Overgrowth, by developer Wolfire Games, is a 3D action game where you play as a ninja-like rabbit who can stealthily take care of a group of enemies or just rush straight into battle. As the player, you’re not limited to just one approach, you can choose whatever way you feel would produce the best results, and try repeatedly to get it right.
To start off, the best feature in Overgrowth is the control you have over your character, which plays a huge role in the game’s combat system. Overgrowth creates a sense of freedom with its movement system that accomplishes all you need it to. Movement, jumping, and maneuvering all feel so fluid during gameplay allowing the player to control the character as they want to. It also makes the intense parkour sections of the game require more precision, along with trial and error.
The ragdoll physics are a perfect fit for Overgrowth too, since you might accidentally somersault badly and end up rolling right at your enemies’ feet, or sometimes you land head-first into a rock and it kills you.
This is a great spot to talk about something Overgrowth does well that other games are very lacking in, effort required to restart. You die very frequently in this game, whether it is from approaching a battle badly, or accidentally missing a wall run and falling to your death. All that’s required to restart is a mouse-click anywhere on the screen, that’s it. You don’t need to navigate to the restart button, or go through another loading screen, or re-watch a long cutscene. A lot of the rage that some games cause isn’t from high difficulty, but from that restart effort and even more when you lose a tremendous amount of progress. Overgrowth handles this very well with their automatic checkpoints and easy-to-restart system.
The combat in Overgrowth is also executed very well. Stealth is valued over brute-forcing, especially if there are a lot of enemies. The fun in fighting comes from the movement system, as stated before. You can maneuver around your enemies, get some hits in, then back off and repeat, or you can just have a direct battle with them and hope your reactions are fast enough to hit, block, and dodge to win the fight. You can try out so many battle tactics since there are a ton of different situations too, whether it’s getting ambushed, sneaking into a base, having a one-on-one confrontation, and more.
Unfortunately, Overgrowth does have some negative features. One of the ones that I noticed the most during my playthrough was the lack of health bar. Rather than directly telling you how much health you have, the camera just darkens and blurs to a certain amount if you are approaching death. This information doesn’t help much because you don’t know if you can still take a hit or two, or if you can die just with a bad landing.
Another missing feature from Overgrowth that may be a bit disappointing for some players is the lack of voice acting and narration. There are dialogue boxes that contain the story and goals for the upcoming scene, but it feels a bit empty with no voices to accompany them, especially since the characters have talking animations but just no sound comes out. Another related thing I noticed is that since there are only animals, you sometimes need to rely on the name tags to differentiate between the different characters.
Although the combat system is very good, it still has flaws. I found that fighting one-on-one was fun, kept you on your toes, and was the best for messing around with different fighting strategies. On the other hand, when fighting against a group of enemies, it seems like you constantly need to be on the move to prevent from being bombarded by attacks from all angles. Another minor inconvenience is that during a fight you can pick up weapons, but they don’t stay with you during the next scene, which is a bit annoying when you stock up on knives during a fight.
Overgrowth is a great fighting, stealth, and parkour based game. Not only do you have options for how you want to complete a task, but you also have the needed control over your character to be able to accomplish exactly what you want to do. If you do mess up and die, you can instantly restart from a well-placed automatic checkpoint, so you’re free to try different methods for a situation. Overgrowth has a decent story and good graphics, only lacking voice acting and narration to give more emotion to the scenes.
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Overgrowth is available for PC via Steam.