Turbo Overkill King Johnny review

Turbo Overkill – King Johnny. review

Played on PC

August has become a truly festive month for fans of first-person shooters. Before the wonderful remaster of Quake II came out, Turbo Overkill left Early Access the next day. And with all due respect to the classics, the creation of Trigger has become Happy InteractiveOmore reason to be happy. The New Zealand studio’s debut proved not only to be a hit ‘boomer’ shooter, but also one of the best single-player first-person action games in years.

Spectacular performance

We all understand that it wasn’t the dramatic stories that made the genre famous. But it would be a mistake to say that Sagittarius doesn’t need a narration – I’m willing to argue with John Carmack on that. A charismatic protagonist and an unforgettable world are essential elements of every legendary FPS, from Duke Nukem 3D to Painkiller. The developers of Turbo Overkill did not neglect them.

    Hey there

Hey there

The events take place on a distant moon, where the space colony has managed to transform itself into a vast futuristic metropolis whose proportions even Night City would envy. We got the role of Johnny Turbo, the street cleaner. None whose tools are brooms and dustpans. Johnny is more into shotguns and rocket launchers.

Unlike most action heroes like Serious Sam or Lo Wong, Turbo is a quiet guy. He will not utter a single word during gameplay (unlike his AI companion SEMMa). The mercenary prefers action to words. And each level starts with a first-person cutscene in which he does something funny and sometimes downright crazy. The opening, in which the hero lands on a punk with a chainsaw in a prosthetic leg, sets the perfect tone for what follows.

The city of the future is controlled by the artificial intelligence GREH, who at the beginning of the game has already gone a little crazy, experimenting with the fusion of machines and flesh and trying to impose its power on primitive humans. Johnny is hired to deal with the rampaging AI. And while you shouldn’t expect much from the plot, it manages to keep things interesting thanks to the dynamic of events, some unexpected twists and apt nods to the cult films of the 80’s and 90’s: from The Terminator to The Fifth Element”.

    It's like being in the world of TRON

It’s like being in the world of TRON

The visual range also alludes to the atmosphere of fantastic action films from the video salon in every respect. The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is Blade Runner, with skyscrapers lost in the clouds, a never-ending rainy night, and an ocean of neon. But with oriental touches. The story takes us through a variety of locations, from the canonical streets of metropolises and casinos to the heavenly palaces of the elite and spaceships. And yes, the level in space in the middle of the fight between human and monster is cooler than in Doom Eternal.

Stylistically, Turbo Overkill is inspired by early 2000s games like Soldiers of Fortune. But calling the game ugly language makes no sense. The environment is well thought out and full of details, the landscapes are exceptionally pleasing to the eye and some effects, like the same rain, look very impressive. The terrain is very “readable” and despite the decent scale (for a linear shooter) you never get lost on the map, whether it’s platforming sections or hot battles.

I came to kick ass and listen to synthwave

Of course, the rebellious soul and iron heart of Turbo Overkill is action-packed gameplay. Street punks, mercenaries, and a galaxy of terrifying creatures of flesh and technology oppose Johnny. If you take a close look at the fighters of GREKh.a, things get immediately restless: instead of a head, some have a monitor on which pain-contorted grimaces slip through, others literally represent a human centipede and so on.

    Instead of a thousand words

Instead of a thousand words

It’s good that you can only consider these in a separate menu, since you don’t have time in the middle of the action. Turbo Overkill works at ultra-high speeds, after which Quake II can not be called anything but jelly. At the same time, thanks to generous levels and precise control, the action does not descend into uncontrollable chaos. Johnny runs briskly and responds precisely to all commands. It’s a lot of fun to drive with it. It’s more convenient to just shoot from the local arsenal.

Absolutely every weapon is a pearl, compressed through decades of genre history: from the first pistols to an orbital pistol that works on your scope. In addition, all weapons are useful from the moment they appear in your hands until the end. There will always be a situation when this or that barrel is more appropriate. But there is no compulsion. If you like a plasma pistol, use it in any situation, there are cartridges. Doom Eternal sparked the reflex to juggle an arsenal? Yes please, in Turbo Overkill you can also maximize your damage this way. Choose the approach you want and increase its effectiveness through both personal skills and implants.

As a decent protagonist in the world of cyberpunk, Johnny can improve his body with different modules. Not only do they increase health or armor, but they also open up new gameplay opportunities, such as: B. Wall slide when falling, triple jump or a shock wave when falling from a height. A whole host of upgrades are dedicated to the saw integrated into the leg. Yes, not only is it effective in cutscenes (seriously, if your game doesn’t involve a hero cutting themselves in the leg with a saw, don’t even offer it to me), it also serves as an effective weapon. With a certain pump, only with tackles (activated, also in the jump), you can go through whole levels.

    Could there really be a better frame?

Could there really be a better frame?

As the game progresses, you will constantly be confronted with something new. Each weapon will eventually open an alternate firing mode, and subsequently the main mode will also change, keeping the barrels relevant. Even a seemingly weak shotgun is not replaced by a double-barreled shotgun, as is often the case, but transformed into an accurate pulse rifle.

Johnny learns special abilities: launching homing missiles from his hand, slowing down time and hooking himself to ledges and enemies where he couldn’t. The men’s set complements the arsenal of weapons perfectly. All elements work perfectly together, allowing you to fly over the battlefield and sow death and destruction. I want to use all the options at once, simply because it’s very comfortable: rolling through enemy carcasses with a chainsaw in slow motion and pulling yourself towards the enemy with a hook to blow off their head with a double hit. Fire a barreled shotgun at close range and simply drop a hail of bullets from a machine gun.

The authors do their best to diversify the situation. Many levels have their own peculiarities: from jumping on flying cars to sniper duels. By the way, using the local sniper rifle, you can teleport directly to the enemy and tear them to pieces. Fierce firefights are broken up by platform sections that fit organically into the level’s architecture. A few times we get to get behind the wheel of our own flying car, with machine guns and rocket launchers on board. And the escape from the “Eye of Sauron” section on a motorcycle is considered one of the most spectacular game scenes of the year.

    ... but no, and the truth can

… but no, and the truth can

Above all, the authors don’t believe at all that a classic shooter must inevitably make you sweat with excitement. Turbo Overkill is all about having fun. The game tries to make you feel like an unstoppable force, the destroyer of worlds. But it doesn’t say “press the button to win”. Aside from being a bit rustic for a hard difficulty (the third of five available), the first act calms down from the second act and maintains a perfect balance until the final credits. My advice to veterans: Feel free to take the penultimate difficulty.

* * *

Turbo Overkill is a modern take on shooters that combines meticulously spinning old-school gameplay with modern twists like implants and open-world flirting. If normally a hint of a sequel is met with skepticism, as if the game isn’t over yet, then in this case that approach is purely a joy. I definitely want supplements.


  • hurricane and various skirmishes;
  • thoughtful arsenal, each sample of which you will want to use again and again;
  • powerful sci-fi vibe straight out of a video store.


  • It would be possible to provide an icon for a successful quicksave.


Early 2000s aesthetic made with love and modern technology.


Guns really pop, enemies fly apart with a smacking sound, and everything that happens is generously fueled by electronic industry.

single player game

A dashing shooter with varied situations, exciting shots and well thought out locations that are fun to roam around.

Estimated travel time

8-10 hours of focused pleasure.

collective game

Not provided.

general impression

Perfection in shooter form.

Rating: 10.0 out of 10

Learn more about the grading system


About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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