I fondly remember my copy of Road Rash for the PC when I was a kid. Since that classic title, several games have tried to capture the same magic of motorcycle combat, but few have come close. Road Redemption is the next in line to try and take the title.
Will this game soothe that road rash you have, or does this biker title crash and burn? Let’s find out!
A No-Nonsense Experience
Road Redemption isn’t interested in holding your hand or helping you feel a consistent sense of progression. It’s also not too concerned with a riveting story, but it does have an interesting premise. After years of strife, peace has finally been achieved between the gangs that roam the world.
When a major gang leader is assassinated, however, a massive bounty goes out on anyone who can track down the killer and bring them to justice, preferably with a machete or pipe. In the roguelike campaign, this is your goal.
You’ll participate in a series of events as you make your way through various regions in pursuit of the assassin. Some events are simple races, while others require you to take out targets or reach the finish line before time runs out to gain ground on your target.
Between events, you can spend your hard-earned cash to purchase temporary upgrades, but when your health hits zero, the game is over for good. Before you’re kicked back to the main menu, however, you do have the opportunity to put your XP into a permanent skill tree that eventually offers you the chance to start at milestones within the campaign.
For those who prefer a more traditional approach, Road Redemption also features a quickplay mode where you can earn medals and unlock new events. There’s also an online mode with its own progression system, but players aren’t easy to come by consistently. It’s a shame, because the online does perform quite well.
Now, all of this wouldn’t amount to much without a strong combat system and controls. In this regard, Road Redemption turns in a solid performance, but it’s not without flaws. As far as controls, the triggers will act as your gas and brakes, while the triangle and square buttons attack to the right and left respectively.
Circle is a kick that can put some space between you and your opponents, while X is the button to deflect attacks, and R1 grabs enemies. It sounds like a lot to handle, but in practice it all works pretty well once you get used to it.
Driving itself is also good, but not great. Brakes are responsive and bikes feel good, but if you go off the beaten path, physics goes out the window. You’ll bounce off the environment and fly off your bike pretty easily when you hit something.
Turning also works far better at slower speeds, so you’ll want to keep your finger on the L2 button at all times. Using the d-pad, you’ll switch between weapons that are best used in specific situations. Machetes, for example, don’t work well on helmets, but pipe will do the trick. You can even utilize explosives for some satisfying kills (provided you’re not in range).
The addition of four-player split-screen is quite welcome, and while only one player earns XP towards the permanent skill tree in the campaign, it does add another reason to bring out Road Redemption when you’re hanging out with friends. Once it’s all in motion, Road Redemption offers some satisfying combat and racing, but there are moments of frustration.
Presentation That Does The Job
Graphically, Road Redemption doesn’t strive to do much more than the basics. Environments are pretty standard fare, while animations are serviceable but by no means lifelike. That being said, there is a nice sense of impact when your weapon connects, and some of the more gruesome kills do a nice job of conveying the carnage.
Road Redemption has a strong foundation and some interesting roguelike elements. The addition of split-screen and satisfying combat helps to elevate it above the pack, but don’t expect this biker game to reinvent the wheel.
Final Score: 7.0/10
A copy of Road Redemption was provided to PS4 Experts for review purposes
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 2/8/19