Turbo Overkill Early Access Preview

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Retro boomer shooters with a twist have been around for a while, but very few feel this close to something like the exceptional Eternal destiny that Turbo Boost. It’s a mix of retro graphics from the PlayStation 1 era and the smoothness of current-gen enhancements.

Turbo Boost
Developer: Trigger Happy Interactive
Publisher: Apogee Entertainment
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch
Release date: April 22, 2022
Players: 1
Price: to be determined

Putting yourself in the shoes of Johnny Turbo, you traverse a cyberpunk town ravaged by Syn. The formidable AI seeks to conquer the world at large but must face you. You are on a mission to stop the Syn in Paradise infection with only yourself as a one man army.

Your very own AI companion, SAMM, helps you achieve your goals and also helps you move between levels. A shorter story with the cyberpunk dystopia you want but contained in an arena shooter seems almost too perfect a recipe.

While I’m not spoiling the story, you’ll enjoy traversing this low poly world with your mind and your chainsaw leg.

Like most boomer arena shooters, movement is your greatest asset. Sliding is one of the biggest mechanics and lets you mow down smaller, weaker enemies with ease. Your double jump is a bit weak and can’t reach places you’d think so it’s kind of a bummer in that regard.

Weapons and even your body full of cybernetics can be upgraded and augmented for more damage, more ammo capacity, alternate firing modes and more. There are vendors in the form of Bossa nova music vending machines from which you can purchase augments, ammo, upgrades, and stimpacks.

There’s a good amount of platforming and traversal of areas you’ve been through that require you to move forward. Collectibles are scattered throughout the levels, and eliminating any enemies you encounter will lead you to a full run. These items alone for blind play are perfect for you to master your craft and scorch the enemies.

No, there’s nothing wrong with your graphics settings, it’s just how it looks. Its low poly aesthetic takes the dystopian future even further with its color scheme and lighting. The low polygon count built-in pixel art definitely hits differently when killing enemies and the gore is all over the place.

It could almost be a warning label in itself. This game is VERY gory, but it doesn’t stay on screen long, so you won’t have to worry about clutter when you cross areas again. Additionally, the HUD is very non-intrusive since it is minimal in almost every way.

Each area is different enough to be memorable, such as the underground metro, pleasure docks, and more. Spending time in these areas and becoming familiar with them is easy due to the amount of detail that goes into each level of design. Some spots are scary and some are technologically beautiful, which is why this game has all the charm it has.

As you might have already guessed, the music is a wave of hardcore cyberpunk synth. The hard rock genre also pops up and can almost make you guess what game you’re playing. It’s a shameless homage to old and even new games.

The grunts, body parts hitting the ground, and the sound of gunfire all have a pleasant and satisfying feel to them. Enemies also sound like they came straight from the past with animal growls and roars.

There’s also a voiceover that helps move the story forward and gives you clues about where to go next. Vending machines also have funny dialogues but have a limited number of lines you will hear, so you can hear them more than once in the same transaction. Other than that small detail, it’s a great audio design to go along with the great gameplay and setting.

There are a myriad of difficulty modes to choose from so everyone can join in the fun and hone their skills to do harder difficulties. One problem that I think a lot of arena shooters suffer from is overstaying their home with levels that are too long or too much platforming. Turbo boost doesn’t suffer from it and is short enough that you can beat it in a few hours.

Love letters like this are rarely seen and hopefully it will be more visible as the barrier to entry is low. Acquiring new upgrades and learning new strategies is the most fun you’ll have with very little to no downside. For the most part, it’s a complete and fun game that scratches that itch for something outside of Eternal destiny.

Turbo Boost will launch via early access on April 22, a price is set at $19.95, and the game will be on Steam. A full version is planned later on PC (via Steam, GOG and Epic Games Store), Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 sometime in 2022.

Turbo Boost was previewed on PC using a copy provided by Apogee Entertainment. You can find additional information on Niche Gamer’s Review/Ethics Policy here.

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