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Pressure Overdrive Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Although it can be monotonous at times, Pressure Overdrive is a fun ride that somehow manages to merge Spy Hunter with Smash TV. That concept alone is good enough to shoot it way out ahead of the pack, though it's hurt by repetitive level designs, frustrating boss fights and a poorly executed story. Flaws aside, Pressure Overdrive is an exciting spin on the shoot-em-up formula that dares you to get to the finish line in one piece. Rating: 64%
Pressure Overdrive
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
Let me introduce you to Goldfinger, a guy who wanted to nuke Fort Knox in order to make his stockpile of gold more valuable. Then there's Lex Luthor, who had the brilliant idea of creating beachfront property in Nevada by sinking California into the ocean. And don't forget about Dr. Evil, a guy who employed sharks with laser beams and demanded the U.N. pay one million dollars. Those are silly plans, but they have nothing on Count Soap II. This is a guy who wants to steal everybody's water and dig deep down to the Earth's fiery core, all in the name of opening the ultimate spa. Now that's a short-sighted plan.

This is the setup to Pressure Overdrive, a brand new action game that mixes the fast-paced driving of Spy Hunter with the dual-stick shooting of Smash TV. It stars a young man who has no interest in waiting for James Bond or Superman to save the day, so he jumps in his heavily-armed buggy and vows to destroy the Count's robot army. That's a lot more exciting that spending the next few years in court arguing over zoning violations.


In a lot of ways, Pressure Overdrive is a fairly straight-forward shooter. Every level sees the player race through a linear course dodging obstacles, jumping over gaps and shooting at other cars. We start out barreling through the dried up lakes, then move on to the Count's castle, and eventually dive deep underground to disrupt the master plan. There's nothing necessarily ground-breaking here. You play a handful of standard stages and then take on one of the three lengthy boss fights.

Beyond simply killing bad guys and dodging obstacles, we spend a lot of the level picking up coins that can be used to buy new weapons and upgrade your vehicle. This is where you can get rid of the standard pea-shooter and equip a flamethrower, laser weapon or missile launcher. What I like is that you can equip weapons and upgrades on the front, top, rear and back, giving you different abilities that are mapped to the shoulder buttons. This can be anything from stealing health from the opponent to launching helper drones to getting a speed boost. You can also level up these weapons, turning you into a one-buggy killing machine.

If any of this looks vaguely familiar, then there's a good reason for that. Pressure Overdrive is something of a remake to the 2013 action game simply called Pressure. That game was met with mixed results, with many critics praising the concept but complaining about the execution. German-based developer Chasing Carrots seems to have taken the criticism to heart, as this update improves on the original in every way. It now plays better, runs smoother and offers a lot more content. Best of all, it finally brings the fast-paced buggy action to home consoles.

Despite fixing a lot of the problems, there are a few things that still bug me about Pressure Overdrive. For starters, I wish there was a little more variety to the level designs. The 33 stages are split into three different locations and tend to repeat the same backgrounds and obstacles. And it's not just the settings that feel repetitive, but it's also the action. Even with the additional weapons and upgrades, it still feels like every level plays out the same way. It all starts to blur together after a while.

Pressure Overdrive (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I also wish the game spent more time developing the story. At first I thought Pressure Overdrive was going to be loaded with fun cinemas. We're treated to a couple cool moments right at the start and even introduced to the Count's robot army. I was positive that those little robots were going to be this game's Minions by the end. But that's not what happens. There are really only a couple of cinemas throughout the 33 stages, which is a big disappointment. It feels like they set up these characters for naught. It's bad enough that they chose not to develop Count Soap II as a real character, but I wish they would have given us animated moments introducing the bosses and explaining why we go from one area to the next. There just isn't enough payoff.

Although it can be monotonous at times, Pressure Overdrive is a fun ride that somehow manages to merge Spy Hunter with Smash TV. That concept alone is good enough to shoot it way out ahead of the pack, though it's hurt by repetitive level designs, frustrating boss fights and a poorly executed story. Flaws aside, Pressure Overdrive is an exciting spin on the shoot-em-up formula that dares you to get to the finish line in one piece.
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