Turbo Overkill Aims to Blow Your Socks Off

Turbo Overkill Review

Valve just kicked off Steam Next Fest, an initiative they launched in 2021 to highlight and celebrate different games coming to Steam by providing a number of developer live streams and game demos that people can download and try out. One such demo is for a game I’ve had my eye on, Turbo Overkill; a retro shooter developed by Trigger Happy Interactive and published by Apogee Entertainment. Fast, action-packed, and overflowing with style, Turbo Overkill leaves a strong first impression and makes me upset that I now have to wait for more. 

 Inspired by the grandfathers of the FPS genre like DOOM and Quake, Turbo Overkill is an indie shooter with cyberpunk flair. The visual style blends 3D graphics and pixel art in a smart way, mixed with the stellar neon lighting, the game is visually stunning. You play as Johnny Turbo, a half-human half-android “Street Cleaner” who returns to his hometown of Paradise and finds its inhabitants possessed by a rogue AI. The demo doesn’t get into much of the story, but what it gives in spades is fun gameplay. 

While playing the demo, I was reminded of my time playing DOOM Eternal back in 2020. Turbo Overkill is fast-paced. The player is given a number of movement options like double jumps, double dashes, a slide that summons a chainsaw from Johnny's leg, and eventually, wall-running becomes available. The game gives you many movement possibilities early on because you will need them to stay on top of the hordes of enemies coming after you. I played on the Hard mode difficulty (there are 4 difficulties to choose from in the demo), and death comes swift. Much like its predecessors, you need to keep yourself moving, dodging incoming projectiles and enemies rushing towards you. Similar to DOOM Eternal which went for a “combat chess” style combat design where enemies have very specific weaknesses that need to be exploited, Turbo Overkill’s combat will have you switching weapons constantly meeting whatever foes stand before you head-on. 

And as you would hope for any FPS, the weapons are fantastic. In addition to the extremely satisfying chainsaw slide kick, the player has access to dual-wield magnums, two types of shotguns (a pump-action and sawed-off naturally), and an SMG. The guns have a futuristic look and the sound design makes them feel menacing. However, the coolest aspect of the weapons is their upgradable alternate fire modes. As you play, you will earn credits that can be spent on upgrades at Bioshock/Borderlands-inspired vending machines. There are body modifications that give different upgrades in addition to unlocking the previously mentioned alternate fire mode. For instance, the Twin Magnums have an alt-fire that locks onto enemies and sends out an instakill blast (also includes the amazing detail of blowing on the barrel of the gun to cool it off afterward for maximum style). The sawed-off shotgun also gets the ability to transform into a grenade launcher which can help keep some of the stronger enemies at bay. The game’s Steam Store Page also details a “Telefragger sniper rifle” that teleports the player inside of an enemy exploding them from the inside. And this is seemingly just a taste of what’s to come in the full release. 

The demo has 3 levels to play through which are designed impeccably. The last level in particular is noteworthy because it seamlessly blends combat arenas with light platform puzzle-solving as you bounce off of gravity lifts and run along the sides of skyscrapers. Levels incorporate tall buildings giving a large sense of verticality while also providing multiple areas to explore for secrets and collectibles. The environments are big enough to support the frenetic action which is the most important part. You have enough room to maneuver the combat while also having to pay attention to positioning and being precise. 

Turbo Overkill aims to blow your socks off. I’ve had my eye on the game since I saw its reveal trailer back in 2021, but after being able to get my hands on the game it has quickly become one of my most anticipated games. It’s endlessly impressive that independent studios can create such specifically tuned and visually distinct games that rival what's coming out of the biggest AAA studios and even surpass them. You definitely want to keep an eye out for this one. Download the demo on Steam and see for yourself.

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