Wednesday, May 22

Review: Redout [Nintendo Switch eShop]

After being delayed for quite some time, and for a while seemingly never to come to the Switch, Redout has finally sped its way onto the system. Without a first-party high-speed racing game on the system like F-Zero or an established franchise like WipeOut or even Extreme-G that has left the field wide open for an indie to find an audience. With Fast RMX releasing at launch and the more combat-oriented GRIP having come in the last year there have been some decent choices, each with their own feel, and I’d say Redout similarly does things its own way. In this case the promise is in an impressive feeling of speed and some pretty roller coaster-like tracks. However, while it may appeal to racing purists if you were hoping for a little bit of action along the way you may be disappointed.

Starting out in the Career Mode you’ll pick your first vehicle, trying to find the balance of attributes that suit you best, and set off. What makes the controls a bit unique here is the use of the right stick for your pitch, whether that be side to side or up and down. It takes a little getting used to but it’s essential that you get on top of things. Not only will running into the walls slow you down, it will also begin to damage your craft and obviously blowing up is going to be an issue, even moreso when in events where once you blow up you’re done. As you compete and win you’ll gain more money, which you can then use to buy new vehicles or some active and passive upgrades. These do play a role in things but they’re not so much combat-oriented as annoyances to other drivers or assists to help you succeed.

In general while the sense of speed is pretty impressive there are some casualties that come with the territory. The first is that visually in order to represent everything whipping by the game takes on an unusual overall look as you get flying down the track. Your ship will retain its detail but the track and your surroundings can look outright weird in a way that’s hard to describe. Granted, the sensation of speed is crucial above all but it won’t be for everyone. The other casualty can be fun. Even with other people on the track, whether against the CPU, online (when you can find people consistently… eek), for the most part races are a lonely experience where you ultimately feel like you’re just racing against yourself for time. There are situations where racers can disrupt each other but they’re the exception by far rather than the rule. If you want to dig into something that will challenge you to do your best it works, but if you were hoping for some excitement as you take on other racers more directly you’ll be disappointed.

Overall, Redout is a pretty impressive racing experience that does a great job of conveying speed. Depending on your tastes, what is sacrificed to maintain that feeling of screaming down the track will lead to very different impressions. Without the color-coded boosting of Fast RMX or the consistent combat of GRIP Redout stands on its own as the most pure racer of the bunch, just understand that even though there’s a fair amount of content and plenty of tracks none of it will matter if the game doesn’t fulfill what it is you’re looking for in your racing title.

Score: 7.5

  • The sensation of speed is absolutely there
  • Controlling the pitch of your vehicle while racing, forcing you to use both the left and right sticks, gives the game a unique and more purist feel
  • A fair number of winding tracks and variants that can be pretty crazy

  • People who enjoy a little more variety to go with the core racing won’t find much here
  • Even when racing against opponents for the most part you’re really racing against yourself
  • While there is online support the community doesn’t seem to be very big and indie games in general don’t tend to retain their numbers for long