Just by looking at Redout you’ll be reminded of old-school futuristic racers like F-Zero and Wipeout, the latter’s likeness also being slightly touched upon in the game’s title. It’s super fast, it’s super stylish, and, like its inspirations, it can be super tough.
Redout puts you in the year 2560 with Earth now in a post apocalyptic state due to the dire effects of global warming. Guess the scientists were right, huh? With humanity having set up new habitats on different planets and moons, Earth is now a playground for spectacular racing events – the ‘Solar Redout Racing League’ in particular. You’re a racer in this league as you aim to propel up the rankings and achieve supreme racing glory.
Of course, achieving this glory isn’t particularly easy. Redout specialises in races that hit incredibly high speeds across winding tracks, whilst your vehicle can easily get destroyed if you aren’t too careful. I spent so many races simply bouncing back and fore across the track, watching my vehicle’s health slowly whittle away as I accidentally kept making head on collisions with corner after corner. The high speed of the game is certainly incredibly cool, but it also makes the game all the more difficult.
Your vehicle always respawns after getting destroyed, but you can almost certainly write off your chances of victory in the race. If you’re a perfectionist and aiming to come first in every race then you’ll find yourself hitting that ‘restart race’ button a lot after getting destroyed. It’s fairly unforgiving, though it’s something that’ll get easier the better you get at the game. That initial hump of ‘getting good’ might be off putting to some players though.
Vehicles come with varying stats that offer you a variety of different boosts such as speed, handling, shield… you know, the usual. The different boosts may compliment different player’s play styles and you’re able to choose your starting vehicle so it’s certainly worth picking something that suits you.
As you win races you’ll gain XP to level up and cash to spend on new upgrades and power-ups for your vehicle. The upgrades simply improve the different facets of your ship, whilst the power-ups bring something a bit more specific – you could have a drone that can repair your vehicle, a big speed boost, or even a weapon that can immobilise enemies in your vicinity.
Redout’s career mode is pretty straight forward by racing game standards, with a series of varying events to work through that get progressively tougher as you get further into the game. The aforementioned power-ups and unlockable vehicles make things easier, though your opponents will also get new ships too in order to keep each race competitive. It keeps the difficulty fairly consistent (it never gets easy), but it took away the sense of progression I’ve often felt in other racing games. I love seeing my garage improve in racers and in turn my chances of winning improve too, but it isn’t really a common occurrence in Redout. It’s always about your skills as a driver – something I seemed to be lacking…
Positioning in the top three of an event brings with it varying XP and cash rewards. I’d often settle for ‘third place’ finishes just to progress through the career, though even that’s fairly difficult to achieve in some events. It does make every ‘first place’ finish all the more satisfying though; there were times when I was so close to victory that I’d keep retrying an event over and over again, and even though that gold medal seemed to constantly evade me I couldn’t resist having ‘one more go’.
There’s a decent variety of different events to play through in the game, with the likes of standard races, time trials, ‘Last Man Standing’ (whoever is last at the end of each lap gets eliminated), or ‘Speed’ that rewards you for going as fast as possible. Some events have a ‘Pure’ form too, challenging you to complete the event using a vehicle with no power-ups. They can be a fairly harsh reminder of how difficult the game can be, especially when you start to get dependant on the game’s power-ups.
Of course, it’s from retrying events over and over that you’ll slowly get better at Redout. The tracks are so anarchic that it’s an absolute must that you learn when each bend, loop the loop or corkscrew is going to crop up. A lot of events use the same tracks too, so even if you spend close to an hour trying to earn gold in one event it can still benefit you later on. There are twenty tracks across four hazardous environments in total, so it’ll take you a while to master everything though.
Visually Redout looks fantastic, even if it can be hard to appreciate everything due to the high speed. Watching things blur past you is impressive though and it really immerses you into the sense of speed you feel as you blast through track after track. Whilst vehicles look slick and futuristic, it’s the environments that stand out the most. There’s a desert environment (Cairo), a snowy environment (Alaska), a jungle environment (Abruzzo) and, my favourite of them all, a flaming lava environment (Volcano). Each environment looks spectacular and is packed with detail, plus the topsy-turvy layout of each track means you get to appreciate your surrounding from all angles too. Speeding down into a huge volcano looks awesome in-game – some moments will simply blow you away.
With the expansive career, quick races, online multiplayer (which admittedly I wasn’t able to find too many races for) and plenty of vehicles to unlock Redout will keep you busy for awhile. It’s something worth sticking with too – it can be so unforgiving to begin with, but as you put the hours in and learn each of the tracks you’ll find yourself getting much better at the game.
Redout is all about high-speed, death-defying, spectacular racing and to the game’s credit it certainly delivers. However, the thrill of hitting these high speeds isn’t always as satisfying as it should be, all thanks to the tough nature of the game. The first few hours of the game are held back by it and I’m sure some gamers may feel a little put off almost immediately, even if everything is simply stunning to look at.
Stick with it though and you’ll see Redout has both the style and substance to be a fantastic racer… you’ve just got to get good at the game to appreciate it. Once you get used to the game’s racing and start finding success, you’ll find that Redout is a hell of a lot of fun. If you haven’t got the patience to overcome these hurdles though, Redout might not be for you.
Release Date: 02/09/2016
Format(s): PC (Reviewed), Oculus Rift, HTC Vive