It’s Frantically Fun with Turbo Overkill Early Access in Review

6 May

Turbo OverkillTrigger Happy Interactive
Apogee Entertainment

Available on Steam for the PC

What would you do if you find that everyone in your city has been turned into violent half-cybernetic war machines, bent on taking over the world for a malicious artificial intelligence called Syn? As a cyborg with a chainsaw hidden in your leg and missile launchers up your sleeves, you’ll fight your way through the streets and take back the city. Blasting your way through hordes of enemies to put an end to the AI’s plans once and for all! 

Turbo Overkill is simply a love letter to the 90s. It’s a first-person shooter that mimics what computers were capable of back in the early days of 3D accelerator cards while adding some modern touches like reflections and proper environmental lighting. The level design, brightly glowing power-ups, colour-coded keys, jump pads, and a huge variety of ways to blow up your enemies just screams mid-90s shooter. Playing this early access game over the last few days really brings back memories of playing Quake, Unreal tournament and Duke Nukem 3D for the first time.

The first thing I noticed is the fantastic music! The electronica/rock soundtrack gets you pumped up for the action and helps keep the adrenaline flowing as you play.

By modern standards, the levels appear simply designed with low resolution, unfiltered textures that definitely feel like what you would find in shooters of the mid to late 1990s. But it’s hardly a bland experience with the great environmental effects and neon lights illuminating every corner of the city, making every scene feel like a mashup of Minecraft, Tron, and Cyberpunk 2077.

A Thug Shooting it Out in Turbo Overkill

The game starts you off with the ability to double-jump, air-dash, and even gives you a baseball-slide with a chainsaw that mows down enemies as you go. This exceptional level of mobility really helps when you begin to see how vertical Turbo Overkill can be. But the speed that you move at can be frustrating when trying to make precise movements and jumps in smaller spaces. Fortunately, there is no fall damage, and you even have the ability to jump into the water and swim below the surface. I didn’t notice any areas where falling to your death was a problem.

Your cybernetics and weapons are upgradable at the Bioshocklike vending machines you’ll find throughout the city. You’ll collect new skills and abilities. Some are passive, such as gaining armour for chainsaw-sliding through enemies, while others are directly controlled like the explosive shotgun blast which you can use to launch yourself even higher into the air than you can normally jump.

I saw a few bugs in the presentation such as the occasional broken skybox. Pressing jump underwater causes some buggy behavior, and when you step undercover from the drizzle–all the rain stops everywhere. But it’s a work in progress and nothing I came across hurt the classic gaming goodness.

I only have a couple of minor criticisms in what I’ve played so far. In the heat of battle, all the enemy types tend to blur together as you zoom around, making it hard to focus on priority targets in a crowd. The other issue I had was that with how quickly you move forward, it can be hard to pull off precise platforming in small spaces.

If you’re craving some good old high-speed fragging with gibs flying everywhere, Turbo Overkill is definitely a blast.

Rating: 8/10


  • Fast and brutal gameplay
  • Great Soundtrack
  • Best use of a chainsaw since Doom


  • Movement is too fast and floaty for platforming
  • Unsatisfying weapon sound effects


Currently in Early access on Steam along with a free demo to try.


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