Thanks to the developer and their PR agency for providing us with this review build.
Holy crap! Today is August 1st and just a few hours ago, Redeemer was released. I had no idea this game existed until I read a pretty negative review. If you’ve read any of my reviews over the past 7 years, you know that I’m positive on just about everything. Very simply, this is why I’m super positive on Redeemer: it’s an immensely satisfying beat ’em up. After the first mission, and maybe 10 minutes of gameplay, I paused to come here and start the review writing. The action, detailed graphics, and awesome player-feedback is all fresh in my head. So yes, I’m positive on Redeemer. Now I’m going to go back and bash some skulls before finishing the review…
You begin the game as Vasily, a buff monk, meditating peacefully. Suddenly, the bad guys swarm you and within seconds you’re in control. Bam! A quick cutscene that gets right to the point. Throughout the game you learn more about Vasily via NPC dialog. Learning how to play Redeemer occurs in the first level. There is a lot to learn but fortunately the main menu has a dedicated how to play section that shows the button mapping. There are some complex controls that, when mastered, pay dividends on your ability to enjoy the game. In the first level you learn to engage in single combat as well as how to manage crowds - and that’s where the game is at it’s most challenging. What really sold me was when I first grabbed a torch from a nearby wall and began bashing enemies around. I admit - it was an accident. I jumped the gun before the tutorial had instructed me on weapons. Note: while the game has support for controllers and pre-defined button mapping for the XBOX controller, I had consistency issues and switched to keyboard & mouse.
So that monk you play….he wasn’t always a monk. It turns out Vasily has a violent path, etc. etc. The evil corporation tracked him down after 20-ish years and he can no longer be in peace until he fights back. The evil corporation is slaughtering is monk brethren; it’s time to destroy! The story is wrote but that’s ok - it’s entertainment and you need an excuse for your varied weapons proficiency: hand guns, assault rifles, shotguns. I mean, the movie John Wick would suck if Keanu Reaves’ character had to learn kung fu from
an Oculus Rift the Matrix and was just suddenly a bad ass. Anyhow, the combat is sold well because it’s a mix of martial arts and shooting, coupled with (the critical part) destructible environments. And that’s what later sold me Redeemer: at one point I crossed a bridge while fighting a few enemies - I was able to use “environment kill” to smash an enemy against the railing, which killed him and broke that portion of the railing. I then grappled another enemy and threw him through that new opening and right off the bridge. Player control and feedback is glorious in Redeemer.
Take it from Valve, a pretty good game developer - they employ physiologists that help them connect gameplay with player feedback. It’s important to focus on a great final product in games, just as you would in consumer electronics or something as old as household furniture. It’s a reason why Nintendo is so beloved by it’s fans. They have bleeps and bloops at the right times in their games as well as their console menus. Not to mention the addicting eShop music. What Soboka Studios has done with Redeemer is absolutely in the same vein. What makes Redeemer fun to experience is that it’s fun to play. Think of Hulk smashing the Chitauri in the first Avengers movie. That’s Redeemer. You punch, kick and bash enemies with your fists, feet and weapons. You need to try the dodge-roll attack as well. I haven’t mentioned guns. Yes, you can pick up guns and shoot bad guys. It’s no quite John Wick-like gun-fo, but it’s really fun to play around with.
The camera is uncontrollable, which isn’t ideal. The camera does zoom in and out at times and sometimes it’s hard to see through or around buildings for objects or even enemies. The enemies have varied attacks, just like you do as the protagonist. You can also throw objects, or throw enemies into objects like Jason Bourne. All types of debris are left in your wake, sort of like Diablo. That includes enemies and destructible environments. I’ve read of performance issues by other consumers but I haven’t experienced any. I’m playing the game at 1440p with everything on “high” (not “Extreme”). My machine is a late 2016 Razer Blade laptop wtih a GTX 1060 and an Intel i7-6700HQ (quad core). The levels themselves are detailed but not very diverse.
Allow me to hammer home one point: Redeemer is a brawler or beat ’em up. It’s not trying to be The Last of Us or Pillars of Eternity. It’s a fun, action game. It’s easy for me to recommend this game to anyone that just wants a fun experience, especially at the $14.99 price tag.
Redeemer is fun with a laid back comic-book style narrative and overly gruesome battle system. It’s brutal, visceral and bloody at times. I executed an armored bad guy after a brief back and forth of punches. How? I ripped out his jugular. And it felt right. I’m going to rip out a few more now. JB out.