The indie scene has been bustling the past few years, and some really remarkable games have come out of it. New indie developer I-Friqiya has entered the mix with a game harkening back to Rock n Roll Racing. This new car combat/racing title is called Fuel Overdose, and with its flashy visuals and some unique mechanics, I-Friqiya is hoping to revitalize the forgotten genre.
Fuel Overdose takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth that was partially destroyed by a meteor years back. To top it all off, a virus has spread across the world that requires survivors take a special medicine to keep the virus at bay. The world has been divided into sections, and each year, a representative of each participates in a death race with the winner obtaining enough medicine for their section. It’s like The Hunger Games, but with racing and viruses.
The game features an isometric view, much like the aforementioned Rock n Roll Racing or the more recent Death Rally. I only started with two cars, and seeing as how others cost too much in-game credits, I knew I was going to be stuck with the starters for a while. The game features a quick race, story mode, challenge mode, championship mode and online multiplayer. The game features multiple drivers to choose from, and each has his/her own unique stats, special attacks and abilities.
Each car comes equipped with a machine gun, rocket launcher and proximity mine placer. There are also grappling hooks that can be used on some corners and enemy vehicles. Ammo is scarce, but more supplies can be purchased before a race. Thankfully, unused ammo will be refunded.
As stated above, each character has unique abilities that can be used when a super meter is filled, based on severity of car damage.. Once full, an ultra-attack can be performed to turn the tides. They are executed with motions on the Right Analog Stick. It feels almost like a fighting game in this sense.
Out of all the weapons and special attacks in the game, nothing compares to the grappling hook. Hooking onto an enemy vehicle will both pull the vehicle towards your car, and releasing it at the right time will slingshot you ahead. These can also be used in certain corners to drift around it at maximum speed. The grappling hook is fun to use and can make the all the difference when crossing the finish line.
There are some ambitious aspects of Fuel Overdose, but there are also major flaws. The camera is nearly untamable. It has a dynamic feel, changing position at different points around the track. Usually it ends up in all the wrong places at all the wrong times, making already difficult turns more challenging than they should be.
The cars sometimes turn too easily, and I occasionally ended up spinning out on my own, without the aide of an enemy car. For some reason, firing rockets launched them from the rear of my car at times, leading to collision with my own vehicle rather than my opponent’s. I can’t stress enough how essential the grappling hooks are for recovering from this type of situation. They are the best weapons in the game.
The enemy AI was sometimes be relentless, especially when I had a significant lead. Not only did they manage to catch up, but also I became the target for the rest of the pack. There are plenty of ways to get back on top before the end of the race, but let’s be a little realistic here.
Fuel Overdose requires an investment of time in order to buy new cars and upgrades. The challenge mode offers up a spin on the traditional races by giving objectives to complete during a race. The story mode tells the tale of each character through quick cut scenes of dialog in between the races. Championship mode is handled like a tournament. Winning races awards points depending on finishing placement, and whoever has the most points after a number of races wins.
The online puts players against one another and offers up the biggest challenge of them all. This mode is rather hectic and sometimes boils down to who is the most aggressive with their weapons and special attacks rather then who is the best driver. A few of the matches I played had some lag issues. It wasn’t too bad, but it was apparent in some races.
For the most part, Fuel Overdose is a decent game that is hindered by some glaring problems. Deploying super and ultra attacks that take up the entire screen are a blast to pull off, and well placed grappling hooks are satisfying when they work perfectly. The camera is the biggest let down, and it really did hinder my enjoyment in a big way. There is a good amount of content here for $10. If you’re looking for a car combat/racing game and are willing to put up with some strange handling and a wild camera, Fuel Overdose may be the game for you. Just keep in mind that it will take a lot of getting used to.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.