Walking through the Los Angeles Convention Center, we can’t help but notice a certain game popping up in all sorts of unexpected places. From the nook in the vaulted ceiling to the women’s restroom, Sunset Overdrive, has taken over E3.

The gameplay for Insomniac Games’s energy-drink-poisoned zombie “awesomeocalypse” with a zany punk rock twist, Sunset Overdrive, debuted at E3. We’ve mostly been acquainted with the game’s protagonist in the official trailer, but that didn’t stop Insomniac Games from showing off its other secondary characters all over the expo.

Our first encounter with Sunset Overdrive‘s over-kill marketing was in the form of a bouquet of little pink gremlin-like characters.


And a close-up:


▼ This guy seemed to really like them…IMG_2727

They are constantly being handed out, so many of them have broken free or have been purposely lost around the convention center.

▼ Forever alone.22

There is also a huge pink gremlin staring down at E3 attendees from the ceiling…


And a microphone standing on the floor, where a sign from the pink dude reads, “Ask me a question and prepare for a totally seriously unscripted answer.”


Few people stepped up to the mic, but those who did were treated to silly quips in a high-pitched voice.

Even before you enter the North Hall of the convention center (where the Sony, Nintendo, and Xbox booths are located), you’re blasted in the face with a billboard taller than the “bouncers” guarding the doors.


Even the restrooms are filled with Sunset Overdrive stuff. Awkward bathroom photos, AWAY!:

photo 2

▼ You’re not really expected to put your face in there are you?photo 1

▼ Yup, I did. That’s my “hurry up and take this before that girl in the stall comes out and sees what I’m doing”

But little did I know that I didn’t even have to embarrass myself by taking photos in the public ladies room because upon getting back to my hotel, I was greeted to this in my bathroom:

▼ Looks like the hotel’s room cleaners were busy!222

Sunset Overdrive‘s marketing team also created energy drinks, the kind found in the video game, that are given to anyone who plays the demo.


▼ There’s even a custom vending machine!IMG_2626

Everyone who plays the Sunset Overdrive demo is also given a pretty cool T-shirt, turning E3-goers into walking billboards for the game.

As you might expect with all that publicity (and free give-aways), the lines to demo Sunset Overdrive were respectably long. We headed over to the booth to try our hand at grinding on rails and making giant orange monsters go boom. While we were waiting in line, a punk rock rabbit was giving us tips to playing the game.


“Pretend the floor is lava” meant to stick to the high ground, “I don’t wanna see you standing around shooting, that’s a good way to die” was said to let us know that we need to be grinding on the pink rails liberally sprinkled all over the map.

After waiting for over an hour (this was a popular booth!) we stepped up to the controllers and were treated to around ten minutes of demo gameplay. Take a look at a few photos of the Sunset Overdrive booth:

▼ Each group of eight players (this is a multi-player and single-player game) were connected via headset and there was one Sunset Overdrive representative playing along with us to give us tips.IMG_2604



Here’s the gist of what we learned from our demo and tutorials while waiting in line: Sunset Overdrive thinks games nowadays are too serious and instead delivers a purely fun, absolutely insane orange oozing zombie-killing third person shooter. With outlandish weapons that literally make your enemies go “pop” (really, the ooze emitted from your fatal blast forms into the letters P-O-P), you’d be hard pressed not to smile while playing.

After all this hype and the (probable) hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on T-shirts, custom energy drinks, giant inflatables, and more balloons than E3 knew what to do with, we were afraid that Sunset Overdrive was simply overcompensating for a mediocre game. However, after playing the demo ourselves, we are happy to report that Sunset Overdrive is every bit of fun and crazy the trailers make it out to be.

Come October, you’ll find us grinding rails with our customized character in the insane open world that could only come from the minds of the folks at Insomniac Games.

All photos © RocketNews24/Khoa Dinh