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Turbo Overkill Feels Like A Modern Day Doom Eternal But With A Chainsaw Leg

Platform(s): PC (version reviewed), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One
Genre: Retro-FPS

Turbo Overkill is a game that’s been around for about a year now but has been in Beta until now. With the release of Episode 3 Part 1 or “The Final Episode” also comes the official 1.0 Patch of the game which aims to fix a lot of the bugs which have been plaguing the game since it touched Steam.

But before we get into the thick of it, I should introduce Turbo Overkill. Meet the lead character, Johnny Turbo – a moniker that carries some street cred. The masterminds behind this game are Trigger Happy Interactive, and they’re pulling no punches. Johnny Turbo is like a blend of machine and human, with some serious madness thrown in. Think arm rockets and a hidden leg chainsaw (dubbed the Cheg) for some serious enemy slicing. Published by Apogee Entertainment, the folks responsible for hits like Duke Nukem and Rise of the Triad, this game has solid origins.


A Darkened Paradise

Imagine this: Johnny’s back in his hometown, now transformed into a nightmare thanks to an evil AI, Syn, in control. Our main man Johnny’s buried in debt and desperate, but here’s the scoop – he’s a gun for hire, and if he can knock Syn out of Paradise, his debts are history.

But it’s no cakewalk. Not only does Johnny have rival bounty hunters on his tail, but the city is swarming with Syn’s cronies. Thankfully, Johnny’s got some tricks hidden away. Those arm rockets and leg chainsaws (aka Cheg) aren’t just for show. And if that’s not enough, there’s a full arsenal to choose from, including Twin Magnums and a teleporting sniper rifle called the Telefragger. Plus, there’s the Hero Time move for some time-slowing action, reminiscent of Max Payne. You can even upgrade your weapons and abilities with the cash you earn.

Now we’re talking episodes. Turbo Overkill now unfolds in three acts, loaded with fresh weaponry, adversaries, and other treats to keep players engaged. The game pays homage to FPS classics like Doom and Quake by going the episodic route. However, it’s not all smooth sailing; the breakneck tempo takes a hit. Nostalgia’s cool, but sometimes, pulling too hard on those reins slows things down more than intended.

Imagine navigating through various settings – gritty streets, futuristic sewers, neon-drenched corridors. Each area is meticulously designed with platforms and edges to enhance the gameplay. The fights become a chaotic symphony of sorts, where the chainsaw leg takes centre stage, creating a thrilling spectacle like riding a river of blood while dissecting entrails.


Nostalgia with a Twist

But wait, there’s more! Swing around like a certain wall-crawler with a grappling hook, go all ethereal while running on walls, and even slide off your air car onto unsuspecting foes. Turbo Overkill’s visuals give off that 16-bit vibe, like Blade Runner and Doom in one, but with a modern touch courtesy of Unreal Engine 5. Neon-lit rainy streets? Check. Holographic palm trees? You bet.

The firepower? It’s no joke. Big explosions and even bigger carnage, turning adversaries into pixelated chaos. It’s like a pixel party you don’t want to miss. The action is crazy, Quake-level madness. You’ve got to keep moving or you’re toast. And prepare for some old-school key hunting to unlock new sections – feels straight from the Quake playbook.

But as Turbo Overkill gears up for its 1.0 launch, it encounters a hurdle. Some of the cooler features, like the grappling hook and slow-mo function, arrive later than expected, dampening the initial excitement. However, a late-game treat arrives in the form of a rail gun, allowing teleportation into enemies for an explosive finale. It’s a letdown that such a gem doesn’t get more screen time. As the game progresses, Johnny’s ascent feels more like a sluggish climb than a triumphant rise.

Turbo Overkill is a wild ride, no doubt. The pace is relentless, weaving in moments of platforming that involve leaping, dashing, and grappling. When equipped with a variety of weapons, it’s like handling a deck of cards, each capable of creating utter chaos. There’s even space for piloting ships and speeding on bikes with mounted miniguns. Personal favourites? Power-ups, particularly the power-fist that flattens mutants with style.

Within this whirlwind, a touch of irony emerges. The game propels you forward at breakneck speed, launching into arenas teeming with jump pads and adversaries. It’s all about adrenaline and velocity, yet at times, a pause in the rhythm seems inviting. Something to interrupt the ceaseless back-and-forth between speed and frenzy. These moments are rare, and when they do appear, they deliver delightful surprises. Sadly, they’re far too infrequent.

Yearning for more velocity? Look no further than Turbo Overkill’s Everlasting Mode. It’s a treat, allowing you to customize everything from starting gear to enemy intensity, as you battle waves of adversaries. But to be honest, it’s more of a quick thrill for when time’s in short supply.


Humour and Excitement

Now, let’s talk humour. Turbo Overkill has an edgy sense of humour. Not only does it poke fun at our futuristic predictions, but it also takes a jab at societal problems. And they’re not holding back, dropping jokes left and right, hitting the target more often than not. Even the Cheg runs into hiccups, needing a reboot – talk about character comedy gold.

Speaking of the Cheg, there’s a minor issue with level design. Too many flat spaces make it a tad tricky to fully enjoy the chainsaw antics. And the architecture isn’t striving for realism – it’s like a gaming playground that might leave you turned around.


The Story is a Sidekick

The story isn’t much to behold. Yes, it’s present, but it’s mainly there to give some context to the carnage. This isn’t a game to evoke tears over fallen mutants. The main goal? Lock, load, and dive into the action. The rogue AI subplot acts as a convenient target for all that pent-up aggression.


Making Stages…

And now, the level editor. It’s intuitive, enabling you to construct levels using a variety of assets. Yet, the real gem lies in exploring levels created by other players. I stumbled upon a creation named “High Rise” – a level that could easily pass as part of the main game. Ingenious enemy placement, captivating choices, and plenty of grappling points – it ticked all the boxes.

On the grand stage, Turbo Overkill ramps up the action and style beyond expectations, resembling the sensation of cranking the energy dial to the max and keeping the pedal to the metal. The levels themselves transform into arenas for the chainsaw leg’s annihilative prowess. However, this relentless pacing brings its own set of limitations. The delay in unleashing Johnny’s full potential and the constant deluge of similar adversaries can start to wear thin. Yet, if you’re up for around 15 hours of mutant-demolishing amusement, Turbo Overkill might be precisely what you’re looking for. A word of wisdom? Approach it in spurts, or you’ll fizzle out faster than a firework on New Year’s Eve.

But let’s not forget the musical vibes – FPS tunes pack a punch, and Turbo Overkill nails it. Synth melodies amp up the action, while heavy metal tracks crank up the intensity during those heart-pounding moments. It’s as if the game is a live concert, and you’re the star performer.

Trigger Happy Interactive has really outdone itself. Turbo Overkill is unadulterated pandemonium, a whirlwind of visuals and soundscapes. If you’re chasing that adrenaline rush akin to the high-speed action of Doom Eternal, this game is here to satisfy that craving.

In wrapping up, Turbo Overkill delivers a distinctive fusion of humour, breakneck action, and imaginative gameplay mechanics for a boomer shooter. While this throwback FPS boasts numerous strengths including its concept, humour, and visual flair, it doesn’t come without certain challenges, particularly in terms of level design, controls, and potential spikes in difficulty.


  • Unique concepts and characters
  • Variety of weapons and abilities
  • Humour and storytelling
  • Retro aesthetic with modern touches
  • Fast-paced action
  • Music and sound design


  • Level design issues
  • Platforming challenges
  • Gamepad support issues
  • Overwhelming gameplay elements
  • Late-game augment availability
  • Potential difficulty spike

Final Score: 70/100

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