It’s fair to say that there aren’t enough quick and fun local multiplayer games, the trend of moving everything online has become more prominent over the last few years. While Dlala Studios’ Overruled! fully embraces the modern online functionality, the brawler also proves that there’s something just a little special about local 4-player mode.
While at EGX Rezzed I managed to get my first taste of the crazy over-the-top beauty that is Overruled! The multiplayer brawler caught my attention given the buzz coming from its corner of the Team17 room. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t truly understand what all the hype was about, the game looked like a laugh but there didn’t seem to be anything exceptional about it.
Then I had my chance to play and having dragged three strangers in to maximise the carnage I was away into a world filled with crazed rabbits and naked clowns battling in an arena not too dissimilar from Nintendo’s foray into this genre.
A few rounds in and it hit me as to what makes this game so appealing, bringing genuine joy. This isn’t a complicated game to play, but it is a complicated game to fully understand with mini-game style objectives that can completely alter the rules of combat.
During my initial playthrough the change in modes came quick and often, one minute it was a free-for-all standard brawler, the next I’m part of a two-man team, the next I’m running for my life from an inflamed pirate (and I do mean on fire), remember this is all in one match.
It’s this pace, the dynamic combat environment, it’s impossible to have two matches identical as you never know whats going to happen next or have any free time to think ahead, it’s genius. With more than 20 different modes on offer through change’em up cards the combinations are extensive and that’s what makes it such a treat as the perfect go-to party game.
While the cards are the essence of the gameplay itself, it’s the colourful cast of characters that really bring the game to life. This array of highly amusing characters is made up of misfits, freaks and the downright strange, from the earlier mentioned crazy bunny and naked clown to the indie gamer and anti-hero, no two characters look the same yet they all fit perfectly.
While at the London event I actually had a chance to sit down with the artist behind the character designs and he told me that there are plans to extend the cast via DLC on an ongoing basis so keep your eyes peeled for additional wacky weirdos for download in the future.
Though during my short time with Overruled! I didn’t notice much difference in the way each character plays, this may have been purely down to me paying more attention to the constantly changing battle rather than the mechanics of the game. The controls are pretty responsive and incredibly easy to master, don’t expect too many super-powerful secret combo moves, this isn’t about what moves you do, it’s much more about how you use what you have and how quickly you react.
The controls aren’t the only thing that’s well polished about this game. The visuals are superb, I don’t mean ultra-realistic, using your graphics card to it’s max superb, I mean they fit the game perfectly. The artwork on both the characters and the backdrops is stunningly unique and fits perfectly with the crazed atmosphere of the overall gaming experience. On the audio side, it’s everything you’d expect from a game of this natural, fast-paced and repetitive, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
My one and only issue with Overruled! is the learning curve, it can be frustrating on your first couple of attempts and it does take some time to fully master everything this game has to offer. That said it really doesn’t hinder the experience in any way, this is a completely mad, insanely enjoyable brawler which will continually keep you on your toes.
Overruled! is currently available on Steam as an Early Access Game with a full game release on both the PC and Xbox One due later this year.