Overfall is a rogue-like RPG adventure set to release on March 1st. The game promises a grand adventure with randomly generated worlds and encounters. It also boasts a turn-based combat system where characters live and die on applying buffs and weaknesses like there is no tomorrow. How does the game fare so close to its release though? Let’s find out.
The game begins heroically enough: the Everking, a ruler who has united the entire land against a previous Orc domination, asked two heroes to investigate a portal and retrieve a powerful artifact. But upon the heroes’ return, three centuries have flashed by and the land’s inhabitants are all at war with one another. The player then must set out and right the world that has been wronged.
For an epic premise, Overfall has some really strange humor strewn about the game. It’s absurd and sometimes just downright silly. I had a lot of fun going from one encounter to the next just because I was curious to see what weird shenanigans Overfall would try to get away with. In one mission, you’re tasked to help a fat nerd get in shape, while in another quest you fight the Overfall version of Team Rocket. The weird and silly encounters are great, but this unique charm falls flat soon after because the encounters are just dictated by few choice options.
Many of the random encounters are made a little bit more interesting by your party configuration at least. Each main character may have some special insight or perspective on the current event and thus allow players to choose a special dialogue. However, these special dialogue options seem to be just a fancy way to say, “yes, let’s continue forward because I brought the right character with me.” It’s very dry when the “success” option in the encounters usually just mean avoiding a battle. Sadly, this will happen a lot.
But when it doesn’t happen and you’re forced into a battle, be prepared for a little bit of strategy. Overfall isn’t overwhelmingly difficult, but it does throw some challenges towards players. Enemies are very good at attacking a player’s weaknesses. Mages, ranged enemies and rogues will poke and damage your characters from a good distance away while you try to close-in on them. And their fighters will expertly keep your characters bleeding or unable to use any utility skills. Before you know it, a member of your party will be plagued with so many afflictions you’d think the enemies had a personal vendetta against him or her. Thankfully, you’re given the very same tools to return the favor and you can even upgrade your party with enough time and currency.
Overfall, like many rogue-likes, has a perma-death system. However, players can save their main characters by offering expensive runes to the grim reaper at special alters. Companions, on the other hand, cannot be resurrected, but they can be replaced at least. And if there ever came a time when you do lose both of your main characters and are forced to start over, the game does a good job of saving some of your progress. Upon starting a new game, classes you’ve unlocked will now be available when you start a new adventure and the same goes for unlocked skills and new weapons.
One thing I absolutely love about Overfall is the idea of a dynamic world. When you’re thrown into the game, you can see ships from goblins, humans, elves and other races all going about their businesses. Sometimes an elven ship will be attacking orc colonies or you’ll see pirates attacking smaller vessels. It’s very much like Mount and Blade, but on a smaller scale. Nonetheless, it’s always refreshing to see games with always-changing worlds.
For a rogue-like RPG, the game has an interesting look to it. Overfall definitely borrows many elements from high fantasy, but it takes on its own aesthetic. The hand-drawn characters are dwarfy-looking versions of Tolkien characters we’ve read about and seen and it fits with the absurd tone the game goes for.
Now, I haven’t had too many experiences with rogue-like titles, but if Overfall were a person it would be like a drowning man grasping at everything and anything around him, desperately trying to find something concrete. The game tries to incorporate a lot from other genres. While not necessarily failing in any of these gameplay machinations, Overfall doesn’t really succeed either. I mean, the combat is fine, exploring a procedurally generated world is nice and some of the encounters don’t totally suck. I always love a dynamic, changing world, which is a great touch. I don’t see myself really delving into Overfall once it’s officially released, but for those interested they will definitely have a good laugh along the way.