Road Redemption – PC Review

Road Redemption – PC Review
GlitchedVision
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GENRE: Action, Adventure, Indie, Racing, Simulation
DEVELOPER: EQ-Games , Pixel Dash Studios
PUBLISHER: Tripwire Interactive
RELEASE DATE: Oct 4, 2018
Edited by Thorstag

 Anyone who played games in the ’90s and early 2000s may remember a franchise of motorcycle racers known as Road Rash. This series brought the joys of being able to punch your opponents off their bikes or smash them with a steel pipe while you carefully speed your way through oncoming traffic. This series brought joy to many gamers during its time of relevance. Now, another team of enterprising developers has taken the challenge of bringing this experience into the next era with Road Redemption.

 The gameplay is similar to classic Road Rash titles in that you are tasked with racing through various landscapes in an attempt to beat your rivals to the goal. The primary difference comes from the rogue-lite nature of the game. Each stage in the campaign has a mission to complete, and doing so rewards you with cash and experience. After each stage, you can spend your cash on health refills, attack buffs, and various other temporary upgrades for your bike and rider. Be careful, though, because when you lose all your health, you’ll have to restart from the nearest checkpoint, without those previously purchased upgrades. All is not lost; however, at the end of each run, you will have the opportunity to spend all that accumulated experience on permanent upgrades, which can make future attempts even easier.

There is a decent selection of bikes and riders to unlock, with only three bikes and two riders to start with. Many unlock conditions require you to either come across them in the campaign, unlock them from the skill tree, or even clear the campaign with a number of characters. Things aren’t quite over after the end of the campaign, though, as there are two modes which allow you to replay it at a greater difficulty, but with greater rewards. These modes are titled Campaign+ and Campaign++. There is also a small collection of quick play modes and online races you can take part in when the campaign overstays its welcome. Local play is probably where you’ll find the most fun as the online scene is unfortunately not very active, though the campaign can be played in split-screen co-op as well as solo.

The online and quick play tracks offer a more traditional racing experience where upgrades and skill trees have no bearing on the outcome, only your skill as a racer. Being knocked out only offers a small time penalty as you get back on your bike and keep pushing forward towards victory or defeat. The tracks on offer are a sampling of the roadways offered during the campaign, as well as a few unique circuit tracks only available in these modes. You can either find additional weaponry in boxes on the side of the road or steal it from your rivals when you knock them off the track and out of your way.

The controls on the track feel serviceable enough. However, the combat feels clunky. It takes a few frames from pressing the button for your attacks to come out, and each of your attacks has differing ranges making it difficult to figure out which one will best fit your current situation. Eventually, you’ll gain access to ranged options, however, aiming these weapons is even more unwieldy than melee strikes are. The bikes handle well enough and can easily be adjusted to by anyone who has played a decent amount of motorcycle racers.

Visually, the game is the perfect picture of asphalt winding through a dust bowl. Rocky greys and browns are plentiful, with little in the way of trees or grass. The bikes are solid and definitely resemble the brands they are named after. The riders and their animations are exactly what you’d expect from a game of this style and work well enough.

Finally, we reach the sound and music of the game. There’s honestly not much I can say here. The engine sounds are not overpowering, and the cracks of metal against skulls as you smash a rival’s face with a pipe are satisfying, but the guns sound like toy cap guns, and the music is repetitive. Don’t get me wrong, the music is fitting and works well enough, I just wish there were more than 2 or 3 tracks to cruise to. On top of this, all the available tracks are not very memorable and leave something to be desired despite doing their job well enough.

 As for game stability and accessibility, there were no crashes or bugs that I could observe during my time playing the game. The game is best played with a controller; however, there are options for keyboard and mouse controls. Thankfully, all controls are able to be rebound, and there is an option to reset yourself back on the track if you veer off course. The options menu itself is fairly basic, but still contains all the graphics and sound options you would expect from a PC game.

Pros:

  • Solid driving mechanics
  • Numerous unlocks
  • Replayable campaign

Meh:

  • Repetitive missions
  • Rogue lite campaign
  • Grindy unlock requirements

Cons:

  • Clunky combat
  • Repetitive music
  • Unsatisfying pop gun sounds

GlitchedVision gives Road Redemption a Drastik Measure of 6.5 out of 10(65)

The game is an average experience that doesn’t live up to the legacy its chasing. At $19.99 on Steam, I would recommend waiting for a sale if this game style draws you in.