At some point in our lives, we’ve all shared a similar nightmare. The one where everyone, friends and family included, have turned against you. In it, there’s no monologue-giving villain to explain your dire situation. You’re just absolutely sure your time is up unless you run, and never stop running. With its launch trailer shown last week at the PC Gaming Show, OVERWHELM is a game that expands on this kind of nightmare. Per the developer, the game’s plot is honestly defined: “You’re outnumbered, low on ammunition and the paranoia sets in. This is an action horror-world where enemies get power-ups and you don’t.”
Published by Untitled Publisher, OVERWHELM is the sole developed work of Ruari O’Sullivan. As seen on his personal site, O’Sullivan has a history of developing games and creating music that stems back to 2000.
The art for OVERWHELM is dominated by different shades of red with black and white. 8-bit pixels give the game a classic feel and also allow the reds to better represent the blood-throttling animations of environments and gunplay. As seen in the trailer, this game’s shooting mechanics are guided by a cross-hair reticle that also serves to navigate the player through the platformed levels.
Also seen in the trailer is comic-book-style dialog/thought boxes and overarching textual prompts that serve to give players random alerts. At one point in the trailer we’re shown text that reads “THE HIVE IS EVOLVING”, this gives players a heads up that enemies are about to get a lot tougher. Whether you’re attacked by ground or air units, everything in this game is RNG-based which serves O’Sullivan’s definition of what makes something bloodcurdling:
Behind the action, OVERWHELM is my take on horror. Unscripted, alive, steady ensnarement in all your mistakes, too much to handle, too much pressure to think, and it all feels a bit like drowning.
I’m really happy that’s coming across.
— Ruari O’Sullivan (@randomnine) June 18, 2018