turrets that can turn non-security Fizzco robots into permanent allies.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: Unlikely as it may seem. After the player goes on the quests to help the Oxfords, they still refuse to help, even with Max's Rousing Speech, because… they're a bunch of lazy, spoiled, entitled rich kids. Then the player threatens to beat them all up and throw them out on the street. They decide to help.
  • Scout-Out: The members of Troop Bushido are a troop comprised mostly of older teenagers/young adults, with a rule system based on Japanese Samurai.
  • Severely Specialized Store: Smartphone #29 is an emailed invoice from "Hinden's Dirigibles & Weaponry, Inc.", which sells:
    75 ft. custom Fizzie Blimp - $15,900.00
    Deployable RPG Cradle - $237,000,000.00
    Experimental Atomic Laser Inducers - $796,000,000.00
    Service with a Smile - $0.00
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The Hotty Shotty is a powerful handheld street sweeper shotgun, but it's not particularly great while bouncing or grinding.
    • The Flaming Compensator, on the other hand, is a perfectly fine as a mid-ranged weapon.
  • Skill Scores and Perks:
    • Amps, which grant you special abilities like causing flames to shoot out when you bounce on cars, generating tornadoes with each melee swing, or occasionally causing nuclear explosions with your weapons.
    • Overdrives work similar, but are bought with badges which you earn for either traversals, killing with different weapons or what you kill. They generally affect how much Style you earn or damage with different weapons or effects.
  • Socialization Bonus: Chaos Squad, the online co-operative mode, has a whole host of benefits for playing it, ranging from extra money and Overcharge to exclusive amps, weapons, and boosts.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Present in a lot of scenes. Notably, you trip on medicine and hallucinate about the map being coated in lava while tropical vacation music starts playing.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Inadequately tested products can cause people to turn into monsters.
  • Spicy Latina: Las Catrinas' Esperanza, who is a Puerto Rican cheerleader/ninja. The rest of the faction is also composed of them.
  • Spiritual Successor: Insomniac refers to the game as Ratchet & Clank plus Le Parkour.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: There are plenty of things that can send you skyward, like cars, tents, upward-facing air conditioning vents.
  • Starter Equipment: You begin the game with a crowbar (kept for the whole game aside from aesthetic reskins) and the Flaming Compensator- the latter given to you only moments after starting the game.
  • Status Effects: Onto enemies, the player can burn, electrocute, poison, and freeze targets with various weapons. You can even stack these status effects, potentially unleashing a full Humiliation Conga that both stops enemies and gradually drains their health while you whittle away at their life bar with your preferred firearm of choice. It's also a very effective strategy when dealing with bigger baddies, especially Herkers and Spawners.
  • Strictly Formula: Parodied in one instance. You tell Las Catrina's to give you a series of quests in order to earn their trust the same way with all the other factions you've met up until that point. Esperanza refuses, so you assign yourself some quests in order to impress them.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: The Oxfords are stationed at "Sasquatch and Friends", a pizzeria/arcade complete with dancing animatronics.
  • Take That!:
    • The E3 2014 trailer starts off with a army soldier (who has almost insultingly poor fire discipline and accuracy, possibly as a jab at some of the people that play as them) pinned down by scavengers. Cue the main character appearing with the quip, "Cover mechanic, right?". He takes out the scavengers with his parkour and homemade weapons, leaving the soldier with a final, "You and your crates are safe!" Later, the soldier gets attacked by a lone mutant. Yowch.
    • When one person asked the developer vlog Sunset TV if you could play as a female character, they responded in the affirmative… by showing a female Player Character doing free-running and wearing an outfit that looked suspiciously like an Assassin's robes, a jab at Ubisoft for not including a female Player Character among the four co-op protagonists of Assassin's Creed: Unity.
    • The so called "Live Action" Trailer of the game is a jab at game trailers that use live action and the like rather than actual gameplay footage.
    • The whole game could possibly be a Take That Me as well considering Insomniac's previous game, Fuse, was supposed to be wild and crazy like this, but ended up changing to be more serious, and went unnoticed because of it. By contrast, Sunset Overdrive is anything but serious.
    • One sidequest has you fighting a robot focus group, a commentary on their experiences developing Fuse.
  • Teased with Awesome: The announcer gives you a minute of free maximum style early in the game so you see how awesome your Amps can get.
  • Technobabble: Parodied in one mission. Floyd tells you to find some refrigerator parts to upgrade a vat and explains how it'll help, before devolving into saying "Blah, Blah, Blah sciency bullshit" and eventually sending you on your way (though Floyd could be giving a proper explanation and blah blah blah is simply what the character is hearing instead because they stopped paying attention half way through).
  • Totally Radical: A common complaint regarding the game is that it tries a little too hard to come off as "awesome, random, and self-aware". It's all well and funny to lampshade the fact that whatever cheap videogame trope has just been played is one, but after the eighth time, some players begin to feel like it doesn't quite excuse anymore the fact that they're still used. Thankfully, the game is hella fun and said players are in the minority.
  • Timed Mission: Several missions and challenges in the game, like the one against the final boss.
  • Time Travel: The Find 4Kim mission on failure during the train-chase section mentions the idea, of rewinding time:
    The Scabs got away with 4Kim! Let's rewind time and make sure that doesn't happen again. Keep up with the train and shoot those thrusters!
  • Toilet Humor: A few missions take the player to the local processing sewage plant. There are also toilet paper collectibles that can be found hanging around the city.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The foreman in the Mooil Rig DLC smokes cigarettes in a door explicitly marked no smoking. Whilst on an oil rig. This causes an explosion. The Player Character notes that he died of stupidity.
  • Took a Shortcut: Two Hat Jack manages to be in every safehouse at the same time.
  • Tower Defense: Seven of the game's singleplayer missions (dubbed "Night Defense") task the player with guarding Vats from an onslaught of OD in a base while Floyd "cooks" the Amps used to give abilities to the player and their weapons. Multiplayer Night Defense is also possible.
  • Traintop Battle: One sidequest to help a hobo find a safer location to make a home has the player ride atop his train car as it plows through the city and protect it from attacking groups of Scabs.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Inverted. Whenever you're in charge of defending something, whoever's in charge will give you a basic overview of the plan, which ends up succeeding by virtue of necessary completion.
  • Unwitting Pawn: During one spy themed sidequest arc, you assist your "own personal Deep Throat" get evidence against Fizzco to expose the Sunset catastrophe for what it really is. Turns out that your collaborator is Fizzco, and you were unwittingly helping them destroy said evidence.
  • Variable Mix: Certain tracks will add more layers to the music, like vocals, as you build your style level.
  • Vague Stat Values: Chances of effects activating are mentioned, but not precise percentages or fractions. For example, Burn, Baby:
    Lvl. 1: Kills with this weapon have a chance of creating an area of effect blast that sets enemies on fire.
    Lvl. 2: Kills with this weapon have a greater chance of creating an area of effect blast that setsic enemies on fire than the standard Burn, Baby Amp.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: You can change your character's physical appearance, gender, and clothing to your tastes.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Mentioned after one mission, when the player and 4Kim ponder how Sam communicates with them when they don't have any phones.
  • Wall Run: One of your abilities in your parkour set.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Fast Travel takes the form of your character getting completely drunk, passing out and stumbling out of a port-a-potty near your selected location.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: All clothing can be worn by both genders, regardless of the gender it was designed for, allowing you to make your character this.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Your character frequently lampshades the precarious and questionable state of the H.M.S. Doomed, as it is made out of and repaired by trash. (Even with the extreme ease and speed the engineers can fix it from being set almost entirely on fire, it's just as easily damaged and reignited.) They claim that something this stupid can't possibly get past the Fizzco Invisible Death Wall, then it actually does because it's obviously complete and utter trash.
    Fizzco AI: 130% Trash.
    Player: Okay, we get it!
  • Written Sound Effect: You'll see a lot of comic book-style visual sound effects throughout the game (such as a Popper exploding causes the word "POP" to appear in the explosion, or doing a Ground Pound from a big enough height will will write the word "KRAK" into the pavement where you landed).
  • Zip Mode: You unlock fast travel points as you progress through the game, and you can warp to any challenge point you've unlocked.


Video Example(s):


Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive is an open-world Third-Person Shooter developed by Insomniac Games. The game is somewhat a spiritual successor to Total Overdose, and parodies every video game tropes and takes place in Sunset City, a locale that suffers from a mutant outbreak after the nefarious company Fizzco releases their energy drink, Overcharge. You play as a highly customizable character who eventually takes the turn of events in stride, moving around the city and destroying mutants with glee.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThirdPersonShooter

Media sources: