Overpass hands-on preview: Gone muddin'

Bigben Games latest racing sim is looking to offer up players a realistic off-road experience. We had an opportunity to get an early look at what it's like behind the wheel.

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I honestly was not sure what to expect from Overpass before going into my hands-on demo. I really haven’t spent a lot of time with racing sims, and even less time with the off-road variety. However, after some brief hands-on time with a work-in-progress PC build of the upcoming racing sim from Bigben Games I actually had a pretty solid grasp of what it takes to race off the beaten path.

Overpass features sim-style off-road racing
Overpass features sim-style off-road racing

I’ve played several arcade-style off-road racers, but none of them really had any nuance to them. So when I tried to floor it through the coastal sand dunes of the first level I sampled, I quickly learned just how much thought I would have to put into each obstacle that I encountered. And there are a lot of obstacles in Overpass, both organic and man-made. Players will have to weave around tree stumps, climb over stacks of logs and rock formations, and delicately balance their vehicle over see-saws just to name a few trepidations. Players will have to make sure they don’t stray off course or skip over any obstacles, otherwise their lap time will be penalized.

While there will be several vehicles to choose from once Overpass launches, I was only able to get behind the wheel of what I’d call a standard dune buggy. On the track I was able to switch between 2-wheel, four-wheel, and front-wheel drive depending on what I needed to traverse the obstacle in my way. Vehicles can also take damage to each individual wheel and the frame during races which affects the quality of their performance and could eventually lead to them breaking down completely.

Be prepared to take on rugged terrain.
Be prepared to take on rugged terrain.

Before my first race on the beach was over I had already adopted a more tactical approach to each obstacle in my path. It feels like everything is about being meticulous and cautious around every hazard you face off against on the course. My second race took me to rocky, forested, mountainside course that had a lot more vertical features that the beach, so players should expect a decent amount of variety from track to track.

Along with some very nuanced sim racing, Overpass also has plenty to do off the track. Players will be able to purchase several licensed vehicles and customize their various parts for better performance. A variety of cosmetic options will also be available such as new paint jobs for vehicles and driver accessories like helmets, goggles, and gloves.

If you’re a fan of off-road racing, especially the kind that offers up a realistic challenge, you’ll want to keep an eye on Overpass as it gets closer to launch. As of right now, the game is set to launch in February 27, 2020 for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on more details as we get closer to launch.

Reviews Editor

Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, www.cartoonviolencemusic.com. If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 30, 2020 6:00 AM

    Blake Morse posted a new article, Overpass hands-on preview: Gone muddin'

    • reply
      January 30, 2020 10:00 AM

      Nice write up. I have a few questions!
      1. Does this have any terrain deformation and, if so, does it affect handling in any way?
      2. You mentioned that this game took terrain traversal seriously — do the vehicles offer selectable 4WD or AWD modes?
      3. Is there any option for differential locking or traction control systems?
      4. When you get into trouble, do the vehicles simply reset themselves out of thin air or do you need to winch them?
      5. Does throttle control matter at all for rock climbing/traversal? Also is accelerating/breaking limited to which tires are physically making contact with surfaces?
      6. Are the licensed vehicles true to life with available options or do all the vehicles of a type just use different skins?
      7. Any multiplayer mode planned?
      8. The article mentions an October 2020 release, but the EGS page shows it releasing within a month. Is this getting a staggered release for consoles?

      Thanks in advance!

      • reply
        January 30, 2020 10:27 AM

        My bad, I missed the part where you covered 4WD selection!

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