Developers: PixelDash Studios and EQ Games
Review Platform: Microsoft Windows
Release Date: October 4, 2017
The motorcycle combat genre was first popularised by the Road Rash franchise in the 90s. However, no game could do justice to the genre after the discontinuation of the franchise. All we've had are the sub-par “Jacked” and the abomination that was “Ride to Hell: Retribution”. In 2013, Ian Fischer started a KickStarter campaign for a spiritual successor to Road Rash and after four years of repeated delays, we finally have Road Redemption.
The campaign of Road Redemption deals with an intense rivalry going on between four fictional biker gangs – Jackals, Reapers, Sigma and Phantoms. When the leader of a cartel is killed by a masked assassin, the cartel announces a bounty on the assassin's head whom all the biker gangs chase and try to capture.
The campaign is composed of a series of race events which reward the player with in-game cash and experience points. These can be used to upgrade the player at the end of each event. Failing an event does not restrict progression, however it does deduct 25% of your health in the next event. For those who are not willing to commit to the campaign, there's a quick play mode as well.
The gameplay is the most important part of a motorcycle combat game and that is the department where Road Redemption shines the most. The inclusion of a wide range of weapons, nitro and jet fuel packs have added on to a formula that was already quite entertaining. The game also has various types of events such as Race, Beat the Clock and more. My favourite game mode is one where vehicles are constantly being thrown at you and you have to survive by evading them. However, I have found steering the bike while engaging in combat to be quite troublesome. I did find myself getting more comfortable the more I played.
Right off the bat, you'll notice that the graphics aren't exactly AAA-quality but that can be excused since the game was independently developed by a team of only 10 people. Also, the visuals aren't so bad as to break immersion. The developers did pay attention to some very small but nice details such as enemies' helmets coming off when you hit them with melee weapons.
The soundtrack of the game suffers severely from the low budget of the game. The developers couldn't make their own soundtrack or buy licenses for groovy, memorable songs. Ultimately, the soundtrack ends up sounding too mellow and generic – especially during the high voltage moments within the game. Thankfully, the sound effects in this game are just decent enough to keep you interested.
The storyline for the campaign feels quite underdeveloped, especially because of the lack of cutscenes and quality voice-acting. The characters boil down to nothing more than generic names floating over bikers' heads and their motivations are very unclear.
Road Redemption may not measure up to Road Rash in terms of the soundtrack or the nostalgic value. However, unlike Road Rash, Road Redemption takes itself very seriously and is able to stand on its own.
Nony Khondaker is an introvert who complements his non-existent social life with video games, Netflix and a whole lot of ice-cream. Send him memes and cat videos to cheer him up at fb.com/NonyKhondaker