Silently releasing in the build up to Christmas was Override 2: Super Mech League, a title which holds the honour of being the first mech brawler on the PS5 and Xbox Series. This follow-up to 2018's Override: Mech City Brawl sees you trade powerful punches and kicks with other players, whilst taking command of several skyscraper sized robots. It might not have been a sequel that we were desperately asking for, but is it still worth checking out?
The combat within Override 2 I would compare to Super Smash Bros., as it is pretty simple to grasp, but there's an extra layer of complexity lying underneath its surface. Players can chain together a series of punches or kicks and can temporarily activate a shield to stagger their opponents and break the flow of combos. They can also throw each other across the arena and can pick up temporary weapons such as grenade launchers, swords, and shotguns to deal some extra damage. The action here is nothing revolutionary, but it's fun in short bursts and it's accessible enough for even those who have yet to pick up a controller.
Besides the classic 1v1 mode, there are two other match types, but these struggle to shake things up in a significant way. There's a 2v2 mode which sees players battle it out in two teams of two, and a free for all brawl mode, where four players go head-to-head. These match types do offer the illusion of more to do, but they really offer nothing new besides upping the total player count. This pales in comparison to a brawler like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which has a Squad Strike mode, a Tourney mode, and even a custom Stage Builder to give players more to do outside of typical battles.
Sadly, there's no story or main single player mode present here either. Instead, there's a Leagues mode, which sees you battle your way up the ranks to become champion. Here players only start with a handful of mechs and the gold that they earn through matches can be spent unlocking more and purchasing accessories and avatars. The Leagues mode really struggled to occupy my attention though, as it's just a series of online matches with no story in between. Sure, there's sponsorships to sign and minor unlocks, but this didn't feel worth the effort required. Unlocking the mechs felt pretty pointless too, as they could all be accessed within Quickplay.
The 20 playable mechs (21 if you've purchased the Ultraman DLC) are easily the best part about Override 2. These come within a variety of different shapes and sizes and their designs feel unique and distinguished from one another. One of my personal favourites is Stardust, a pink and white unicorn that can fire stars at enemies and Sprinkles, a mech that can fire gumballs from the two dispensers on either side of its head. Having not played the original it didn't bother me too much, but it's worth pointing out that many of these debuted within the original game, so be sure not to come into this one expecting a new roster.
There's nine different arenas here for you to beat your opponents to a pulp within, but disappointingly, they feel awfully limited in scope, despite having a few good ideas. Even War of the Monsters that came out 18 years ago on the PS2 had a greater sense of life to it, as screaming pedestrians ran through its streets and choppers hurtled around in the air, desperately trying to take you down. The arenas here are just empty spaces with a few objects scattered around for you to pick up and toss at your foes and the occasional stage hazard like molten lava to avoid. I do really like designs of the cake and casino inspired stages, but they still feel bland and lacking of environmental detail.
Sadly, even just a few weeks after release, lobbies for the game are vacant (at least on the Xbox versions, anyway). Often I'd abandon the search for the players, as it would take too long, but this presented a separate issue as the replacement bots are complete pushovers. When I finally got face-to-face against real world players, it was a real thrill and a competitive threat that the game couldn't otherwise provide. With Override 2 launching on pretty much every modern platform in existence, cross-play is a surprising omission, as it would have certainly helped to unite the community and bulk up lobbies.
Whilst I did find it fun in short bursts, Override 2 really struggled to hold my attention due to its severe lack of content. There's no real core single player mode present and the few game modes that do exist simply inflate the player count. I also found it to be completely barren online, which prevented me from playing against many human players. That said, whilst it doesn't receive a recommendation from me, its simplistic controls make it accessible for all, and I found the design of the mechs to feel both original and unique.
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