Thank you Tripwire Interactive for sending us a review code!
Road Redemption was successfully Kickstarted in 2013 with an alpha version arriving in April of 2014. The beta version of the game launched on Steam’s Early Access in the fall of 2014. Development was slow and steady with the final version arriving in 2017 for PC and consoles in 2018.
This game takes inspiration from the Mad Max movies with a post-apocalyptic world with scarce resources that everyone is fighting for. The country is run by biker gangs and the leader of the Ironsight Weapon Cartel was killed by a masked assassin. The cartel is offering a $15,000,000 bounty for the assassin dead or alive and every biker is on the lookout for them. You’re part of the Jackal bike gang hoping to collect on the bounty before anyone else.
When you launch the game you can choose to play the campaign, quick play, or an online race. Configuring your motorcycle and racer is the next step. The motorcycles have different attributes including acceleration, max speed, nitro boost, and steering. The racers have different abilities as well such as starting health, damage, and nitro levels. The starting weapon load-out varies by racer as well.
Road Redemption randomizes the tracks, objectives, and available weapons. Whether you play a quick race or campaign, the experience will be different every time. Money earned in races can be used to buy additional weapons and upgrades. Drugs like angel dust, hydrocodone, steroids, codeine, and morphine are for sale too. These items do not transfer over if your character runs out of health. Failing a mission won’t instantly end your game, but it will reduce your health by 25%. Experience earned from racing does not go away. You can spend experience points to unlock increases to your health, damage dealt, item availability at the store, and so forth.
The objectives for the races will vary. Sometimes you have to kill a certain number of enemies, finish in third place or better, or dodge cops to catch up to your bounty. No matter what the objective is, you have to fight to survive. If you don’t use your weapon to defend yourself and fight back, you’ll be knocked off your bike before you know it. There are two gauges to take note of: your health bar and nitrous bar. If your health fully depletes, it’s game over. Nitrous can be replenished by doing near misses with oncoming traffic. Some bikers will have icons over their heads. If you take them out, you can earn additional money, nitrous, and other goodies from them.
The combat and weapons are what make this game fun. Some of the weapons at your disposal include razor blades, shovels, swords, lead pipes, and guns. Blunt objects can be used to knock a helmet off of a rider and then you can switch to a sword to finish them off by decapitation. This game can get rather gritty and whenever damage is taken by your character or another player there will be some blood splatter and the screen will turn red. The ragdoll physics when wiping out are pretty entertaining.
If you’re looking to play with friends, locally is your only option as the multiplayer is dead. Up to ten players can play together if you can coordinate it. Local multiplayer supports up to four players using split screen.
The quick play mode starts off with a few tracks and unlocks more as you complete them. There’s a fair amount of track variety here including winter maps and rooftop racing. Many of the campaign missions I’ve played were desert themed. Visually, this game is a bit on the bland side without a lot of detail. Fortunately, the gameplay makes up for the lack of eye candy.
The heavy rock and roll background music is fitting for the edgy theme of this title. The (Australian?) voice acting is well done though it’s laced with lots of profanity including the F-bomb.
If you don’t mind the lack of online multiplayer, senseless violence, and profanity, Road Redemption is a fun action-packed racing game. The randomized missions and weapon variety keep things interesting. Just don’t play this game near kids!