Note to all publishers and developers: If you are going to make a Grand Theft Auto clone, don?t half-ass it. Case-in-point the newest game from Eidos, Total Overdose: A Gunslinger?s Tale in Mexico. This is a prime example of what not to do when making a game. TO lacks everything a finished game should have, like smooth controls, sharp graphics, an interesting story, likable audio, and any kind of polish. Do Eidos a favor, and show them you want good games and not stinking piles of crap by refusing to buy or even rent this game. The only good thing this title has going for it is a stylish name. It?s too bad it seems like developer Deadline Games spent more time thinking up the name than on the game itself.
Total Overdose is the story of brothers Tommy and Ramiro ?Ram? Cruz. The plot has the Cruz brothers trying to find out why and how their father, a DEA agent, was double crossed by dirty agents and killed. The game starts you out in the jungle on a drug bust as the Cruz father. During the mission you are told the controls through on screen text. At first glance the controls seem easy to use, but as the game progresses you will find that the controls become buggy and difficult to handle, but more on that later. Anyway, back to the plot, as the mission ends we see the father thrown out of an airplane by the dirty cops. We are then treated to another short mission with Tommy Cruz as he tries to get revenge for his father?s death. During his rampage however, Tommy gets injured, and enlists the help of his recently freed from jail brother, Ramiro. We then see Tommy explaining to his boss what happened when Ramiro took over. So Total Overdose: A Gunslinger?s tale in Mexico is more of a retelling of finished events, and this is where the bulk of the story takes place.
A Gunslinger?s Tale in Mexico takes place in the fictional city of Los Toros. While the game is basically a waste of everyone?s time, it can serve as an invaluable tool for gathering information about Mexico. Americans can learn a lot of little known tidbits about Mexico from playing this title. For instance, did you know Mexico has a great deal of exploding tanks and barrels? Almost every alley or open space in this game has a handful of tanks and barrels sitting around just waiting to be shot at. Also it?s a little known fact that crime lords employ retarded henchmen to patrol these combustible containers on the regular. Since the goons are retarded they will actually take cover behind the containers when a shootout ensues. Some will even stand still in front of them. Basically the henchmen beg you to blow them up on every mission. It should be pointed out that the murder of any person in TO would be viewed as euthanasia, seeing as the characters in this game are badly rendered and are painful to look at. Everything looks like it?s from a second year PS2 project. With games evolving into amazing works of entertainment and art, it is unacceptable to have artificial intelligence and graphics this underwhelming in a video game. Even the pedestrians are dumb and suicidal. When you steal cars the drivers will stay in the car and just move over to the passenger seat. The A.I. is too dumb to get out of a vehicle that?s being car jacked! If you?re driving quickly down one of the hundreds of similar looking dirt roads, these same stupid pedestrians will literally jump into the path of your speeding car or truck. That?s right, instead of getting out of harm?s way they will dive into oncoming traffic.
According to TO Mexico also has a hell of a lot of ramps to jump with cars. Ramps in alley ways, on sidewalks, on barren pieces of land, and even on top of buildings. I guess flying cars and driving on the roofs of establishments is a normality down south. The ramps are a knock off of the ?insane jump stunts? found in the Grand Theft Auto games. They aren?t really used for insane stunts though. Actually, the ramps are in the game so you can reach points floating in the air. When it comes to the weapon system, since there aren?t gun stores in the game, you run around either looking for points or weapon icons in order to gain the ability to dual wield each different type of gun. Some of the guns you get to run around with are pistols, sawed off shotguns, combat shotguns, Uzi, SMGs, rifles, and six shooters. Ramiro also gets Molotov cocktails, bats, shovels, rakes, machetes, and grenades. One of the few cool things you can do is toss a grenade and shoot it in the air to make a slightly bigger explosion. The thing is when you are in a fire fight you probably won?t remember how to do it or in most case that you even can do it. You can come across lame gun dispensers all around Los Toros as well. One thing you can?t do is shoot out of cars like in the last handful of Grand Theft Auto titles. Besides holding two guns at once, another ability you have is bullet time. You can also find adrenaline icons to boost the amount of time you can slow things down for. One positive for the adrenaline is that the bullet time does work very well for head shots.
You also get some special weapon/abilities to use in the game. You can obtain powers such as ?Golden Gun? for one shot kills, ?Tornado? makes you spin around in the air with a gun in each hand shooting everyone around you, ?El Toro? which is easily one of the dopiest superpowers in gaming history in that you run around in a fit of rage like a rampaging bull (it?s really quite idiotic), and lastly you can acquire the power of the movie Desperado and trigger the ?Mariachi? ability of shooting guitar case styled chain guns. You select these abilities by pressing right and left on the d-pad and use them by pressing up on the pad. The powers are nice, but you really won?t need to use them much because dual wielding and bullet time work like a charm for taking care of the bad guys.
The game can get a little interesting in some spots, but even when things do start to get good you run into control issues. As stated earlier, the controls seem easy at first, but as you continue throughout the campaign you?ll realize there are major issues. For example, aiming isn?t very precise at all. Often times you will accidentally shoot something or someone you didn?t meant to target. Climbing appears to be easy at first glance because you just have to walk towards something. Again, though, you realize everything is not as it seems. You will accidentally climb on top of vehicles quite a few times, and then there will be instances when you want to climb something but the developers didn?t want you to, so you won?t be able to because of an invisible wall.
The camera is complete junk when it comes to automobiles. You can?t look behind your car when driving and you can?t move the camera at all when in reverse. It may be a blessing in disguise though, seeing as there are only a few different kinds of ugly cars in the entire game. I guess Eidos thought if they changed the colors of the cars we wouldn?t notice that there are only about 4 or 5 different kinds of vehicles. The car physics have bugs too. Within 20 minutes of playing the game for the first time, my car got stuck sideways to a pole and I couldn?t break free. It seemed like the game noticed something was wrong because it looked like it kept trying to reset the car but it didn?t know how. The game just kept fading to black and then putting me right back at the stuck pole.
Another issue with the controls is navigation. The map is absolutely worthless. It doesn?t show anything that is helpful at all. No streets, no landmarks, no save points, nothing. All that is shown is a couple of stars representing missions. But because nothing shows up on the map, it?s a crap shoot as to how to get there. And while you?re driving around this bland city you?ll realize the place is pretty lifeless. Well, that?s not totally true. While you will struggle at times to find a save point, you will see a sex shop on almost ever other corner. There are more sex shops in this game than there are save points! And before you ask, no, you can not make Ram go into the shops. The city is still boring as hell because the citizens just walk around doing nothing (yet another fact about Mexico), there are no side missions, everything is either brown, red, or green, and the ?Day of the Dead? and Mexican wrestler mini games are terrible, even by quick fix ADD standards.
The audio is pretty lame also, but it?s the best thing Total Overdose has going for it. There really isn?t any music in the game except for very little bits every now and then. The engine sounds for the cars are all wrong. There?s not even that much voice acting because most missions are given to you through the magical world of screen text. The gun sound effects are the sole bright spot for the sound department. All the different weapons have a nice bit of audio variety and sound like they can do real damage. That?s about it.
There really is no replay value for Total Overdose: A Gunslinger?s Tale in Mexico. It?s too easy and it does nothing very well. I even suffered from a little motion sickness from it. So when I say this game made me sick to my stomach, it?s no exaggeration. Overall, Overdose feels like it was an idea from Rockstar for a GTA game that was scrapped very early, and then Deadline Games went dumpster diving and found the concept and decided to make the game by doing as little work as possible. If you?ve already played all the Grand Theft Auto games and are looking for something else, try True Crime: Streets of L.A. instead, or just replay the superior GTA games. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, well, to that I say there is not one thing in this whole mess of a video game that a successful and innovative company like Rockstar should take as flattery. If Eidos wanted to show people how to make a piece of junk game and fool people into wasting there money on an over hyped title, then they succeeded admirably. Stay away from Total Overdose at all costs.