While the sales numbers have shown that the Xbox One didn't need to ship with a blockbuster exclusive to sell systems, strong games will need to come along sooner rather than later. History would claim that a tried-and-true, established brand is the best tool for the job, but Microsoft's leadership has made its belief in new IPs well known. And none is more intriguing than Sunset Overdrive.
There's a good chance that some may have overlooked the next title from Insomniac Games given how much time has passed without further coverage, but a new batch of rumored story details is sure to change all that. Not a moment too soon, as the same rumors claim the game will hit store shelves this October.
The new details come from the same NeoGAF insider responsible for the series of Halo rumors and the white Xbox One console Microsoft will make available to the public later this year. According to that source, the white console will go on sale this October, alongside the release of Sunset Overdrive and a "fancy" new controller. We'd like to think that given the outrageous art style seen in every piece of Sunset Overdrive material so far, a special console would be developed to be just as memorable, but only time will tell.
Beyond the release date, new rumors surrounding the story and premise of the game were also given. The surprise announcement trailer was all it took to get lapsed Insomniac fans excited, as the vibrant designs and ludicrous weaponry called back to Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet & Clank - while pitching a brand new universe created for the leap from Sony- to Xbox One-exclusivity.
According to the anonymous source, Sunset Overdrive takes place in the near-future - the sheer volume and obnoxious nature of billboards and advertising is clearly a commentary on pop culture - as the population has fallen victim to the most nefarious of villains: an energy drink.
A drink called 'OverCharge Delirium XT,' to be more specific, which either turns human beings into the hulking, mutated monsters visible in the trailer, or kills them outright. These reports are the only hint at the game's story so far, and given the presence of said beverage in both marketing and gameplay, it's not too far-fetched an idea.
Once the population of the game's city has been transformed (or forced to survive alongside the player character), the players will be forced to contend with the mutated monstrosities now populating it, as well as the corporation responsible for the product, now having locked down the city as whole.
Described as "a living world game" when it was first announced as only possible using the Xbox One, it was clear Insomniac were looking to do more than simple action; that much was clear when the announcement trailer featured multiplayer characters coming to the hero's aid. The source doesn't offer much detail on how Sunset Overdrive will innovate with online play, but does offer this:
"Supposedly there is managed content that will be developed for an entire year, as it is an open/breathable world."
Whether that "managed content" is story-driven, online missions, or yet another case of MMO gameplay seeping into console gaming is still unclear. But if the game is releasing in October, then expect to hear more from both Insomniac and Microsoft in the coming months.
What are your hopes for Sunset Overdrive? Are you happy to see Insomniac getting to experiment after years of sequels, or will you wait to see more of their next project before getting excited?
Sunset Overdrive is being developed exclusively for the Xbox One for an unannounced release date.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.