Road Rash is one of those classic series from 20 years ago that is remembered fondly by gaming fans and overlooked by its IP holders. Its “latest” release was Road Rash Jailbreak, released for the Game Boy Advance waaaaaaaay back in 2003. Fourteen years later, developers Pixel Dash and EQ Games have finally delivered their long-awaited spiritual successor to the series, the former Kickstarter project Road Redemption. We all know the word “Kickstarter project” is very hit-or-miss nowadays, but I can assure you that, at the very least, Road Redemption is far from being a bad game. Fans rejoice, here’s your new Road Rash.
Just chill, dude
In terms of visuals and sound, Road Redemption isn’t exactly groundbreaking. By the looks of it, the game appears to have been planned for the last generation of consoles. Its textures aren’t visually impressive and the environments are a bit repetitive, given all we’re looking at all the time is a bunch of roads. Thankfully, the framerate is top notch, as the most important thing in a game like this is the ability to constantly maintain a great sensation of speed. The sound department is also just…good. The soundtrack is alright, comprised of tracks which vary from chaotic classical to adrenaline-pumping metal. To summarize, tracks which would fit perfectly into a Mad Max movie. While the soundtrack gets the job done, I can’t help but feel disappointed with both the voice acting and the sound effects, most notably the engine noises. It’s like every single bike in this game sounds like a 50cc scooter, even the Harley-Davidson clone.
With all the aforementioned commentary regarding the game’s okay-at-best artistic department, I must say that it didn’t actually affect my overall enjoyment of the game (well, maybe the underwhelming engine noises). This is a spiritual sequel to Road Rash. The important question here is: does it play well? Is it fun? Yes and yes.
You brought a (very big) knife to a bike fight
First of all, the gameplay. Road Redemption plays pretty well. The controls are, for the most part, excellent, with great responsiveness and a simple control scheme once you get used to a few things, such as the usage of the left trigger not as brake (brakes are for the weak!), but as a mechanism to help you perform sharper turns when pressed. There is also a button for attacking people on your right and attacking people on your left. Besides mastering these controls, which will take just a few minutes to get used to, and the fact the nitro is activated by pressing the right trigger twice, the game controls pretty well, as arcadey games like this one should.
But the game’s main draw is the fact that every track is randomly generated before the start of the game. While this results in insanely long loading times, that’s also, by far, Road Redemption‘s coolest aspect. This ensures the game has tons of replayability, given that not only are the track designs changed, but shortcuts and death traps as well. To be really honest, you can get the game alone for the arcade mode, that’s where you’ll have the most fun. Then again, you’re probably just going to stick to this mode anyway, as the game’s main campaign is quite underwhelming.
In case you missed it
Don’t expect Road Redemption to be a masterpiece. It is based off Road Rash, a series that has never been anything else but dumb fun titles. That’s what this game is as well: dumb fun, and that’s exactly what I wanted it to be. While it has some issues, like dated visuals, ridiculously long loading times, some glitches here and there, and a below par story mode, it controls pretty well and its arcade mode is insanely fun. A nice addition for your PC catalogue if you’re looking for some cathartic chaos-inducing fun.
Copy of Road Redemption provided by publisher