Overpass 2 Review – Good racing simulator, but not without problems
In 2020, the off-road conquest game Overpass was released – not bad, but rather niche. Three years later, a sequel goes on sale, which again offers to compete on difficult tracks using an expanded set of vehicles. We’ll tell you more about the new product in the review.
- Developer: Neopica
- Publisher: Nacon
- Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC
- Release date: October 16, 2023
Overpass 2 is a rather unusual simulator. The title differs from other racing games with its challenging tracks full of natural and artificial obstacles.
This is close to rally simulators but involves more challenging races. Perhaps the most related to Overpass 2 will be MudRunner and Snowrunner, as well as the defunct All Wheel Drive series. In general, for those who are eager to conquer not perfectly smooth tracks, but difficult off-road conditions, the game will be a breath of fresh air.
While the first part gave the opportunity to ride UTVs and ATVs, the sequel expands the list of cars with all-terrain buggies that are specially adapted for climbing steep rocky slopes. Actually, the gameplay of Overpass 2 invites you to overcome tracks that can’t always be called tracks: they are literally a pile of stones on which cars don’t even drive – they climb.
Each car behaves differently on the road. All-terrain vehicles are balanced and fast. ATVs are unstable, but very nimble and sharp. Buggies are slow but capable of going where other types of vehicles fail. Each type of car has its own tracks: it can be a combined track with relatively flat sections, jumps, and obstacles; a looping track designed for multiplayer madness; a steep uphill climb without clear boundaries; and so on.
To successfully cope with the challenges that the game poses, you need to master the control and behavior of cars. You won’t be able to press the gas thoughtlessly – the all-terrain vehicle will immediately skid, and you will lose control and waste precious seconds trying to restore the car’s position. You need to get used to smoothly accelerating and braking carefully, slowly entering turns, and looking for the optimal route during the race.
For this reason, Overpass 2 is unlikely to become comfortable when playing from the keyboard – you should get a gamepad, or even better, a steering wheel with pedals, which will give the most authentic experience. In the project settings, by the way, there is a choice of control schemes, from the arcade, which is as simplified as possible, to sequential with a clutch, which imitates a real gearbox with the need to hold the clutch when switching. In addition, you can turn on and off ABS, PBS, and ESC by activating the control assistant or, conversely, gaining full control over the car.
During the race, you will have to constantly switch between rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and differential lock: the first allows you to accelerate on straight sections but reduces stability, the second increases the vehicle’s cross-country ability, and the third comes to the rescue in particularly difficult situations. The game allows you to try and compare cars from different manufacturers – Suzuki, Kawasaki, Polaris, and many others, and the upgrade system allows you to replace some parts – tires, suspension, frame, gearbox, engine, which, of course, will affect the behavior of the car.
With driving and physics, Overpass 2 is all right. Each car feels unique, and the tracks are moderately challenging and varied. The game perfectly conveys the mood of “overcoming”, when you really try to cope with the road, and not just ride for fun. The impressions are spoiled only by the AI competitors, who are frankly stupid, behave aggressively and unprofessionally, and often, due to their mistakes, interfere with other racers, including the player.
Meanwhile, the game has problems with other components. Take career mode for example. Here the gamer assembles a team and leads it to success through victories and defeats. In addition to racing, this mode allows you to conduct research, look for sponsors, hire staff, and repair and improve cars. Everything would be fine, but the interface here is so inconvenient and overloaded with unnecessary elements that it completely discourages any desire to tinker with anything other than races. In addition, the career progresses so slowly that progress is almost not felt. But from time to time there are interesting challenges, like a race in a completely “dead” car, ready to fall apart at any moment.
There are other disadvantages as well. The title will “delight” players with drawn-out trials. The average race lasts longer than ten minutes, and this eventually causes boredom. None of the virtual camera modes seem 100% comfortable. The multiplayer lobby is empty – fortunately, at least there is an opportunity to compete with other players on a split screen.
Overpass 2, like its predecessor, remains a niche product for everyone. It’s not a bad game at all, but it lacks polish. And it’s worth considering that even among fans of racing simulators there are few gamers who will be attracted by the theme of off-road combat.