Overgrowth (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 23.10.2017

Review for Overgrowth on PC

Turner is a nomad; a wanderer trying to escape his dark past. However, the world he inhabits is growing more tumultuous by the minute. Rabbits, being the most populous and weakest of the animals, are regularly captured and sold as slaves… or food. The few long-ears that hold any power are forced to make deals in order to preserve the illusion of safety. Some have started turning on each other, exploiting friends and strangers alike, just to stay alive. Although he resists, Turner will succumb to his primal instinct, because it's the only reason why he's still standing… and thus begins Overgrowth.

In the anthropomorphic action game Overgrowth, players take control of a rabbit as he hops and bops his way through treacherous valleys and blood-soaked arenas. Aside from being an adept fighter, Turner can jump like nobody's business. He's also not above slitting the throats of hapless guards. Surprisingly, transitioning from platforming to stealth to Kung Fu is a seamless process. The mouse and keyboard handles every action perfectly. Movement feels natural, and every action isn't bogged down with cumbersome commands.

Essentially, the winner of a fight is determined through various context-sensitive actions. When an enemy throws a punch, a well-timed tap of the arrow-key will cause Turner to sway just out of its reach. When that same foe is lying on the ground, a click of the left mouse-button will deliver a swift kick to the head. There aren't all that many moves, but they're designed to handle every situation. For example, holding the right mouse-button allows the player-character to block. If done at the right moment, he'll grab his opponent, and slam them into the dirt. The shift key will tuck the bunny into a roll. From there, he can kick the legs out from under his rival.

Screenshot for Overgrowth on PC

There's also the high-risk manoeuvre. Rabbits are capable of leaping into the air and destroying predators with a powerful jump-kick. If it connects, the enemy suffers a serious blow, and the lagomorph springs away to relative safety. It's a very satisfying move to pull off, but misses will result in the bunny falling, and breaking his back. Aside from this minor weakness, jump-kicks are still wildly useful, and perhaps overpowered. First off, the AI opposition will never use them. Also, they don't do nearly enough to avoid the attacks when they're performed. There are a few encounters with wolves. Though they're usually the toughest foes, they're still at the mercy of a few well-timed dropkicks.

Another factor to consider in battle is the presence of weapons. In most cases, the protagonist won't be armed, but he'll frequently deal with minions wielding swords, spears, and so on. By using the grab move, he can disarm opponents, though the same could happen to him. Weapons can also be thrown, which is especially handy in certain circumstances. Getting the drop on someone and hurling a spear into their spine is very satisfying. Once again, be wary of the grab. If they're expecting it, enemies will snag thrown weapons out of the air. These added variables help the combat stay interesting.

Screenshot for Overgrowth on PC

Though this game has been in early access for nearly a decade, it wasn't until recently that it received an official story mode. Over the course of several stages, Turner battles it out with all manner of fierce creatures, while engaging in a fair number of platforming challenges. It's fine for what it is, but considering the long development time, also rather disappointing. Most of the stages are very short, with only a handful of enemies to fight. There's a dearth of items or treasures to discover, which makes exploration practically meaningless. The good controls are sometimes let down by a handful of rough climbing sections. Thankfully, the frequent checkpoints help keep every missed jump or wall-run from becoming a little too frustrating. There's also a prequel campaign, which gives Turner a bit of an origin story. It's quaint and not half bad, but doesn't last long at all.

Screenshot for Overgrowth on PC

In order to get the most out of Overgrowth, it's a great idea to take full advantage of the Steam Workshop. There are a number of mods that are clever, ambitious, and well worth checking out. The standout of the bunch is easily Therium 2; a fully-featured campaign with challenging battles, multiple routes, and plenty of lore. The ending can change depending on what paths the protagonist takes, as well as whether they stick exclusively to stealth or violence. Yes, it's possible to sneak past every enemy, and reach a different conclusion to the story. The stages are still fairly small, but there's at least a minor incentive to explore. Dotted throughout each location are books, journals, and other notes. The added background information gives the world some much needed depth.

Also included is an in-game level builder. While redesigning the layout or scripting takes some effort, it's very easy to add enemies or items to spice up existing areas. It's always a blast to pile on the enemies, then dive head-first into the ensuing chaos. More creative players may appreciate the freedom to design unique scenarios. Instead of having a stage where the protagonist merely jumps across roof-tops, throw in some wolves to pursue him. Don't be afraid to go wild. If a level isn't complete without beds of spikes everywhere, then make it so.

Screenshot for Overgrowth on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Overgrowth is a difficult title to recommend. Though there's entertainment value in whooping some cottontails, the included story mode doesn't offer nearly enough content, nor does it excel at showcasing all of the game's capabilities. However, there are plenty of fun mods to play around with. The various battle arenas and parkour stages are pretty decent as well, and there's even a downloadable grenade, because blowing up a crowd of rapier-wielding cats never gets old. In any case, if players are willing to test ideas and experiment, then their time is likely to be well-spent here.

Developer

Wolfire

Publisher

Wolfire

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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