Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
There are some games on the market now that just ooze fun. Simply playing the game makes you feel a whole lot better, no matter what you've just been doing. These games are usually non-realistic and involve a lot of stylish moves and combos, and almost always have a score system, where earning points gives you cool new powers.
The list of these games just got a little longer. People, this is Total Overdose.
Total Overdose stars the Cruz family. Well, mostly it stars the two brothers, Ramirez and, um, the other one? I can't remember his name. If you thought 'Soma', then you're obviously in the wrong place. Get back to your Castlevania. During the first three levels of Total Overdose, you play once as each of the three members of the Cruz family. Firstly, you play as the father, busting some drug lords for the DEA. Then, you play as the 'good son', who is infiltrating a drug ring in order to find out about his father's suspicious death. Finally, you play as Ramirez Cruz, the 'bad son'. He is who you play as for the rest of the game.
When you visit the tutorial, you learn about some of the style aspects of Total Overdose. You learn how to pull off moves such as 'King of the Wall', which is where you walk up the wall, bounce off and headshot a guy. You learn about the 'Loco Moves', a collectable move which, when activated, gives you a certain power, such as 'El Mariachi', which gives you two rapid fire machine gun guitar cases.
Not all the moves available are shown in the tutorial though. Others are 'hidden', which makes it fun to find out what they are. For instance, there is a move called 'Angry Sunday Driver' which is when you bail out of a car and headshot a guy. As much fun as that is, it also gets rather funny when, once you've pulled off a move for the first time, you hear Ramirez pronounce it. It's a lot of fun really.
At the expense of realism. Drive a car, and it'll appear to be nigh on invulnerable. Bail out of a moving car, and it's always one slight tap away from exploding. If you should suffer a slightly fatal injury, or simply stuff up a large kill combo, you can turn back time by using a 'Rewind' and try again. You can slow down time and really try to rack up a lot of kills Max Payne-style by using your Adrenaline. Body armour makes you completely invulnerable for a certain period of time. You can carry infinite grenades, so long as you've found enough Weapon Skill tokens. Find a flaming skull, and you initiate the 'Day of the Dead', where guys in skeleton suits try and kill you. Collect some of the floating point pickups littered around, and you turn into a mad wrestler and get to beat up civys and other wrestlers for more points. Not very realistic, but a whole lot of fun.
Unfortunately, the graphics are a bit 'out of date'. You only notice though on the close ups on people, so it doesn't hinder the gameplay. The traffic also isn't really varied as well. But. who cares when the game is this much fun? The only major problem is that Total Overdose seems a bit too much like a GTA clone. For this, I'll take it down 1 grade, to an A.
Total Overdose is a really fun game. Sure, it's not exactly realistic, but when realism is swapped for downright fun, I think it is a fair swap.