Override: Mech City Brawl is a surprisingly fun time, at least, for the first few hours. It's a relatively simple brawler featuring big colourful robots, and when you're stomping around a destructible stage smashing your opponent through multiple blocks of skyscrapers, it's hard not to enjoy yourself. But look beyond its shiny exterior, and you'll soon find that Override doesn't quite have the nuance to back its clear competitive claims.

Put it this way: you're not going to be seeing Override on stage at Evo 2019. It works well enough as a party-based brawler, but it's just too cumbersome and unbalanced to be anything more. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. The game purposefully makes each playable mech feel weighty, with every punch and kick landing with a satisfyingly metal 'clunk'. Over time we even began to appreciate the title's lack of speed, but we doubt that's a selling point for any competitive fighting game.

It's funny too, because Override's presentation screams esports. Most of the menus and overlays look like they were ripped straight out of Overwatch, which, now that we write it down, has a suspiciously similar name. In any case, you're best off getting a couple of friends over for casual matches if you want to get the most out of this one, and that's partly because the single player content isn't that great.

Arcade mode sees you embark on a mission-based campaign in which you can steadily upgrade your chosen mech. There's a story involving an alien invasion that takes you from one main battle to the next, and despite being just about as shallow as you'd expect, you can tell that the developer had fun with it and its B movie tropes. Indeed, it's the actual missions that don't quite hold up, as repetition sinks in after just several outings.

The campaign isn't terrible by any means, but as the game's spotlighted single player mode, it's just a bit boring. And unfortunately, "a bit boring" is a criticism that you can apply to Override as a whole. Once you've taken each mech for a spin and seen all of their special movies, there's just not much more to see or do. The combat system does have its wrinkles, like timed counters and randomly spawning weapons, but it never feels like there's enough of a learning curve to keep you hooked.

Okay, so if the combat itself is fun but lacking and the single player stuff doesn't quite hit the mark, then why don't you just hop online? Well, you can, but we struggled to find many matches. As is often the case with smaller releases like this, there only seems to be a small number of players testing their skills online. There's obviously not much that you can do about it, but it's worth keeping in mind if you're thinking of becoming a pilot.

Conclusion

Override: Mech City Brawl is good fun with a friend or two sitting on your sofa, but it lacks the kind of depth that a smaller release like this needs to be consistently compelling. The game's got some cool mech designs and watching big robots tumble through buildings is always enjoyable, but it's just not quite enough to carry the rest of the release.