Are you going to read this yourself or would you like it Redout?
Redout is an anti gravity racer in the vein of Wipeout and its ilk. It’s also insanely fast! I mean it’s just ridiculous how quick this game is, to the point where it’s a struggle to keep up even on the easiest of tracks. More on that later though. Around a year ago, our very own Brian reviewed Redout on the PC and found it impressive, gorgeous, and varied but much too fast to control at times. Today, I’m reviewing the Lightspeed Edition released on console (XBox One since you asked) which contains the original game along with the additional Neptune and Europa DLC track packs (the Mars one is mysteriously absent) and a split screen multiplayer mode.
You have the usual array of modes, with Quick Race and Multiplayer standing alongside the Campaign as your main features. The campaign involves completing a variety of events (Time Trial, Race, Elimination races and variations on them) to earn money to purchase and upgrade racing craft. You can also buy power-ups for your racer to give you more options in some of the events (although Pure events remove these bonuses from you). As you progress, you’ll move from Class 1 through to Class 4 with the vehicles involved increasing in power.
Being the smart chap that I am, I decided to choose the fastest but most vulnerable ship to begin with and holy hell do I regret that. Within 8 seconds of starting the first event I was bouncing off every wall I came across, damaging my ship in the process. I dared not touch the boost button in case I went flying off the track (spoiler: I did. A lot) but still managed to cause my ship to explode and respawn on more than one occasion. The sense of speed in this game is incredible, and maintaining control of your vehicle requires a stunning level of concentration. After around 15 attempts, I managed to get a fast enough time to get a gold medal and felt pretty pleased with myself! I continued through the campaign, restarting events multiple times to manage to get a medal and came to this conclusion: learn the track layout or fail. There is absolutely no way to react to the corners fast enough as they approach. You simply must know your way around the track which means that restarting multiple times until you have it mastered is the order of the day. It reminds me of Dark Souls in that regard…
After a few hours I had mastered the Class 1 tracks and purchased my second vehicle to move onto Class 2 and realised that everything so far was merely a prelude to the true insanity to come. By this point even learning the tracks didn’t mean I could beat them, and settling for 3rd place was enough for me. This game is very, very hard and demands perfection from you at every turn. I would have appreciated difficulty settings for the campaign (quick race does include the option) to make it a little more accessible. Increasing your pilot level by completing events will unlock more classes and vehicles to use in other modes. I’d have preferred to have everything available in quick race and multiplayer from the off, but I very much appreciate that the game wants to get you ready for the insane speeds to come before letting you cut loose.
There are multiplayer options available. Split screen mode is a nice addition (local play feels like it is gradually dying out) but is sadly limited to 2 players. 4 player split screen would be a great addition to the game. Online is also available but I struggled to find an online session to join in with which is a pity.
The game looks gorgeous, with quite a distinct art style. Everything is made up of clearly defined polygons with distinct colours on each one making things really stand out. The different ships are suitably distinct too, with each racing team having their own style. You’ll probably not notice any of this in motion however, as everything hurtles past at breakneck speed. The music fits the game very well, with plenty of futuristic electronic beats pouring from your speakers at greater and greater speed as your velocity increases. When you’re focused 100% on the race (and you really should be) you may not notice the changes in the music’s pace, but it is there and really does add to the immersion. You quickly notice when it slows down.
Now here’s the thing, with some difficult games I get a little tired after a while and may get put off the game if there are no real options to alleviate the challenge. With Redout I found myself wanting to try again over and over. The combination of short events and quick load times meant that having another stab at an event never stopped being an option. I doubt I’ll ever be good enough to manage to finish the campaign, but I don’t think I’ll stop trying any time soon. With plenty of varied tracks and events, there’s a lot to enjoy here for the solo player even though the multiplayer options are limited. and it’s well worth checking out if you’re in the market for a game from a genre that hasn’t been in the limelight for some time. Just be prepared to git gud…