Review : Road Redemption 2017

Road Redemption is an action racing game where you lead your motorcycle gang on an epic journey across the country in a brutal driving combat adventure.Earn money by completing races, assassinations, robberies, and other challenges in your path. As you collect loot, you’ll upgrade your character, your bike, and your weapons.Road Rash was the ultimate rental game. The Sega Genesis original and its sequels had an attention-grabbing gimmick – a motorcycle racer that let you pummel opponents with metal pipes – and just enough depth to keep you entertained for a weekend.

 

Original publisher EA realised all this a long time ago, which is why there hasn’t been a new game in over a decade. But recently indie developers have been falling over themselves trying to create a modern-day equivalent. Road Redemption is probably the highest profile, and after an initial release last year on PC it’s finally available on consoles.However, it knows exactly what it is and who it’s for. This self-awareness doesn’t take away the weaker aspects of the game, but odds are you won’t care when you’re bludgeoning opponents over the head with lead pipes and boosting over giant ramps.Some of these aren’t available straight away but are instead found as pickups on the tracks. The melee weapons are what’ll you’ll use the most to reduce the health of fellow riders until they fall off their bikes. You can also kick at other bikes to try and push them off the road, or into buildings and oncoming traffic. Of course, the other bikers aren’t going to take this without fighting back and they fight back hard with the same weapons you have. It’s also not uncommon to find yourself in a pack of bikers who are all swinging for each other, leading to a lot of crashes.

Set in the barren wastelands of the American Westlands, Road Redemption carries forward the arcade graphics style, only to uplift the graphics quality to pure 3D. The motorbikes, as well as the player models, have been very well designed, in order to ensure crisp graphics. The surroundings and the wastelands exhibit a glimpse of the classic Road Rash but definitely feel current gen. The crispy and quirky weapon graphics add to the fun, and the entire outline of the graphics part has been made in order to maintain the arcade feel of the game.Road Redemption doesn’t have the problem most of these games do where the level feels like a cheap mess some two-year-old cobbled together, where the generation of the world actively takes away from the experience and is no substitute for stages that have been more finely and specifically crafted.It can then be used to recover health and nitro, unlock stronger weapons, and improve attack or defence. The more cash you gain, the more perks you’ll unlock and the further you’ll be able to progress. However, I did find that I didn’t even need to unlock many skills through XP to get to the end of a campaign run, as the perks carried me all the way through.

Road Redemption is much the same, but its main mode of play operates like a roguelite. Each time you play, the tracks throughout the campaign will be slightly different, and will offer various objectives. Some are straight races, while others see you taking down a set number of enemies, or getting to the finish line before a timer ticks down. If your health hits zero, the campaign is over, and you’ll have to start again.So while you can attach timed explosives to pursuing police cars we can assure you it’s all handled in the best (worst) possible taste. Road Redemption is cheesy and silly and it knows it, and that at the very least is refreshing.On the PS4 controller, the square button makes you attack to the left, the triangle makes you attack to the right, circle does a kick, and X deflects incoming attacks. There is a touch of depth to the combat – bladed weapons can decapitate enemies quickly and efficiently, but helmeted baddies will need to be softened up with a blunt object first. Land enough blows, and you’ll build up a critical strike, which can quickly wipe almost anybody out.

 

Some courses are straight-up clones with only minor twists added to differentiate them. Tracks aren’t just repetitive, they’re often aggravating, serving up a combination of surprise hairpin turns, changes in elevation that obscure oncoming hazards, and overpowered “shortcuts” you pretty much have to take to win the race. Adding to the headache is randomized traffic, which always seems to slam into you just as you’re getting a good flow going.A violent, but wacky successor to the Road Rash franchise born in the 90s. It’s an “over-the-top” biker beat’em up that has some buggy moments, but they make for some of the more entertaining points.Road Redemption’s combat offers options and the roguelite structure helps give the game a little more life, despite the limited tracks and environments. The physics present some wonky moments and some events are too short for their own good. Still, the upgrades always manage to give you something to chase, even if it’s a slow, frustrating start.

Verdict

the whole roguelike approach feels like a slightly cheap way to extend the life of the campaign, and even then, you’ll probably finish the game in around five or six hours. Those who focus on Quick Play will be able to experience all the game’s tracks even faster.but Road Redemption is far from convincing proof of that. Bad graphics and cheap presentation are one thing, but the lack of variety and terrible racing model are such serious faults they cannot be ignored. It’d be rash to ignore the game’s more positive achievements though,and a cheesy tone keeps it down to earth. Visually, it’s a generation behind, the controls take some getting used to, and there are undeniable performance problems, but there’s a certain boldness and “screw you” vibe that somehow overrides these issues. If you’re looking for a straightforward game to let loose in, this is a deeply flawed yet surprisingly enjoyable biker brawler.