Fighting video games have it tough in the view of critical players. Regardless of how fun or well-thought out their mechanics, characters, abilities, and (in some cases) stories may be, they often get reduced to being “cool violence.”
From classics such as the Street Fighter franchise, to slightly more modern genre staples such as Mortal Kombat, too little attention is paid to the efforts in story-telling or character development found in these games. Indeed, Mortal Kombat has currently circled its own history and timeline enough to make any member of the X-Men proud (especially if your last name is Summers… or Grey).
Unfortunately, Override 2: Super Mech League is one of those all out brawlers that does more to hamper the perception of fighting games rather than enhance it. As a game, its premise is simple and, honestly, pretty satisfactory unto itself: you play as and against giant-sized robots straight out of your standard Japanese mecha content.
While the original Override featured a barebones story for its single-player mode in accompaniment to both online and offline multiplayer gameplay modes, Override 2 skips any pretence of an actual narrative, opting to instead up the sheer scale of combat and characters, with a significant expansion to its line-up of mecha combatants. There is a thread about ascending levels on a league, but it exists purely as expository dialogue you’d do well to skip.
Unfortunately, despite its awesome premise (I mean, robots bashing robots? How can that not be epic?!) the game never seems to deliver a satisfactory visceral tone. In all, it almost feels like there was concern of it being too violent… which is somewhat counterintuitive to the genre of the game in itself. That said, Override 2 seems to be aware of its less-than-awesome depiction of robot-on-robot action (yes, I intended for that to sound wrong) and leans instead on its Soulcalibur-esque use of characters licensed from other franchises–in this case, Ultraman.
Available as part of the Ultraman Deluxe Edition, the Override 2 roster sees the addition of Ultraman (2011), Bemular (2011), Dan Moroboshi (Ultraseven), and Black King. While the characters certainly lend the novelty of playing as figures from one of the original tokusatsu franchises, their general lack of unique gameplay prevents any real immersion.
Override 2: Super Mech League is no doubt a fun romp and might scratch some very specific itches you may have, but seems to be adamant in remaining in the “just okay” field of the fighting game spectrum. Maybe check it out when it inevitably hits the “on sale” list on the PlayStation store.
Override 2: Super Mech League is out now and available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox One & Series X/S. For the purpose of this review, the game was played on PlayStation 4.