While you won't be playing any of the main story in co-op friends, you can launch into the Sunset Overdrive's co-op mode called "Chaos Squad" at any time by visiting phone booths littered around the map. Hit one up, start matchmaking and continue to play the campaign until a game is ready. Once in, the eight player co-op match begins with players choose between two mini-games. Players vote on which one they'd like to play based on the bonuses it provides to the end game which includes a more difficult survival and more power for your traps. There's a good variety of mini-games to play with friends too - defense missions, action sequences where you'll need to kill with style, collection missions, and bombing missions. Each one should take four to five minutes to complete and then it's on to vote for the next one. Players have free roam of the section of the city to complete the challenges so the traversal elements are still present here.
After a few mini games it's onto Night Defense which is scaled out for more players compared to its single player counterpart, and also a lot more chaotic. In fact, Chaos Squad is aptly named for what occurs during it - absolute chaos. Hundreds of OD of all shapes and sizes enter into those final battles and the game doesn't stutter or slow down. It's a cacophony of color and light that hasn't been seen since a holiday rave. Each player can lay out their own traps to protect the vats from their own pool of resources earned from the mini-games. Once it's all over you're team is ranked on just how well they did, earning multipliers for each mini-game and sub objective and finally the Night Defense mission itself. The more points you earn the more things you have a chance to unlock which includes character customization elements and weapon amps that you can bring back to single player.
If there's a downside to Chaos Squad it's that it doesn't seem to scale very well. While I had a blast with eight players, it almost seemed to easy to complete. When I played later on with just three players the challenge was almost too much. There was no healthy in between. In fact Insomniac has said the mode is balanced for six to eight players in the review guide, so we can only hope they can patch in some sort of scaling.
For me Sunset Overdrive is one of the few open world games that have been able to hold my attention for an extended period of time. Great writing, fun gameplay with excellent controls, and a good variety of things to do make this one of my favorite open world games since Crackdown. The co-op mode is a nice distraction and a great way to earn upgrades and other goodies, though we still would have loved to have the option for co-op in the campaign. Still like a can of Overcharged Delirium XXT this game packs a lot of fun and silliness into a tight package, and I drank the entire thing.
The Co-Op Experience: Players work together in Chaos Squad - you'll team up, choose missions, and then defend vats of overcharge.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.