Redout: Lightspeed Edition Review- Dizzying, Colorful Speed

Posted September 13, 2017 by Thomas James Juretus in Video Games

Developer: 34BigThings

Publishers: 505 Games, Nicalis, 34BigThings

Release date: August 29, 2017 (NA), August 31, 2017 (EU)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One (reviewed) coming to Nintendo Switch in September

Inspired by games like F-Zero and WipeOut, developer 34BigThings seeks to scratch that anti-grav racer itch with Redout. The Lightspeed Edition of the game is loaded with content- 25 different tracks spanning 5 locations on a post-apocalyptic Earth and the moon Europa, with over 100 events in the career mode, and a wide array of ships to unlock and purchase. The game has four modes for you to try out your skill in. Career Mode is for those solo players, allowing you to compete against AI racers, earning cash and experience points to help you level up. You’ll only be granted medals if you finish in the top three, but for those struggling have heart- you will still accrue cash and experience points just for participating in an event. As you level up, you’ll unlock more events, and at certain levels, you’ll unlock a new class of ship. You’ll also be able to purchase upgrades for your ship, one active and one passive can be equipped for most events. Pure events don’t allow any upgrades, you’ll have to make do with your standard ship. Upgrades can be swapped in between races, as some aid more in certain events than others.

Events are a varied but familiar bunch to those who play a lot of racing games. You have your Time Attacks (match the time for the appropriate medal), Races, Last Man Standing ( a survival mode in which the person in last at the end of a lap is eliminated), a 99 lap Survival run (you race against a clock with no respawns should you crash), and more. Some events will have modifiers. Pure events don’t allow upgrades, others limit respawning. There are six racing teams to choose from, and four classes of ships to use (the ship class must match the event requirement). From time to time you will get contract offers, each with their own stipulations. Some require you to win an event, and others just require you to get a medal. Generally you’re awarded a new ship or upgrade if you successfully complete the contract. Contracts will also specify the event- switch the event out and the contract will fail. You can hit retry if you don’t get your desired result for an event. Hitting continue will move you along, and the contract will fail. It’s up to you how you progress, and the fact that progression isn’t tied to winning or successfully completing contracts is nice for players who may struggle. Everyone can still level up, just not being successful in races will require more grinding for experience points.

While the controls are relatively simple, they don’t feel as tight as they could be. Grinding against walls or the floors of loops will negatively impact your hull. Get down too far and your ship will explode. If the event allows it, you’ll respawn in the same location. If not, you’ll be eliminated. If you take damage and can avoid any grinding, an automated repair routine will be activated, restoring your ship’s hull integrity. Activating the routine can be a little inconsistent, and you’ll need to be very careful as your hull integrity doesn’t refill quickly. AI ships exhibit rubberbanding- you’ll need to be near perfect in most events to do well. Nimble fingers and a keen eye are required here, especially since the controls seem slow to respond to get you off of walls. The tracks are all filled with bright colors, with some moving through cities, some through jungles, and others across an icy terrain. Others move through a kaleidoscope of shapes, and with these tracks and environments being so brightly colored, coming off of jumps can be tricky. Some tracks are hard to pick up, and result in plenty of crashes. You’ll always respawn on the right side of a gap, but a crash will definitely cost you in an event where you’re competing against other drivers. It seems once you fall behind you’re done, though more skilled drivers may be able to overcome this.

Outside of the Career Mode, there’s a Quick Race for you to practice against an AI driver, Split Screen for local competition and Online to race other players across the internet. All modes carry over your cash and experience points, so you can jump about to match your own play style. I never hit any full online matches (a full race can have six players or more), but I was matched up fairly quickly. The Career Mode does suffer from some longer load times. They’re not game breaking, but can be annoying when you’re itching to get back into the action. The game does benefit from a great soundtrack, with both electronic music and rock instrumentals. The featured songs may not stick in your head after you shut the game off, but they make for a great background while playing.

In all, Redout: Lightspeed Edition is a challenging anti-grav racer that offers dizzying speed along brightly colored tracks. A deft hand is required for the most success, but even less skilled, casual players can make progress if they’re willing to put in the time. With over 100 events and 25 different tracks to master, there’s plenty of content here. The loose controls may frustrate some, and others may experience some eye strain or even headaches from prolonged play (if that applies, play is shot bursts, as events, even tournaments that include multiple races, don’t take very long to complete). The soundtrack makes for a great background to the racing, and the sense of speed can be thrilling. It’s a good game for racing fans to jump into if they’re bored of “normal” cars. It’s not quite pod racing, but it’s close enough to provide hours of entertainment. It’s a solid game that gives you your money’s worth. If these type of racers are your thing, definitely give this one a look.

About the Author

Thomas James Juretus