The 1991 Sega Genesis game Road Rash remained a fan favorite thanks to its unique premise: motorcycle racing with the added objective of beating other drivers to death with melee weapons. Fast forward to modern times, and developers Pixel Dash Studios and EQgames have modernized this formula with Road Redemption.
Featuring simple yet deep mechanics, fun missions, and a competent multiplayer experience, Road Redemption overcomes its graphics and map-design flaws and solidifies itself as a quality title.
Campaign and multiplayer are a blast
Road Redemption's campaign lacks any semblance of storytelling, but that's OK, that was never this game's focus. Instead, the value in the campaign lies in the objective-oriented missions and customization for your character.
Each level of Road Redemption gives you a different task to complete. Some levels require you to win by reaching a location before other drivers. Others task you with assassinating a specific target, such as a biker leader protected by a posse of cronies. Some will even challenge you to kill every enemy on the road.
Completing levels earns you money, which you can use to upgrade and customize your character to suit your playstyle. Hungry for kills? You can max out your weapon damage and other offensive stats. More of a defensive player? Upgrade your armor and counter-attack skills.
This variety is what keeps the singleplayer from feeling bland. Each level will test your abilities to drive, slash, and smash in different ways, and it's oh so satisfying to finally beat that level that you've been stuck on. Once you beat the campaign, you can also hop into multiplayer and play against random players, or your friends, in a variety of game modes.
Gameplay is simple but deep
The beauty of Road Redemption's design is the way that it takes Road Rash's premise and expands on it with a plethora of moves and skills. While the objective is simple — drive up next to other drivers and kill them — the way in which you accomplish that is where the game really opens up.
Everything from direct combat to utilizing your environment is viable. If fighting another biker with melee attacks, there's an arsenal of parries, counter-attacks, dodges and other moves that you have at your disposal to deal (and avoid) damage. If you struggle with this, then you can opt to kill people by pushing or bumping them into map obstacles. Everything from oncoming traffic to concrete walls is a potential tool for you to utilize.
There are two types of weapons in the game: blunt and sharp. Blunt weapons knock around other bikes and can pop off the helmets of enemies, while sharp weapons do higher damage and can decapitate foes who aren't wearing head protection. In addition, there are also special items. My personal favorite is the sticky bomb, which you can attach to enemy vehicles and watch the fireworks.
Ultimately, Road Redemption's simplistic concept contains a surprising amount of room for strategic thinking. The only issue with the gameplay is that the maps are rather repetitive. Though there are a variety of them, they all unfortunately feel very similar and none of them have any features that separate one from the other.
Visuals and performance are nothing special
Road Redemption takes a bit of a step back in the graphics department. While the game doesn't look bad, it does look below average. When it comes to music, though, Road Redemption has an enjoyable soundtrack of hard rock music that acts as a perfect backdrop to the violent gameplay.
Performance is also solid, and the game runs very well. There were a few hiccups here or there, but nothing to be worried about.
Road Redemption for PC review conclusion
Road Redemption, despite having a few flaws, nonetheless impresses with its sound gameplay mechanics, strong customization system, and great performance.
- Excellent gameplay mechanics.
- Well-made singleplayer and multiplayer.
- Good music and performance.
- Below average visuals.
- Uninteresting map design.
Road Redemption is available now on Steam for about $20.
This review was conducted on a PC, using a copy provided by the publisher.
Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.