28th May2019

‘Redout’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

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The futuristic racing genre is one that has been around for a while, made most famous by Wipeout (a game that this title takes reference from, alongside an F-Zero X vibe) the high-speed, strafing along looping tracks designed for astonishing speeds is one that captures a lot of peoples imaginations.

Redout is a solid addition to the genre but is focused mostly on pure racing and speed, removing the weapons that are usually involved in such games although due to a few points I’ll address later in the review, I can see why they wouldn’t fit here.

The amount of customisation possible in Redout is quite impressive, not just in the variety of crafts available but the ability to alter the decals and equip active and passive upgrades deepens the experience even further. There are also a fair amount of tracks on offer and this along with the challenging difficulty means that it’s not a game you can whip through in a few hours.

Whilst the game has several modes, one of which is quite a neat idea whereby you race through five linked tracks, making one enormous whole (called ‘Boss’ in-game) each comes down to the same premise…go really, really fast and don’t hit anything. This is is where my previous comment of weapons not really fitting into the game comes in.

Racing in Redout is a nippy experience, whilst there are some visual limitations due to the power constraints of the Switch, the sense of speed can’t be denied and it runs at a solid 30 fps. The issue is that, due to your in-race relationships with other racers, it almost feels like you may as well constantly be in a single-ship time trial as you essentially occasionally whip past each other (which I assume would be pretty realistic at the speeds you travel) never to be seen again. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why power-ups and weapons aren’t integrated as they would pretty much be redundant anyway due to the design of the game.

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Redout uses a twin-stick style of control whereby the left stick controls your craft and the right stick controls pitch and strafing, so you can take corners more tightly and ride the various loops and curves on the circuit for maximum speeds, you ship also has a specific amount of damage it can take before it explodes and needs to be re-set on the track (the high difficulty means two or even one of these means you’ll probably be last). The health does regenerate, but slowly and so as you get that ‘Hull at 10%’ warning flash up on screen, you will be sweating! There’s also an energy meter which regenerates pretty sharpish and this controls how much manual boost you have available, there are also gates on the track which provide bursts of speed if driven through, meaning you can get some seriously tasty acceleration on the go.

Redout is a well designed game with a lot of depth for the racing purists out there who love shaving seconds off their times but its high level of challenge and possibly the graphical downgrades on Switch will put some people off. It’s not a game I would sit down and ‘session on’ personally, but as a futuristic racer on the go it’s a solid entry in the genre and I’m impressed by the sense of speed it achieves on Nintendo’s handheld, although the inclusion of some local multiplayer would definitely broaden the appeal.

Redout is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

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