Get ready to enter a Robert Rodriguez film. BTW, if you haven’t seen El Mariachi go rent it. You play as a criminal released from prison to take the place of your DEA Agent brother in the hunt for your father’s killers. The whole thing involves shooting your way through the Mexican drug world. You get missions and drive around to them, or you can go directly to the mission and skip the exploration. I’d recommend the exploration because it is not only fun but also the best place for finding pick-ups, some of which like Day of the Dead in which you kill as many people as you can, end up being great bonus opportunities. Driving around or running around you can find a lot of stuff that you can use to improve your character’s skills.
It’s a fun game. The heart of it is shooting the crap out of everyone and everything. You use the left trigger (L1) to pull off all the dodges and shooting moves, such as walking up a wall, diving left, reversing and diving backwards, all while shooting. You can use vehicles as weapons, ramming into enemies or driving at them and then jumping out of the car before it smashes into them and explodes. Every battle is a guns blazing battle where charging forward using special moves is the way to go. There’s no drop back and pick off the enemy like a sniper here; it’s all bull forward laying down the lead. It’s set against a surreal Mexican background so there are a lot of opportunities for humor. A dark humor pervades this game. I actually found myself laughing aloud at times.
The bad news is that the load times are just ridiculous. It’s not that the load times take a long time, but rather that there are so many of them. It seemed like every 2 minutes I had to take a break and watch the game load. It completely ruins the atmosphere to have that many loads. My only other gripe is that vehicle control is not so good. Everything handles like a sled. It is good that there’s a way to skip the driving and go right to an objective.
Total Overdose is a fun shoot-em-up set in a stylistic Mexican drug world. It’s not for the faint-hearted or little kids. It’s a lot of fun to play it.
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Total Overdose is available for PC, PS2 (what I’m playing), and Xbox. For more information see http://www.totaloverdose.com.

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