With streaking flashes of color whizzing by as you race at speeds of over 600mph, Redout zips onto the Nintendo Switch platform with blazing speed. Following in the grand footsteps of games like Wipeout and the ever-loved F-Zero, this futuristic hyper-speed racing game tries to plant its own footing among the greats, but can it keep up with the same momentum?
For the uninitiated, Redout is part of the hyper fast racing genre that leans on players memorizing track layouts, and having twitch like reflexes to control their vehicles through tight turns, corkscrews, loops, and more, in order to perfect a course time or beat opponents. Typically seen in this class of games are super futuristic environments and vehicles set in wild track layouts that due to the high speed, are extraordinary in length. Redout, as a love song to this genre, follows suit in every way while adding extra modes, a little more craft control, and a whole lot of content to play in.
Career Mode is the primary spot for players to zip into for the core experience. It’s here you’ll be told to pick your first stage 1 hovercraft from any of the 7 corporations available. Each of these corporations and their vehicle has a tailored set of stats, and can be upgraded in 4 large stages throughout the career dependent on player level and an unlock cost. The ship designs are quite incredible and really are visually varied. From a Podracer styled vehicle that has two giant turbines out front in parallel with the cockpit in tow behind, to a super sleek shield-centric craft from Koeniggswerth Corporation, to even a Mad Max/The Fifth Element looking hover car from the Conqueror Corporation – you’ll have plenty of choices. Once you’ve purchased your first vehicle, the others will lock out until purchased down the road.
These vehicles also play crucial roles in how you overcome races. It didn’t take me many events to learn that I needed to buy some alternate ships to maximize my placement in a certain event type. There are 6 stats in which every craft is rated, and of the 11 event types, some require better speed than others, or need you to have a better hull integrity as you’ll get beat up a lot, among other things. Collecting ships was just as much of a functional need as an aesthetic desire.
Each ship still has several things that can be customized and upgraded. As I mentioned before, when you buy the Stage 1 selection, you’ll have 3 more large stage upgrades that are gated off by player level and money. These don’t come fast, and require a reasonable long investment into the game to utilize. Additionally, each stage of the craft can have one-off minor upgrades purchased and applied, and also prior to each race you can purchase and select an active and passive ability. These abilities can certainly turn the tide of an event and also help tailor your ship to a race more appropriately as well. Lastly, for an unlocked vehicle, you’re able to change the livery and color schemes for free allowing for a bit of personalization while racing.
When playing the career, you’ll be partaking in events from a linear order with the chance at placing from Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. The game offers 3 difficulty settings, and by default you’ll be playing on the middle one, which for me offered quite a challenge and for many races I struggled to even maintain a Bronze placement. Here’s where the large amount of content really shines through; 11 game modes each with some pretty unique variables lessens any repetition by a reasonable factor. A few standout modes are present. I enjoyed the Boss event, which actually linked several tracks together for a lengthy endurance styled race. There’re also a few hardcore races that ditch respawning such as Arena Race, and the InstaGib race, both forcing players to have top notch skills to survive the event at all. There are also plenty of traditional racing modes to be found as well including Elimination, Pure Race (no power-ups), Time Attack and classic races.
Not only does the game offer a ton of event types, there’s an impressive number of environments and courses you’ll gain access to during your time with Redout. The game offers 12 environments that spread out to a staggering total of 60 tracks, with many looking incredibly unique and diverse. You’ll have a hard time feeling like you’ve raced the same track over again at practically any point. Now, Redout indeed came out on other platforms previously, so this Lightspeed Edition packs in all of the DLC into the base game, thus creating such a large content library for new players on the Nintendo Switch.
Aesthetically, with the impressively designed ships coupled with the low to mid-poly style the game embraces in its vibrant environments, you’ve got the result of a cohesive and striking game to be seen. A game in this genre absolutely must visually stand out given the top speeds and blur of environmental objects that’ll slip past you in less than a heartbeat, to which Redout has perfected. However, when playing in handheld mode the game doesn’t quite hold up. It appears that the game utilizes dynamic resolution to maintain a solid framerate, which ultimately sacrifices visual fidelity. I’ve seen this in a couple of other games now and again such as Fortnite, but never to the extent I’ve seen here. Unfortunately, at times this borders on almost crippling playability as everything will turn into an artifact/fuzzy lower resolution mess. It’s worth noting that this didn’t happen at all when playing on the TV, where the game’s resolution and framerate looked great.
Overall though, gameplay is fast and fluid. Unlike some of the other games in this genre, you’re also given tilt control of the vehicles, which comes in handy during loops and with just a bit of skill you’ll avoid bottoming out and scraping your vehicle on the ground.
Offered in the title are two other modes as well. Online Multiplayer was something I actually got a bit excited over, as after spending a fair bit of time in Career I wanted to take my ship in and test my honed racing skills against others! Regrettably, when attempting to find a server…any server in fact, I was met immediately with the dreaded “no servers found” message. After several days (post release of this game too), I never found a hosted match. So, I set out to host my own in hopes that others may join, but again I remained in my own lobby endlessly. This was a disappointing outcome and without a local play option, this game for me at least remains a single player only affair.
The final mode is a Quick Race option where you customize all aspects of an event for yourself as a way to have fun on the fly. That being said, I have some pretty mixed feelings with how this mode was delivered to players. You see, the largest appeal to me in a game like this is the sense of progression and really earning the new awesome looking vehicles. Within this mode though, you’re allowed to play as all vehicles, even the top tier Class 4 ships. Now there are some caveats that mitigate this free-access a bit. You won’t be able to customize the color or livery and so you’re left with a flat beige looking craft, and any of the on-vehicle upgrades won’t be accessible either. Still, for me it felt like having unlimited access to these high tiers straight away heavily detracted from spending the crucial time in career to unlock them. I can appreciate why the call was made from the developers, it’s just not exactly one that resonated well with me. On the other hand, many of the environments and courses are locked off until you’ve reached them in career so all is not lost in this mode in terms of giveaways. Quickplay is absolutely great if you just want to drop into the game and get a session in with any mode, and tailored to your own liking.
Redout offers an immense amount of content thanks to all of the included DLC. The gameplay is smooth and rich, but over time does start to feel a bit lonely as many of the modes are against the clock instead of other opponents. There’s a reasonable progression within the Career Mode, which kept me interested in playing race after race. When pit against game rivals Wipeout, F-Zero or even Fast RMX, Redout will remain near the front of pack – holding its own for now, but not quite a leader.
- Graphics - 7.5/107.5/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
- Gameplay - 7.5/107.5/10
- Lasting Appeal - 8/108/10
Final Thoughts: GOOD
Redout features hyper fast racing and looks visually stunning when playing on the TV. Controls are sharp and fluid, but a completely dead online multiplayer and no local play option was disappointing, and the visual fidelity in handheld mode leaves much to be desired. The $40 asking price is double the competition, like Fast RMX, but Redout features a ton of tracks and modes and futuristic racing fans will definitely find a lot to like here.