Developer Gamecan has been hard at work on their new game Overstep, a futuristic sport of two 3-robot teams that move swiftly around an arena in a high-speed game that is engaging and reminiscent of classic Tony Hawk Pro Skater games. Overstep has some backstory, but it hardly matters once a player starts zooming around the arena.
Tony Hawk, Cybernetic Skater
A major part of victory comes in dominating your opponent with your weapon. However, being a master shot is only a small part of the overall gameplay. No matter how great of a shot you may be, the game is really focused on fluid mobility: sprinting across and arena, gliding on a wall, and grinding on rails.
The best way to describe the movement is to point to the Tony Hawk series of skateboard games. The arena is not a skate park, and your robotic character does not have a skateboard, but the fluid movement and ability to grind off so many surfaces gives the game a distinct feeling of non-stop fast movement. Without a doubt, the movement mechanics are what make Overstep shine so bright.
Combat With Hitscan Weapons And Projectiles
The shooting mechanics appear to be hitscan based, and while this is suited for the gameplay, this is also where some bugs appear. Hit detection should always be consistent, but at times it feels off, particularly when shooting at a target that is moving on the wall or grinding. Perhaps the animation of the movement changes the hitbox of an opponent, as it often feels more consistent to hit an opponent that is not in the middle of a sliding or grinding animation.
Shooting is also problematic when dealing with solid objects. Right now, it feels like most corners and some walls can be shot through to hit an opponent on the other side. Character movement is stopped by these barriers, and there does not seem to be any way to clip into a wall, so this appears only limited to weapon’s fire.
Acrobatic stunts and eliminations all contribute to the HEAT system, and here is where the gameplay could use some work. The HEAT score multiplier ramps up based on how often and one can string together a series of slides, hops, grinds, and overall acrobatics. Once again, this is where the Tony Hawk games feel familiar, because the longer one can pull off a series of great-looking moves, the more points one can get against an opposing team. The HEAT system often feels far more important than it should, and when it comes to future competitive modes, it would be nice if this were toned down in favor or pure scoring mechanics.
This might be asking too much, since the combined flair of acrobatics to create greater score multipliers might be core to the gameplay, but at times it feels like the game rewards acrobatics more than dominating opponents through combat.
In the current form of early access, there is no competitive scene to speak of, but the developers have made it clear that they wish that to be a major component of the game in the future. To achieve this goal, they appear committed to the idea of working towards constant gameplay balance, as well as actively listening and participating in community discussion to take suggestions and ideas from players as the game developers.
The game is currently in early access, and it shows in that there is currently only one playable level and one robot model to customize. In the future this looks like it could be a fantastic competitive game, and it looks like in-game cosmetic purchases will be the primary monetization method for the developer and a great way to individualize your character.
Despite being in early access, theavailable gameplay feels polished outside of a few bugs present related to the gun play. In the future this game could shine with a larger pool of arena maps, a larger player base, and if community involvement in games has taught us anything, a level editor to create our own maps.
With that said, the game has only now entered early access, and the developers state that they have no firm plan for when to formally launch. They do approximate 12-18 months from now, but consumers should be wary of investing too heavily, either with their time or their money, before seeing some additional long-term progress. So many games enter early access, only to disappear after promising future updates.
Moving Around The Arena Is Great Fun, Now They Need To Improve Shooting
Overstep looks promising for the future if the developers do in fact work towards expanding the map pool and would certainly benefit from having a map editor. Overall it will be necessary to ensure that the shooting and combat mechanics of all weapons works without any kind of bugs that exist now in regard to shooting through walls.
If the developers can refine that a little more, there is no doubt that Overstep will be a great game to keep an eye on once it finally leaves early access, hopefully in early 2021.