This is Pressure Overdrive, the newest game from German developer Chasing Carrots. This is a fast-paced action game that is equal parts racing and shooting, all while keeping a cartoony look that is hard to resist. It's coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC later this year, but I've playing the early test version. I know you have a lot of questions about Pressure Overdrive, so let's crib this!
Racing and shooting? Like Twisted Metal?
No, that's not the right comparison. Pressure Overdrive is more like Spy Hunter meets Smash TV. It's a fast-paced dual-stick shooter where you're racing through more than thirty levels destroying every car that dares get in the way. It's the kind of killer concept you used to see a lot in old school arcade games, but not so much lately. I'm not sure why, because what I played is immediately fun and I had a hard time putting it down.
The story sees Morgan confused and a little angry when the local river mysteriously dries up. In order to make things right, he makes the rational decision to jump in his steambuggy and go on a murderous rampage to get back at the maniac water thief Count Soap II. Okay, so maybe that's not the rational decision, but Morgan is dead-set on racing through the land to make sure the count doesn't construct his gigantic "Uber-Spa."
And it's a dual-stick shooter?
That's right. You steer the car with the left analog stick and shoot in any direction with the right. Let's get one thing straight: This is not a typical racing game. There aren't laps and you aren't trying to come in first. You'll earn more points if you finish the race quickly, but this is strictly an action game. The idea is to beat the levels and earn coins that you can use to buy new weapons, vehicles and upgrades.
That's actually something I really like about Pressure Overdrive. You're able to buy new abilities that get mapped to the controller's four shoulder buttons. You'll be able to deploy a drone that will double your firepower, attach a tether that will refill your life and perform a quick speed boost by pressing the left trigger. You can even upgrade your weapons over the course of the game. This gives you a lot of incentive to go back through the stages, or even bring a second player along for the ride.
Why does this look vaguely familiar?
Oh, good eye. What I didn't realize going in is that this is actually an enhanced and upgraded version of Chasing Carrots' very first game, Pressure. It came out in 2013 and was met with mixed reviews. Thankfully, the developers have taken the criticism to heart and have been working on making this brand new iteration a more definitive experience. This brand new version features drastically improved controls, better visuals, a complete overhaul of the weapons and even a much-needed endless mode for those looking for a real challenge. Best of all, Pressure Overdrive will be hitting consoles, something that didn't happen with the original game. The company learned a lot of lessons from their first outing, and that experience is on full display with this upcoming release.
As a fan of old school arcade games that had you driving and shooting at the same time, I have high hopes for Pressure Overdrive. The early version I played was missing some content, but the hooks are certainly there to keep me coming back. Chasing Carrots has made a lot of important changes to the formula that most players will appreciate. Pressure Overdrive is hitting PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam sometime in the next three months, and I think it should be on your radar.