Redeemer is a brutal, top down, ultra-violent beat ’em up. You will be punching, kicking, stabbing, bashing, shooting and impaling people of all shapes and sizes. And loving every minute of it.
The Story of Redemption
Redeemer puts you in the robes and trainers of Vasily. Who has quite an interesting background but you probably won’t pay much attention to that. Not because it’s a bad story, but because you’ll be too busy murdering multiple people in very creative and gory ways to really pay attention.
Vasily was an elite operative who once worked for one of the biggest cybernetic weapons manufacturers in the world. While working here he conducted all sorts of nasty business which his parents probably wouldn’t be very proud of.
Then PLOT TWIST! The company want to turn you, Vasily, into one of their super cyborg soldiers. Vasily isn’t with the times and prefers his outdated fleshy form so does a runner to a monastery in the mountains.
For 20 years Vasily lived with the monks trying to find inner peace. Now the corporation has zeroed in on your location giving you one last shot at redemption. By killing more people than ever before.
Plenty of Murder Fun
As soon as Redeemer starts you’ll be impaling people on trees and shooting others in the face. Alongside many more gruesome ways to end your foes lives. Unfortunately they’re not going to be lining up to take you on one at a time.
Fortunately we have countermeasures for taking out groups of enemies. First up is a sweeping attack. You can pick out one ugly bugger in the group and pick on them or hit our other attack button to do a sweeping kick and hit multiple people at once. Or if you have a weapon equipped you can stab/smash/beat multiple people.
There are three ways to exterminate your enemies in Redeemer. You can do it the old fashioned way and run in throwing punches, kicks and all sorts of nasties. You can use the environment to your advantage by throwing chairs at people or ramming a table saw into their back. Then you can sneak around and silently take out enemies one by one. However these definitely feel like scripted moments rather than a style you can use throughout the whole game.
Also at our disposal is a rather useful parry, if timed correctly. If not you can just block and lose a little health with each hit. This comes in handy when surrounded by enemies so you can at least dish out a little while getting pummelled.
To add to the list of “helpful ways to kill people” is the ability to disarm enemies. Sometimes literally. This is a really useful tool when you get a bunch of armed bullies come in and embarrass you in front of the cool kids. With the ability to disarm you can hit one of them in the face with their own gun and then open up on all the rest. Always a good way to clear a room.
There’s not really a part of the fighting I didn’t enjoy. You always feel like the big meany rather than the weeny trying to defeat the meany. It’s very entertaining walking into a room and punching someone halfway across a room and then repeatedly smashing their head against the wall until they stop squirming.
Durability and You
All weapons have durability/ammo. So you won’t be running around constantly unloading clips and leaving dismembered bodies everywhere. Your weapons will break and your guns will run dry. So you have to keep an eye on that as some enemies can’t be brought down with your bare hands, regardless of how large and hairy they are.
This actually makes it more fun than annoying. There’ll be parts where you have waves of enemies so your weapons will constantly be breaking. So you’ll be repeatedly picking up new machetes and clubs after breaking the last and lashing out until there’s nothing left. At one point I couldn’t help but feel a little like John Wick with the amount I was picking up new guns and killing everyone in sight.
Don’t Leave at a Checkpoint
Now, in every other area this game has done very well to please. However, one thing it does that bothers me quite a bit is the same I remember I Am Alive doing. And that’s its save system. You have two saves, a save point and a checkpoint.
A save point will be at the end of the level and will actually save your game. Then you have your checkpoints. These activate during levels, so if you die you’ll respawn nearby enough. But if you suddenly have to go somewhere or whatever and think “oh OK well it’s saved, I can leave it here” you sir, or madam, are deeply mistaken. If left, the game will have no recollection of where you were. You go back to the game and you’ll start the level right from the beginning.
Then just to add insult to injury when you restart form a checkpoint you lose the weapons you had when you activated the checkpoint. Which is especially annoying when just after the checkpoint is a rather large enemy that takes quite some time to take down with just your fists.
To pour salt in the injury and add a comment about your mother to the insult, there is no ‘are you sure?’. When you play a game for a while you get familiar with the pause menu enough to be able to flick through it beyond the speed of light. Sometimes though you’re bound to make a mistake. If you make a mistake here then that’s it.
If you hit ‘restart’ or ‘quit to main menu’ then that is what you are doing. There will be no ‘are you sure’ pop up to make you realise your mistake and correct it there and then. No, no. You lose all progression and have to do it all over again. Not the end of the world and easily avoidable, all you have to do is not speed through the pause menu. Nevertheless, it is still a minor inconvenience.
Redeemer makes murder fun. There’s your replay value. It’s fun to play. The many ways in which to slaughter your opponents is enough entertainment to make you want to play through the game again. It has very enjoyable gameplay that’s bound to please the psycho that resides in all of us.
There are also scrolls hidden throughout the game that don’t do anything too interesting. Only adding to the glossary and giving some extra story and information. Not important but pretty cool if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s better than collectables that do nothing and make you waste 30+ hours wandering around just picking them up and getting nothing to compensate for your time… Ubisoft… And any other modern open world game really.
Then we have the arena mode. This is where you will standoff against countless enemies. This is good practice for when things get out of hand and you’re surrounded on all sides. It’s also just more fun to be had with the brutal gameplay that exists inside this glorious game.
All in All
There’s a lot of top down games floating around but Redeemer is definitely one of the better ones. Just the style of gameplay is enough to keep me entertained. The hand to hand really is a lot of fun, and that’s without the executions.
It does remind me of the old school beat ’em ups back on the Sega, which is in no way a bad thing. That’s where I spent my younger gaming years so it was a nice nostalgia trip.
Visually this is a nice bit of eye candy. Especially as it’s an indie game, but that’s to be expected when you use Unreal Engine. The only flaw I could point out here was random drops in frame rate. It only happened a few times but it was very noticeable. Other than that yes, very pleasing.
So, is this game worth your time and more importantly, your money? Yes. That’s the short answer. The campaign has a good length to it and the collectables and arena should keep you quiet for a while after. It’s a brutally, gory bucket of fun for all to enjoy.
The only real downside is the way it saves and there being no ‘are you sure’ pop up, other than that I can’t really fault it.
Release Date: August 1st, 2017
Publisher: Gambitious Digital Entertainment
Developer: Sobaka Studios