First Impressions: ‘Road Redemption’

Road Redemption is the spiritual successor to Electronic Arts’ Road Rash, a game about racing down the street on motorcycles while beating up on people with pipes, bats, and other various melee weapons. The developer (Dark Sea Games) is taking the concept of Road Rash and evolving it into a newer more modern take on it with guns, explosives, jump jets (a item that allows you to jump the bike into mid air or float temporarily), and grappling hooks. Road Redemption is currently in Early Access on Steam, but is slated to be leaving shortly with it’s Multiplayer Alpha having just begun and currently in the testing phase.

The bulk of this game is about two things: driving fast, and combat. The controls of this game handle well for both mouse and keyboard users (myself) and for people who use controllers as well. The game has a noticeably arcade feel with quite responsive controls regarding combat using melee controls, but one thing that could use some more refinement is the shooting mechanics on a controller because of the lack of precision. I would like to see a soft-lock kind of system for controller users, but I would also like to see some way to let let mouse-and-keyboard or pure-controller people be able to face each other by controller type for fairness. A mouse-and-keyboard user has a distinct advantage.

That being said, let’s talk about progression. When you play the campaign mode, you will earn money which will allow you to buy one off upgrades, power-ups, or heal yourself. When you either complete the campaign or lose, they take the total collected sum of money and translate it to into experience for you to permanently upgrade things such as max health, what weapon you start with, new motorcycles, and more. This is a good system, not unlike most “Rogue Lites”out like Rogue Legacy, but it seems to work and enhances replay value. There is also a Campaign+ mode, which you may only do after you’ve beaten the main campaign at least once. The difference is the difficulty and money collected. The main campaign allows for you to lose and continue and continue on a 3rd place win, Campaign+ will only allow you to advance with a first place win.

Now let’s examine the multiplayer aspects. Keep in mind that I played a limited multiplayer alpha version, and that it may not represent the final product or my final opinion of it. That being said – it’s awesome.

The gameplay is either a 8 on 8 or 16 on 16 gang war where teams get points for eliminating opponents yield bonuses for your team and the first team to a predetermined point count ,  typically around 1500 points. You also earn points for the first few players who win the race first. The race will repeat itself on various maps until there is a clear winner. The latency on server connecting to Dallas from Los Angeles is pretty good and there is little to no lag when trying to attack or shoot people.

This game is a mere $20 and it’s a love letter to Road Rash. It has a 4 player local co-op mode, which will soon feature local competitive multiplayer ability. It’s worth every penny in it’s current state. I recommend that you give it a go. You’ve got nothing to lose but lots of time trying to become a biker badass. 🙂

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