You do not even know what speed is until you have played Redout. Fast and the Furious and Need For Speed no longer do their names justice, as their feeble speeds are nothing in comparison to those behind the vessels you man in Redout. Redout is an insanely fast, dashingly stylish, and franticly fun racer from 34BigThings, an Italy based developer. The premise is as simple as a traditional racer, even while being a non-traditional racer. There are no four wheel cars in sight, and hell, there are not even roads. This is the future, and an exciting one at that. Racers take control of some extremely high speed air ships, similar in nature to that of the Wipeout series that has long been a staple series on Playstation. Finding it’s footing on PC, the Lightspeed edition is now here for both Xbox One and PS4 fans to take advantage of, cramming loads more of content (some of which is exclusive) into what was already a well respected game. Can you handle this kind of speed? Let’s find out.
Racers going in solo are going to immediately want to check out the career mode. Here you will find over 100 events to participate in across seven different event types. From standard races, to score based Endurance, and the always frantic Eliminations, there is a lot to do here. How you approach these races is up to you, as there are seven different teams to race for in the Lightspeed edition. Each of these teams has four tiers to choose from, which are more or less lined up with the difficulty spikes as you progress. That means there is a total of 28 awesome ships to choose from, which are each balanced for different playstyles. You might want to take a ship with a solid max speed and high acceleration, but you may pay the price in health, or take a ship with some tight handling, but it is not quite as fast as others. It all depends how you like to play. Each of these ships stats can be upgraded once regardless, allowing you to boost its abilities across the board. They can also be customized with a variety of liveries and color schemes (which there are a bunch to choose from free of charge, no in game currency needed). Winning races does earn you some cash though, and that is used to buy the different cars, their upgrades, as well as some attachments.
These powerups can make the difference in many of the races, especially in Arena where keeping your ship from being destroyed is key. There are two different styles: Passive and Active. Your passive ones are always on, giving you almost a permanent stat boost for the race. You can find boosts like increased health or better grip to the track in this area. Your active powerups are one shot a piece, so it needs to be used extremely wisely in a race. Here you can find a temporary speed overdrive or bots to repair your ship, amongst others. Knowing what powerup to pair with a particular race type is crucial, so study these early on. In addition to these, every ship has a standard boost feature. These range from ship to ship, but serve as a traditional “Nitro” style boost which refills over time.
With the racing in mind, there is something to Redout that was wholly unfamiliar to me. While I am used to steering my vessel in almost every racing game with the left analog stick (or similar substitute), I have never played a racer where you actively had to use the left analog stick in unison with the right analog stick to get the most out of your handling. This is a key feature in Redout, as you have to adjust your pitch while racing to handle each tracks winding turns. Left and Right on the right analog stick help you strafe into turns, making braking take less out of your speed. Up and Down control that pitch, which is highly important on big drops and upward winding tracks. If you do not adjust your pitch in these areas, it can lead to blackouts and Redouts, which blur your vision and damage your ship. I was thrown off initially by this, as it takes you out of your comfort zone for what you are used to in the genre. The more I played, the more I liked the challenge of testing your reflexes and skill at these massive speeds while maintaining two different sticks, as well as braking, boosting, and triggering any powerups. Redout is an elegantly skillful game, one that you will feel more confident as you go along. It features another mode where no powerups are available, just you and your skills to master the competition. But even with the notion of feeling better as you go along in mind, I was shocked to see how massive of a difficulty spike I encountered right after the first tournament. I was getting smoked by the competition, and failing to place top three even after multiple tries. Thankfully there are some difficulty settings, and after putting the default option down a notch, it was much more balanced. From terribly hard to more balanced, I was back on track and enjoying the races.
There are two multiplayer modes to take part in as well if you so desire. Unfortunately, these fell a bit flat. The local multiplayer only supports two players, and it is one on one, no computers, which is never a good choice in my opinion. Getting out paced by the other competitor (or the other way around) leads to a dull event. It is always good to have some more competition on the track, so that’s where the online portion comes in. That is, if you can find some racers online. I tried multiple times to get into a match to no avail. Sadly, it seems that a lot of non-mainstream multiplayer titles do not get the support they deserve, even early on, as this is not the first time I have ran into this issue.
Redout is visually gripping, and is quite frankly one of the best looking racers I have played in recent years. The colors are vibrant as all get up, the aesthetic is sharp, and it all comes together so damn well. The tracks are gorgeous, and have some of the best designs I have ever seen. They are incredibly slick, and every theme feels fresh and unique. There is a whopping 35 different tracks to experience, and each is as breathtaking as the last. Almost every race I took part in inspired awe, it was a fantastic experience. The music ties it all together. The right amount of bass and speedy, future-themed tracks keep you pushing, further engaging you behind the wheel. Speaking of behind the wheel, Redout’s HUD system is damned great, and fits picture perfect. There are about five different views in which can race, some of which put you directly behind the windshield. The HUD adapts to these views, and looks killer as ever. It is a funny thing to be thoroughly impressed about, but color me thoroughly impressed.
Redout is through and through an impressive racer. Its gripping, visually stunning, and just plain cool. With some of the best level designs in the genre, it’s a standout in the crowd. Aside from some empty multiplayer lobbies and a steep difficulty spike, it is a rock solid title. If this is the future, I am ready for more. Redout is a fast, frantic, and incredibly fun game.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 8.5/10
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