is exactly the kind of action that you would want
to find south of the border - if you were an incredibly
talented serial killer fuelled by revenge. Total Overdose:
A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico is an uber-violent game
in the tradition of Max Payne but much more open and
colorful since it takes place mostly outdoors in rural
and urban Mexico as opposed to dreary abandoned hotels,
warehouses and subway tunnels.
Overdose does tend to overdo it at time with a super-hero,
super-human gunfighter kid that has more moves than
a regular comic book hero. But since we get to play
as this kid, Ram, it's not such a bad thing. He's
got a lot of over-the-top moves which are like mom's
fine China in that you only bring them out on special
occasions - like when the boss comes over to kill
you. It's quite possible to get through the majority
of the game with ordinary moves but you're still going
to have to learn how to handle a small arsenal of
is the perfect setting for this action-based game
that involves various drug cartels and their war lords.
A young and obviously talented gunslinger is out to
avenge the death of their father who worked for the
DEA and was apparently murdered in the line of duty
by being administered an overdose. The streets are
gritty and marvelously tacky, decorated in gaudy primary
colors while the bad guys are typically fat, greasy
bastards that are just begging to be shot at.
the bad guys is very satisfying. The blood flows and
the screams of agony fill the air, although they are
somewhat muffled by the sounds of dual Uzis. One incredible
move is called the Tornado and is the perfect solution
to clearing a path through a gang of enemies. You
launch yourself into the air and proceed to twist
around like a tornado while unloading your Uzis in
all directions. Other moves like black flips, cartwheels,
head butts and wall jumps can also be accessed - it's
a little bit like driving a stunt car. There are plenty
of chains and combos to make which will increase your
move that you will use more than most is the Max Payne-inspired
bullet time move that slows down everything onscreen
but you, allowing you to unload a ton of led into
various enemies before they even hit the ground. The
El Mariachi is a weapon-based move that involves two
guitar cases filled with chainguns and tons of ammo.
It's even effective against bosses.
shotguns and even rocket launchers are at your disposal.
They do a lot of damage and you'll be able to do even
more damage if you unlock dual weapons. The targeting
system is accurate and it feels organic, not like
some lock-on systems that do most of the work for
you while you just button mash.
fighting is the best part of Total Overdose but too
much of a good thing can get boring so you can expect
some other elements to take up the slack. Exploring
will give you some breathing room and let you experience
the varied Mexican environments while searching for
power-ups and other unlockables while the story unfolds.
Often you'll have to go out of your way to get these
power-ups as they may be located at the top of buildings
in which case you'll have to zip line your way from
rooftop to rooftop like Spider-Man.
The storyline is forced upon you in a linear fashion
but there are some side-quests that you can take that
have nothing to do with the story but could enhance
your inventory and upgrade your skills. It also lets
you break from the rigid, linear path to have a little
bit of fun on your own.
like a movie, Total Overdose employs semi-realistic
graphics with a hint of cartoon, not unlike the Grand
Theft Auto series. In fact you'll find a lot of similarities
to Grand Theft Auto including the ability to drive
vehicles but they are very sloppy to control and not
much fun. Thankfully they don't dominate the gameplay.
The violence is graphic - and the graphics are violent.
There's lots of blood and bodies so make sure the
kids don't get a hold of this one. The voiceacting
is professionally done and the music, although there
is a lot of hip-hop which isn't my favorite by any
stretch, manages to marry itself to the game perfectly.
Overdose is a darn good adventure and one that should
be taken by every serious gamer. It may not take the
place of any Grand Theft Auto game but it could certainly
hold its own against Max Payne.