Overload - Spiritual Sequel to Descent, from the original developers

Just noticed this was on sale at GOG if one prefers that flavor.

$22.49

https://www.gog.com/game/overload

What’s been weird about where I am now in the game is that I’m not necessarily stuck. I’m just an indecision paralysis type situation. You see, back at the end of January when I finished the last level, I had 10 super upgrade points and 7 upgrade points.

That gives me a LOT of options on what to upgrade for this next level.

So here’s what happens: I choose a particular upgrade of guns, a particular upgrade of missiles, and I start the level. And I play until I die. And then another day, I choose to upgrade different weapons, and I don’t save the game, I keep playing until I die. And so on.

Today I reloaded and I ignored the missiles completely. I upgraded my bouncing reflective gun (I forget the name) and I also upgraded my impulse cannons so they take less energy. And I played for a while.

It never feels like “aha, I’ve found it, this is the ONE combination that will help me win”, so I continue to be in paralysis mode on what to pick.

I thought I’d try one of these upgrades, and I would fall in love with it, and I’d go YES, this is the one. But that never happened. So I guess I just need to pick a couple of upgrades and just move forward.

@MrTibbs reminded me that I got stalled in this game because of indecision on what to upgrade, as posted above. I really do need to just pick something. But I suspect I’ll come back once I’m done with Rebel Galaxy Outlaw.

Oooh, I had missed this part:

– THUNDERBOLT –
Thunderbolt+: The shots now pass through robots and can hit multiple enemies in succession.
Thunderbolt++ [MX]: Maximum power , charging rate, and projectile speed are all increased. Refire time is also reduced slightly.
Thunderbolt++ [RT]: Shots now track towards robots slightly.

It never occurred to me that the Thunderbolt could be made into an actual useful weapon, I’ll have to try this out next time I load up the game.

I never really got on with Thunderbolt, in any form. I guess the MX variant might work for me, but I just find it a bit too slow. I much prefer fast / hitscan weapons in this game, especially as some robots are really quite good at dodging Thunderbolt fire!

Well, that first upgrade of going through enemies sounded good to me for crowds. So a thunderbolt that goes through robots and also tracks slightly sounds like a good combination. Or the other one, if it goes through enemies and has a faster fire rate, charging rate, projectile speed, that sounds like a good combination too. As a base weapon without upgrades it definitely sucks. Especially as a weapon that is introduced so late in the game.

I wouldn’t say it sucks, necessarily, but to be effective you need to go around with it constantly fully charged and get into a rhythm of firing it before it overloads. It’s just not for me.

Yeah, same here. Overloads you say? Hey, that’s the name of the game. Maybe the whole game is named after the Thunderbolt cannon’s action.

I’m not sure if that’s the official term, it might be overcharging it. Apparently the game is supposed to be named after your primary goal of overloading the reactors.

Thunderbolt does have a role to play later in the game too, but you haven’t reached that part yet. :)

Ok, I got home and tried it.

First I upgraded the Thunderbolt twice to the MX path. This is way better than the base weapon! I also upgraded my Falcon missiles to the top form where they fire faster and do more damage. The combination was nice, but even with the reduced energy use, I was quickly short on energy using the Thunderbolt.

So this time I spent it on upgrading to the top energy consumption reduction for my ship so energy weapons use less energy across the board, and this time on the second Thunderbolt uprade I went with tracking.

Oooooooh. I really like this one. I never noticed this before today but there’s an indicator on my reticle that tells me how far the Thunderbolt is charged, and after I fire it, it has really strong tracking! So I can shoot it down a corridor, where two enemies dodged in different directions left and right, out of my view, but my two thunderbolt energy beams split up and followed them both, and my HUD said I got two kills! Holy smokes! That was so cool.

I think I might be out of analysis paralysis. I might go with this combo.

I had no idea that was even possible, but yay!

I think I made it most of the way through Tethys lab last night thanks to those Thunderbolts. It not only made the level more manageable in terms of difficulty, it also added a layer of fun to the game that wasn’t there before. Trying to time my thunderbolt shots getting hits is kind of a blast. I found the level 1 keycard and then the level 2 keycard before calling it a night.

One funny quirk that this game has in common with Doom 3 is that it has all these audio logs that no one cares about. Obviously in both Doom 3 and Overload, someone was in charge of actually writing these logs, and getting voice actors who said these lines, and yet I can’t decide if it’s a waste of resources for Revival and id software, or if it has some minimal baseline background redeeming value. Even though you might not pay attention to the audio logs because you don’t care about the story in a game like this, it does at least maybe ground the game in a sort of fiction so it’s not just an arcade game where you’re fighting a series of robots. Instead, you’re … I don’t know what you’re doing honestly, I don’t pay attention to the story, but you’re definitely a character who is doing something, as opposed to Pac man.

I guess they’re there for crazy people like me who did care about the audio logs. :) I appreciate story that adds context to what I’m doing and where I’m going, although it’s by no means essential to enjoying a game like this. So really it’s the perfect “take it or leave it” layer to the game.

The narrative bits that grabbed my attention were the names of the people you rescued (?) from the cryosleep chambers or space coffins or whatever they were. Doesn’t it show their individual names, or am I misremembering? Who were those people? Were the names the names of the devs? Were they referenced in the audio logs I couldn’t be bothered to read/listen to? Why was the game showing me their names?

-Tom

They were added mostly as a backer reward (the names, not the cryopods), plus some were slightly modified dev names, and a handful were actually characters in the story (and in at least one instance, the lack of a character who clearly didn’t make it). Headshots (in the pods) were backers and devs.

I finished Tethys Lab. My go to weapons now are a combination of various things. Cyclone obviously when I want rapid fire. Driller when I want accuracy and distance, and Thunderbolt when I want a fairly versatile weapon that’s good against small enemies and heavy enemies.

Gosh, this game is so fun. One of the times that I have the joystick plugged in for Rebel Outlaw, I should try the joystick for this game again, which I haven’t tried since the demo. At this point I’m so used to the controller I’ll probably suck with the joystick in comparison.

Ah yes, Enceladus Depot is next. Shit is about to get real! :)

The only reason why I don’t play this game in longer doses nowadays is that my CPU is back to making alarm noises if I play longer than 10 minutes. Stop it CPU! You’re scaring me. So I play for 10 minutes, it starts making the noise. And I play for 10 more minutes because I can’t stop. And then I start thinking about the money I’d have to spend on a new computer if this CPU blows up, and I stop.

Have you checked your cpu heatsink? If your setup is older it might just need a cleaning and or fresh thermal paste.