Override: Mech City Brawl (XB1) Review


I originally had interest with Override: Mech City Brawl because I thought it would be like the PS2 classic War of the Monsters. On surface level, watching giant robots fight in fully destructible three dimensional cities seems similar, but it really is not similar past that. Instead of the chaotic party game I was expecting, I got a game that welcomes button mashers and high skilled players alike.

The primary mechanics of piloting a mech is that attacks are based upon limbs. While varied in design, all robots are bipedal and have two arms, and on controllers each limb is tied to a specific shoulder button or trigger (punches are the bumpers and kicks are the triggers). Defending against attacks is done by putting up a shield that only defends attacks coming from the front, and by hitting the punch or kick buttons while the shield is up allows parrying punches and kicks accordingly.

MSRP: $29.99
PRICE I’D PAY: $14.99

Dashing allows quick horizontal movement away from enemies and jumping allows quick vertical movement away for times when space needs to be put between enemies and my mech, however all actions generate heat. If I perform too many actions consecutively the mech overheats and can only move around the map until it cools down. A well timed jump can quickly recover a mech from falling down. There are special attacks that can be performed as special meters go up, with one unique special attack per limb as well as an ultimate attack that can be done when health is low. Ultimate attacks are flashy and cool and help even out a battle. Weapons also drop onto the battlefield in case all this wasn’t enough.

Override is more fighting game than party game. However, I feel like low skilled players can still enjoy fighting friends in the local multiplayer simply by button mashing. For anyone serious about playing, the tutorial is a must because while simple once I actually got to try, explaining it all makes it sound extremely complex. Beyond multiplayer, there is also a training mode (just basic quick combat against other mechs) and arcade mode. Arcade mode is where most of my time with Override was spent.

Arcade mode sees an alien invasion strike Earth and I with the mech I chose from a fair sized roster have to stop it. Beyond just fighting waves of aliens in arenas, I would get currency to upgrade mech stats, mods to change my mech’s abilities, and weapon packs that will drop in battle to assist me in saving the Earth. There is a story and dialog (not voiced) in the Arcade mode, and there are some mech battles beyond just the alien invasion. There’s always a choice of what mission I want to take, because each offers a different reward and generally they vary in difficulty. The missions don’t vary much but combat is fun. At one point I received a mod from one of the missions that allowed me to recover health on every successful hit, which trivialized the rest of the campaign. I also found myself almost never using weapons despite unlocking a load out; it felt pointless to pick up a sword when I could jump in the air and come down like a meteor on top of my enemies. I chose the dragon looking mech Metageckon and spammed this attack to my victory.

I played around with some other mechs back in the practice mode and found that they all feel different. While each mech has their own special attacks that are theirs alone, the timing of the punches and kicks felt different as well. It is also in practice mode that I discovered that multiple players can control the same mech, (like Voltron or Power Rangers) which is pretty awesome despite my lack of friends to try this out with. The game is super colorful as well, and each mech can change their color, costume, or add accessories. The whole game has a ton of visual flair that I appreciated a lot. They are also adding a total of four new mechs to the game via a Season Pass.

There is a few problems with Override however. At some points I had some odd graphical bugs (mainly in shadows) where large chunks of shadow areas appeared much darker than the rest of the shadow. I also had some slowdown in more chaotic levels of Arcade. Neither of these are game breaking, and the slowdown was extremely minimal (seconds of slowdown and it didn’t affect my ability to survive). After I was done with Arcade mode I couldn’t return to max out the stats of my mech, and if I wanted to start a new campaign with a different mech I had to overwrite the save with the current mech. That’s annoying because Arcade mode is short and simply allowing me to play forever would’ve increased my enjoyment a lot. The missions seem to be randomly generated so I can’t fathom why this was done, let alone not allowing me multiple saves.

The biggest issue with Override however is that its main focus is multiplayer. The trophies/achievements mainly focus on online battles. The main menu starts by highlighting the option that leads to online battles. Everything in this game really is just a set up for online battles. I got into one online battle on Xbox Live and the guy destroyed me. I then sat around waiting to find another match and never did. Maybe the Steam or PS4 versions have better luck, but that still renders a lot of this game basically unplayable if there is no one to play with. This is not an issue relegated to Override alone either. I don’t know if there was just a lack of interest in Override or that its release back in early December caused it to lack a player base, but I can say that it is definitely not because Override is a bad game in the slightest.

Override hopefully finds its audience at some point, whether it be due to a drop in price or some licensing deal, etc. I can’t fully recommend this without a consistent online player base because of how much the game is weighted towards it, despite really enjoying my time with it. I finished the campaign in less than four hours and wanted to play more but the game either wanted me to erase my work or never play the campaign again to keep my completed file. The fighting feels great with just the perfect amount of chaos thrown in. If this game can find an audience, I could see it in fighting game tournaments, but for now the game is fairly dormant and that’s disappointing.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Combat is simple enough to mash through but complex enough to have meaningful fights
  • Campaign has some neat mechanics
  • Visuals are vibrant and very clean looking
  • Local and online multiplayer
  • Variety in characters
  • Some slight slowdown and graphical bugs
  • Campaign is short and there is only one save file
  • No one is playing online
Written by
Anthony is the resident Canadian. He enjoys his chicken wings hot and drinks way too much Coca-Cola. His first game experience was on his father's Master System and he is a loyal SEGA fanboy at heart.