Overruled is a 2D multiplayer brawler from Dlala Studios and Team 17, pitting up to four players against each other in a match with constantly changing rules. It’s this point that sets the game apart from other similar games, and also where it gets its name, with cards played by competitors overruling the current parameters of the match.
While the concept at the core of Overruled is solid, from the moment you jump into the game I found the style of the characters a little jarring. Apart from finding the models to be a little unappealing–though I’ll give the devs credit for trying a non-pixel art style–a naked clown, anarchist super hero, and a monster called ‘motherlover’ feel a little odd in a game that seems like it’d be well received by a younger age group. I understand that it’s just the style of humour Dlala Studios has gone with, but unfortunately it detracted from the experience for me.But I’ve digressed a little, because once you get past that the game itself is quite fun, especially so with a few friends. This is the second time I’ve taken Overruled for a spin – once at PAX with expo attendees and most recently with members of the media, both delivering quite competitively enjoyable matches. Once you’re in that moment of determination, eager to claw back points or secure a strong lead, the game really comes into its own.
As you run around the small maps you collect cards, as well as gaining them over time. It’s these cards that allow you to affect the short matches, as playing them triggers changes from the game mode to respawn timers, damage boosts, double points or more. When tactically played you can stage quite the comeback, and it’s always entertaining to see you competitors faces after changing the respawn timer to ten seconds and knocking them out.The game modes themselves are simple and they’re able to be transitioned through fairly easily. Coin Grab and King of The Hill came up a lot during my time with Overruled, but modes like Race or Swag Bag–a game where you hold on to a bag for as long as possible while racking up points–mixed it up well. The modes aren’t deep or complex, but allow the game to be easily picked up and fun in short bursts.
One of my main gripes with the game as of this build is the jumping and punching mechanics. I had trouble landing on platforms, with the jump not responding quickly and fluidly enough while zipping around. I’d be midway through a tense race and go to jump platforms for the next checkpoint, bounce off an edge and end up irredeemably behind. The punching didn’t work as well as I’d like either, with what appeared to be hits randomly missing and vice versa. While it’s only a preview build, it’d be nice to see these smoothed out for the final release.At the end of the day, Overruled is quite a fun albeit hollow multiplayer title. While it was quite fun in parts, there were definitely aspects I didn’t enjoy which has me wondering how well the title will be received upon release. That being said, if you’re a fan of 2D brawlers or multiplayer games and are looking for something new to play with friends, Overruled may very well be worth a look.
Overruled launches later in 2015 on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4.