Turbo Overkill review: Hail to the leg chainsaw, baby
Turbo Overkill is a fast-paced retro-FPS that saw its release in early access amidst a stacked year. Surprisingly, the game hardly feels like it is a work in progress and is near-perfect in so many ways imaginable in what it wants to do: being a bad-ass shooter.
Developed by indie studio Trigger Happy Interactive and published by Apogee Entertainment, Turbo Overkill is a great blast from the past, and a proper addition to the entirety of the sub-genre of retro FPS called boomershooters, which has surfaced throughout the past couple of years.
Turbo Overkill’s tale of dystopian Cyberpunk future
In Turbo Overkill, players control Johnny Turbo, a cybernetically enhanced human who comes back to his home located in Paradise, which, unfortunately, is overrun by a rogue AI named Syn.
With streets taken over by augmented goons and disfigured oddities, John Turbo is contracted by Exec to get rid of the virus corrupting Paradise. For the most part, the story takes a back seat throughout the experience, but it is there to keep the flow of the game moving forward.
In terms of character, the player's character follows the age-old "mute character" trope in first-person FPS, where the only sound you'd hear from them is their grunts from the bullets they take head-on.
However, the developers went out of their way to make him expressive through body language, such as Johnny Turbo throwing a sick finger-horn after annihilating a group of enemies or throwing profanities at the enemy through hand gestures.
Additionally, the protagonist is accompanied by his companion, AI, called S.A.M.M., who is voice acted, and walks the players through the objective.
Overall, the game believes in players not worrying about the story and enjoying the fast, chaotic experience it is.
Rootin’ Tootin’ chainsaw and shooting
The game, which comes with one episode and eight levels in early access, follows pretty straightforward gameplay. Players will go from one point to another, killing enemies in a huge room and moving onward.
What sets Turbo Overkill apart from other games in the retro-FPS genre is its fast-paced gameplay and settings.
This game is easily one of the quickest first-person shooters I’ve personally played. The movement speed is completely dependent on the player, the dash and slide, increasing the movement speed.
Additionally, Turbo Overkill has some pretty nitty-gritty maneuverable options, which open up as players progress through the story. Out of the gate, the players will have access to their chainsaw leg, or as I would like to call it: the legsaw.
If Sam Raimi's Evil Dead movie made the Chainsaw Arm an iconic piece of weaponry, wait till you see the leg chainsaw. The leg chainsaw activates when players slide, and it is a useful way of taking down enemies.
Apart from the chainsaw leg, there is a hook, which has become synonymous with first-person shooters in the current year, wall-running, and mini-rockets built into arms. These things, however, open up as players keep progressing through the levels.
Players can also find augments throughout the maps hidden or purchase them from vending machines and can pop them in using the Splice stations scattered across the maps.
The augments are limited but broaden how the game feels and plays. For example, one augment ensures players receive armor when enemies are killed with the chainsaw leg.
Furthermore, gameplay-wise, there are secret levels to discover, which adds more gameplay to the experience and makes replaying the game fun and exciting.
The gameplay of Turbo Overkill is loud, flashy, and is an amalgamation of great ideas coming together to become what the game currently is.
Homing bullets for the win
Guns are of equal importance to the overall gameplay experience for every first-person shooter, and Turbo Overkill ensures that the guns are fun to use.
In the current build, players start with dual magnums, which deal sufficient damage, and move on to guns such as a sawed-off shotgun, dual Uzis, a mini-gun, and another shotgun.
However, it does not end there, as each gun has an alternate fire mode, making the arsenal double in number, thanks to how they behave.
For example, the alternate fire of dual magnums will lock onto a maximum of five enemies in a room and insta-kill or incapacitate them (depending on their size).
There are not a lot of weapons, but whatever is available is effective, fun to use, and does not overwhelm the players.
Graphics and music
Graphically, Turbo Overkill embraces its retro inspiration by employing a low-poly model for enemies but manages to look gorgeous thanks to its beautiful lighting. The game was tested on an RTX 3060 paired with a Ryzen 2600 and 16 GB ram.
At 1080p, maxed out settings, the game ran in full-frame without any hiccups or stutters. The environment is highly detailed, neon-lit, and benefits from the beautiful lighting that the game takes advantage of. There is no ray-tracing, but whatever magic the team has done is commendable.
Character models, as previously mentioned, are low-poly models, textured in such a way that they would look pixelated on closer inspection. It is kind of similar to Valheim in some instances.
The game also has a plethora of graphical settings that users can tweak to their liking, giving them the option to run the game effortlessly in lower-end systems.
Of course, to accompany the gorgeous visuals and to set the cyberpunk tone, the game comes packed with a great synthwave soundtrack. For the most part, the music also sets the pace of the gameplay and becomes intense when a horde of enemies comes at the player.
Turbo Overkill is a great shooter and is a solid addition to FPS sub-genre boomershooters. While games such as Dusk, Doom, and more paved the way for no-nonsense indie shooters, Turbo Overkill took advantage of the established tropes and put a twist on them.
Fast and brutal, with cool features such as a leg chainsaw, grappling hook, and tons of enemies and secrets to uncover, Turbo Overkill is undoubtedly an overkill package of fun ideas condensed into one whole game.
The eight-hour experience hardly leaves any complaints to be made, and indeed it will only keep getting better throughout its early-access period.
Turbo Overkill (Currently in Early Access)
Reviewed On: PC (Review code provided by Apogee Entertainment)
Platforms: PC (Steam, GoG)
Developer: Trigger Happy Interactive
Publisher: Apogee Entertainment
Release Date: April 22, 2022