Review: Road Redemption (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC
  • iOS, Android

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Road Redemption
Format: PSN (7.93 GB)
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Tripwire Games
Developer: Pixel Dash Studios
Original MSRP: $19.99 (USD)
ESRB Rating: M
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Road Redemption is a love letter to all those Road Rash fans that have been wondering for years, “Where is a Road Rash sequel?”. Well, EA has never answered that question, and while we have received legions of Need for Speed titles, Road Rash has been all but forgotten.

But here comes Road Redemption, an otherwise spiritual successor to that motor-bike-combat racer that stole so many hours of my days back in the Sega Genesis era, and then again later on 3D0. Seriously, if the game had been called Road Rash X or something like that, no one would have argued that “it just doesn’t feel like Road Rash.”

But if you did miss that moment in time when the series was in its prime, Road Redemption is a motorcycle racing game, where part of winning involves knocking the living crap out of the other racers, with anything from a pipe, to a sword. Or you could simply kick them off course and send them careening into an obstacle. Basically, win at all costs.

Fortunately, that tight control system that made its inspiration so great has been recreated brilliantly here with Road Redemption, which is fantastic, because this game can test your skills. Not only does the AI become challenging, but they are also out to beat you to a pulp as well. So, any deficiency in the gameplay would be enough to render the gameplay disappointing.

Another thing that somewhat separates this series from Road Rash is the “permadeath” element. It was a bit of a turn-off for me, because I enjoy slowly progressing through a campaign, even if it means slowly developing my bike and skills.

That said, even when you do lose a race, you can still spend money on building up your bike or buying new ones. I just hated starting each sequence of races every time I lost.

Visuals:
While Road Redemption doesn’t take advantage of modern technology, in terms of graphical fidelity, it still holds its own, with a smooth framerate that only stutters from time to time.

Furthermore, the game supports four-player split screen (an almost lost art). Thus, I believe the visuals are great when you factor in that you can race with three buddies on the same couch.

Audio:
Aside from some adequate sound design, nothing really stood out as good or bad with Redemption’s soundtrack. That’s not to imply that anything is wrong here, but it’s par for the course. The hits do sound great, especially when you knock someone with a pipe.

Online/Multiplayer:
We had a blast with some four-player matches, particularly offline on the couch. That’s why games like these are made. And Redemption technically holds up even when you are in furious multiplayer races.

Conclusion:
You can call it Road War, or Motorbike Battle. I don’t care what it’s called. The Road Rash game needed an update. And whether or not the developers intended to bring that series back to life with a new name or not, it happened, and I’m very happy for that.

Score:

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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