Redout is a futuristic high-speed racing game, much like F-Zero, WipeOut or Fast RMX. The game is an indie title developed by Italian game developer 34BigThings and has been out on PC for quite some time and is also on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and soon the Nintendo Switch. 34BigThings were not content to create your standard racing experience. Obviously inspired by classic arcade anti-gravity racers of yesteryear, Redout’s developers wanted players to sit in the cockpit of a gravity defying vehicle capable of hurtling down the track in excess of 900 km/h. But just racing at the speed of sound wasn’t enough, and so they opted to create 35 different tracks and 11 different game modes for which to fling yourself at.
Redout features a campaign, quick play and an online mode. In the campaign, you race through the available tracks through a multitude of objectives. As you progress along it, you unlock higher racing classes, of which there are 4 in total, and upgrades for your ship. Optimizing those upgrades will greatly help you win some of the campaign races. Overall the amount of different campaign events and objectives add a lot of value to the game. These are also a lot of fun to do and gamers, who really love to dig deep into games, will find great satisfaction in it. Your racing pod also has a health and an energy meter. You lose health by grinding the track, hitting the edges or hitting another player. Your energy is used either for an equippable ability or boosting. All in all, I thought all these mechanics combined were a bit too much to watch out for, but hardcore players may welcome this. One point we think could be better is the spinning out when hitting an opponent. I would have liked a quick way to recover from it, for example if you have some boost energy available. Spinning out felt very punishing to me since it occurs by just slightly colliding with an opponent.
What sets Redout apart from many other games is its very unique artstyle. For racing games to sustain great framerates while looking good, they need to apply certain tricks in their rendering. Redout does this with its visual aesthetic. The artstyle is cell-shaded and all elements directly on the track are highly detailed. However, anything outside the track is highly polygonal. This works really well as it makes the game look extremely good in motion. However, there are a few instances in the game, where this looks a bit distracting, especially when you are entering water.
Each of Redout – Lightspeed Edition’s 35 tracks feature extreme environments – from lush jungles to frozen tundras and back to harsh deserts where sandstorms obstruct your vision – that are visually stunning even in their low polygon style. Granted, the races carry on at such extreme speeds that nothing is on the screen long enough for players to actually see any details of the environment anyway. To succeed in Redout, players must learn the best way to navigate these narrow, twisted tracks while avoiding the AI racers. In the beginning, however, avoiding the AI racers is a lot easier than it should be as they shoot away from the player near immediately. Once they’re gone there’s no catching up. There are twelve available power ups that players can purchase when funding permits, and players may choose one from each category – Passive or Active. Active power ups include actual speed boosts, an EMP blast that can temporarily disable nearby enemy racers, or even a repair drone to keep your ship in tip top condition. These active power ups must be activated during races and consume all or part of your ship’s energy supply in order to work. Passive power ups are a little stealthier, such as the one that improves your vehicle’s hull integrity, and work for the entirety of the race without needing any input from the pilot.
Online multiplayer mode allows up to 6 players to hit a track together. All 4 car classes and power ups that have been unlocked in career are available to the players in multiplayer races, meaning its entirely possible for a new player who only has class 1 vehicles to be thrown into a lobby against other players all rocking the best powerups on vehicles from class 4. Multiplayer races run fairly smooth, despite the vehicle and power up discrepancies, but there wasn’t a large active community immediately available at launch. Despite the sheer volume of content available in the game, its price has frequently come up as a hindrance for many players, and so it could take quite some time for a larger community to develop.
Redout is a cool-looking futuristic racing game with a lot of interesting objectives available to the player however Redout’s excessive difficulty comes front and center as its greatest downfall. The game is a fun and polished experience, If you are looking for an enjoyable high velocity racing game, then Redout is definitely worth a shot.