Developed By: Sobaka Studios
Published By: Buka Entertainment
Platforms: PS4 / PC / Switch / Xbox One
Reviewed On: PS4PRO
Redeemer was first released back in 2017 on the PC. Now just two years later and Enhanced Edition was released in July for all current-generation consoles with a few new bells and whistles. Was the release of Redeemer Enhanced Edition worth it?
Redeemer tells the story of a man called Vasily, an elite operative who once worked for one of the biggest arms industry corporations in the world. Working in the security department, Vasily was tasked with infiltrating, assassinating, extorting and torturing as the corporation decreed. When the corporation decides to get rid of him is when he manages to escape to the mountains. For 20 years he managed to find peace and harmony with the fellow monks, but he is still haunted by his murderous past to find either. Now after all of these years, the corporation is finally closing in on your location, and in doing so is giving him one last shot at redemption.
So that is the official story description of Redeemer, but it felt like I was playing a slightly different game. It starts out with the monastery getting wrecked and Vasily being pissed that his 1000 days of peace was disturbed so he decides to murder all the invading soldiers. The story unravels more through the glossary that updates with every chapter. From what I picked up, Vasily was once with these group of bad men led by a mad scientist who loved experimenting. His best friend decides to get with the program, get those sweet upgrades and be a cyborg. Vasily is like hell no, I’m going to get myself outta here and shoots his friend in the face while escaping. For some reason the chopper he was in is shot down conveniently next to a Shaolin temple but the baddies only come to look for him after the aforementioned 1000 days of peace. Kratos wannabe Vasily then uses his fists, kicks, sticks, swords, machetes, electric prods, guns and even the environment to rain hell on whoever and whatever gets in his way. The story is very generic and not told particularly well but in a beat em up like this you just wanna get back to destroying bad guys.
Graphics & Sound
The game is running on Unreal Engine 4 which was quite a surprise for me. I was expecting something quite gorgeous but, in the end, feels very bland. Even though you will go through environments such as temples, labs, sewers and etc it all just kind of blends together after a while. Nothing really stands out graphically. It’s not ugly, just unmemorable. Not to mention the myriad of performance issues that the game suddenly has for no reason whatsoever. Cameras get stuck on nothing requiring an in-game suicide to reset. In some areas like the factory, the framerate dips hard. At one point I even thought I was invisible, turns out the camera was stuck, and I was somewhere off-screen.
I was looking through the concept art for the game and there were a lot of interesting designs for all the characters as well as the enemy types you encounter in the game. Unfortunately, while playing, the camera just feels too far above to really appreciate any details that should pop out more especially considering the engine they are utilizing.
At least the physics bugs are hilarious. When shooting enemies with automatic weapons like the SMG or Plasma they kind of go into a semi stun-lock/seizure mode that provided me with unintentional laugh out loud moments only because I didn’t know what the hell was going on. Not to mention the part where the final boss was still talking even though his corpse was laying on the floor. Maybe it was intentional telepathy?
I didn’t find any particularly memorable music tracks in the game and elected to turn on Spotify in the background instead to compliment my playthrough of the game. Sound effects for guns and punches are alright I suppose.
Presentation & Gameplay
I mean for a game this size it was passable. I do understand that it comes from an indie developer, but it can feel sloppy at times. Menu Screens are notoriously laggy which would turn off anyone even remotely interested in the glossary the game is offering. Even the transitions from the menu to cutscene and back to menu is jarring. Thankfully it is simple and straight to the point to get the player into the action. There are sixteen chapters in total for the game and my game duration was probably around the 5 to 6-hour mark on the Normal difficulty.
The fighting can be entertaining up to a point. The screen above shows the bonuses players can accrue simply by using the methods of disposing enemies shown above. The higher the level, the better the perks, i.e. invisibility while rolling or having silencers on weapons. By the end of the game, you can max out all the criteria above which does provide some boost to not dying so easily or just killing things faster. The early game feels like Hotline Miami at times where you have to kind of balance and pick your path and moments but ultimately feels like a very minor hurdle. Guns especially early on feel too limited and fist fighting can get boring quick. Even the environmental kills get old fast. The included stealth feels so pointless as well I just don’t know why it was even an option, to begin with.
Enemy variety is also nothing to shout about as you meet soldiers, bigger soldiers, mutants, bigger mutants, slashing mutants and spitting mutants, It doesn’t help how sometimes meeting new enemies can be confusing. The flamethrower enemy for example, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to continue hitting him or run away or throw stuff at him and to top it off I kept dying. It was when I literally was banging my head on the wall by constantly hitting him that I discovered that was how you beat him. In the end, the beat ’em up aspect of the game was alright but didn’t feel like it was something special and I do feel that it’s a shame.
What I Wished Was Better
- Everything – It might be cheating to say everything but I really do mean that. I don’t even hate the game I just really wish it did everything better.
It might be telling how little I have to write about this game. They used a great engine, but I feel that it went to waste as they didn’t really do anything special with it. The main character unfortunately really looks like a Kratos ripoff, gruff voice included. Fighting enemies doesn’t really feel balanced or particularly satisfying. On a positive note, there might be players just looking for a short distraction and it is well worth looking into. However, I do feel they might be shooting themselves in the foot with the current pricing of USD29.99 or MYR 125.00 as it really does not feel worth that price at all. Maybe if they dropped it to around the USD15.99 (MYR67.00) price point it might just be better suited by what value players might find with the game.