It must be said, the Xbox One Games Store is currently full to the brim with local arena affairs; whether they send you hurtling through a race, dishing out justice in a deathmatch or partnering up in an attempt to defeat an opposing team.
Overruled! however is slightly different. Dlala Studios don’t wish for you to be locked down to racing, they don’t even want you to spend hours on end battling it out in a King of the Hill arena and god forbid, the Essex based indie devs wouldn’t care for you to battle it out to the death with your friends for an entire night in either.
Instead, they want you to do all the above and a ton more as you take on friends and strangers from around the world in a series of games that allows you to make the rules…and change them up should things be going wrong.
Overruled! sees you battling it out in a series of games set across some rather lovingly designed arenas. With nine different characters, all with their own unique personality, you can be sure that no matter which character you choose, all out action hero Indie, crazed naked clown Neapoltian, the downright weird Anti-Hero and more will treat you well, bringing a decent amount of party humour to proceedings.
Hopping around the arena, you’ll be tasked with one thing and one thing only…garner more points than your opponents and come out as the overall Overruled! champion. This is mostly done by meleeing and range attacking your opponents in order to stop them from fulfilling the current objectives, and what can start off as a standard deathmatch will soon be changed to suit the needs of the players in place by the acquisition of game changing cards. Once picked up, the player in question can then amend the rules to their liking and so a match can quickly change from that of Headhunter, fly into a checkpoint race before being magically transformed into a game of King of the Hill at the touch of a button. I have to admit, it can all get a bit manic, especially in the longer timed games with a full quota of four players in place and the constant switching (and overruling of rules if you hold the correct card), can at times get a little tiresome. There are moments when the player will happily be ruling the roost when the game mode changes, only for it to change once more within a second or two of the new rules kicking in and the swiftness is a little overwhelming to say the least.
However, if you don’t like something, then the options are in place to allow you to fully amend things to your way of thinking. There are a number of defined game modes in place, with set times, point scores and the like ensuring that everyone knows exactly where the winning line sits. However, if you decide that you’d rather have a match up over a single minute instead of the standard five, see all players hit with a minuscule amount of health and want to see the rules only changing to include Fire Tag or Swag Bag, then you can do so. 30 different game changing cards and seven different game types will mean that the options are near on endless and will ensure that any party match up with local friends could, in theory, last forever!
Unfortunately though, if you attempt to set about ruling the entire world, you’ll find a bit of a stumbling block. The options are there for everything to initially seem fine, being able to go and match-make against others either alone or with your local party, but the fact of the matter is that you’ll struggle to find a game. There is quite obviously a reason that we’ve seen so many other digital only titles arrive on the console with local multiplayer only and it is that the vast majority of online gamers flock to the big titles, leaving the smaller indie studios to struggle filling rooms. It’s a bit of a dampener for Overruled! but of course, if you can persuade a few friends to hop on board, or do finally manage to match up with a stranger, then you should be in for a good manic time.
But Overruled! shouldn’t be dismissed as a multiplayer only title.
Also included is a challenge mode that, whilst at first glance looks to be a bit of an add-on, turns out to be a comprehensive affair giving those without friends plenty to get involved with. Giving you the chance to play with each and every one of the nine characters included in Overruled!, the challenge maps bring 54 completely unique arenas in which you’ll have to fulfill a single goal. It’s a great way to hone your skills and check out every one of the strange, quirky characters on offer…and believe me, they are real strange and real quirky.
Depending on how well you do, you’ll be awarded bronze, silver and gold medals; as long as you manage to grab the former of these, then you’ll automatically unlock the next level and ultimately work your way round to unveiling each of the characters. You’ll probably find that the vast majority of the challenges on offer can be completed fairly easily, with only a few really pushing any skills to a high degree. That said, nobody wants a bronze medal to their name and you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that tactics and strategy are key to those who wish to reach the top step of the podium on each stage. In fact, the replayability included ensures that the solo mode is indeed a thorough affair and one that is hugely enjoyable…more enjoyable in fact than the main multiplayer event.
Overruled may start off as a fairly decent multiplayer title; one that is perfect for those who have a party night to fill and have a host who wants to give their friends something a little different. It does however soon become an in-depth tactical romp through a delightful single player mode that will take some time to fully gold medal. The inclusion of more levels and characters would however have been lovely and the nine personality campaigns that are currently on offer are quickly done and dusted.
Whether you’ve got some friends on board or just fancy hacking around by yourself, Overruled! should have you covered with a fun outlook on life that brings about change by the day, hour, minute and second. Just be aware that you may well struggle to take that hack onto the online scene and unless you really feel the need to gold standard those solo challenges, will find it all over a bit too quickly.