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.
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.
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
+Amazing Level Design
+Lots to Explore
-Steep Learning Curve