Redout is a high octane racing game developed by 34 Big Things where you race rocket powered hovercrafts exceeding 1000km/h. There are over 100 solo missions and an online multiplayer mode if you’re feeling really competitive.
Okay I’m going to level with you. I’m not overly passionate about racing games. There are a few that I will always love (Need for Speed: Underground, Burnout 3),but I couldn’t sit there for a solid 6 hour session like I normally would (I know, rookie numbers). I do have to say as far as racing games go; this really does stand apart.
The setting and style of the game is probably the best shot at a futuristic racer that I have seen. The vehicle designs are relatively unique (aside from the very obvious pod racer knockoff) and the bright lights of the future are pretty and would be terrifying on drugs. The use of real world locations is a nice touch, although I am skeptical if they would spout a giant racetrack spanning tens of kilometres in Cairo but then again, where else could you put it?
The customisation features are HUGE. You earn currency and XP through racing (not just winning, thankfully) which can be spent on either upgrades or new ships. There are active and passive skill trees as well which aren’t bound to your ship. This basically allows you to play with a ‘character build’. I find this works really well to keep that good ol’ grind going. Trust me, you are going to need those upgrades. Skill alone will not get you the win (don’t mean to bruise your ego, but I ain’t kidding here). The ship paint jobs are all free but there are so much of them and they are quite difficult to navigate. I’m pretty sure I spent more time picking a paint job than I did racing. The designs themselves though are very pretty, it’s just a shame it’s so damn hard to pick one.
There are some great mechanics that I am not used to seeing in a racing game though. While racing, you have to use both analog sticks to control your vessel. The left stick you use to steer (obviously) and the right stick is used for strafing (X axis) and controlling pitch (Y axis). There are particular areas on the tracks which require you to pitch your ship upwards to stop your nose from grinding on the surface. The addition of controlling a vertical plane at high speeds really keeps you on your toes. As someone who doesn’t dabble to the extreme in racing games, I found this a nice little touch to keep a genre with a not so steep learning curve fresh and interesting. The strafing feature is also an awesome wee touch that helps with steering around those tight corners. After you decelerate or brake; there is small delay after accelerating before the engines kicks in again which can cost you some precious time. Strafing helps to stop the amount of braking you have to do; thus keeping your momentum and racing line strong!
Overall I found Redout to be a really good expansion on one of the oldest gaming genres out there. The new ideas as far as mechanics ago are well thought out and easy to use. The level design is bright and exciting, my wife was giving me a hard time because I was physically leaning back when I hit the boost. It’s not my fault I enjoy an immersive gaming experience! Redout is definitely something I would recommend to a hardcore racing fan, it almost even converted me! (almost)