Seen as the spiritual successor to the classic mayhem of the Road Rash series, Road Redemption was developed by Pixel Dash Studios and EQ Games.
Attempting to recapturing the essence of what made those games so much fun, Road Redemption gives it a decent go. However, it is a flawed experience thanks to a lack of variety and polish but it’s also incredibly addictive.
Choose a bike, choose a racer and get ready to go to war with a variety of weapons. You can use a shovel, a pool cue, a machete, a sword, a shotgun and much more to take down your opponents and the mayhem is incredibly fun. Road Redemption makes motorbike combat very simple thanks to the one-button commands. One button for a left attack and one button for a right. Another to block incoming attacks and one more to kick out at a rival’s bike.
It’s easy to understand and play but also has depth as the plentiful combat items and different enemy types require some form of strategy. This is way more prominent in later levels where enemies take more damage, have shields and use guns and explosives too.
As well as taking out rival bikers strategically, you also have to be tactical regarding your health and boost. The latter is very important in races that are quite short.
It’s not all about racing though. Sure, the majority of levels require you to finish in the top 3 but others ask you to eliminate a set number of racers and every so often you’ll face off against a singular powerful boss. These tie into the game’s story which sees rival gangs of a dystopian future vying to catch and kill an assassin.
What probably makes Road Redemption stand out though is the perma-death system. Die while taking part in the campaign and you’ll have to start again from beginning. All your upgrades are lost, however XP earned can be spent on skill upgrades which are permanent. This skill tree has a lot and as you unlock more and more the game gets easier and easier.
The XP returns are meagre though and the first couple of plays won’t get you much resulting in restart after restart. Later you can unlock the ability to start the campaign at a later mission through the skill tree which makes things a little more bearable. However, this is where we find the biggest flaw in Road Redemption, the repetitive objectives.
From beginning to end there are 20 tracks but only 4 objectives. The same four objectives on a loop and it gets old very quickly. Once you’ve completed the campaign there is very little in the way of replay value. Other then racing to earn medals on the individual tracks and local multiplayer there is little left to Road Redemption.
Hardcore players can find extra challenges in a campaign + mode and by attempting to complete the game with different bikers. The draw with the latter is each biker comes with restrictions to make each play-through different. At least it would be if it wasn’t the same objectives repeated over and over again.
That’s not the only issue with Road Redemption though. While the combat is done very well, the collision detection is all over the place. Then there are the graphics which look pretty poor, more like a PS2-era game.
If you can get past that though, Road Redemption is a decent game. For all its flaws, there is fun to be had and the combat is satisfying. It’s not Road Rash but it’s the closest we’re going to get it seems.