Redeemer: Enhanced Edition Review – Redemption Rampage
Redeemer: Enhanced Edition
In Redeemer you play as gruff ex-mercenary Vasily, whose shady past soon catches up with him. He attempts to leave his old life in the past and seek sanctuary in life as a Buddhist monk, complete with Shaolin Temple.
However, this is short lived, as a platoon of bionic enhanced soldiers show up and burn the temple to the ground and murder the monks.
This, rightfully so, doesn’t sit well with Vasily and forces him back into the darkness to seek bloody vengeance!
It’s Clobberin Time!
Redeemer is a top-down brawler at heart. However, as you progress further into the game you discover extra game mechanics.
The bulk of these mechanics are the weapons you find laying around, or acquired from bodies.
Firstly there are guns, which can be used until the ammo is depleted, secondly are the melee weapons which break over time.
When you pick up a gun, the game shifts to more of a twin-stick shooter style. Hold the gun with the left trigger, aim with the right stick and fire with the right trigger.
Melee weapons, on the other hand, are much more straightforward. As these are used by mashing the same buttons you would use for punch and kick.
This, to me, is where the experience fell apart some. The initial first hour or so sees you destroying hordes of enemies with your bare hands, launching projectiles at them, or using environmental hazards for a bloody finisher.
But soon after the first few chapters, the enemies become tougher, smarter and better equipped. Whilst this wouldn’t normally be a problem, I felt the game losing focus by trying to incorporate too many elements too soon.
Metal Gear Monk
Aside from the added weapons and gunplay, I soon came across sections where a stealthier approach was a lot more crucial. Whilst it wasn’t ever as in depth as I would’ve liked, it did dramatically change the pace of the game.
In these sections, you can sneak up on enemies and stealth kill them with the touch of a button. This came in very handy to get some easy kills in before becoming overwhelmed by mobs.
Again, I felt this was another example of the game losing focus on what it was trying to achieve. I get that Vasily was an ex-merc, and that he would’ve employed his full skill set whilst on the field. I just didn’t feel that adding all these mechanics helped the overall experience.
With that said, the gunplay overall was fun. Each gun sounded very realistic and they helped a lot when faced with tougher enemies. More so to the point, that using guns almost became a necessity, rather than an option.
One of the stand out features of Redeemer, for me at least, was the pretty robust levelling system. As well as Monk Skills that upgrade Vasily and his attacks, you also have Soldier Skills that upgrade gun proficiency.
It’s worth noting that these skills will slowly improve passively simply by using them. For instance, the more you punch, the better your punches get. The more things you kill with a shotgun, the more proficient the shotguns become.
Not only that, but once that particular skill improves enough you’ll have an option to apply a perk to it. This takes the action to the next level and really adds depth to, what could’ve been a very shallow brawler.
Shock and Gore
Visually speaking, Redeemer is a mixed bag. I found the character models and the effects, such as fire and explosions looked quite nice.
What did let it down was some of the blurry textures and surroundings. On the other hand, while each new area had a different them, the level design never really changed all that much, making it a very repetitive affair.
When I received my review copy, the publishers BUKA Entertainment and Ravenscourt Games made it very clear that they were aware of the poor frame rate on Switch, and that they were working to patch it later. However, this didn’t help the experience throughout.
Being a huge fan of brawler games, such as the beloved God of War franchise, I went into this one with high hopes, seeing as they don’t come along often.
Whilst what it does bring to the fray it does pretty well, I felt it was trying too hard to bring too much variety to what should’ve been a more streamlined tale of bloody vengeance.
I enjoyed the effects added to each finisher, which was essentially the camera zooming in and slowing down to give you a better view of the carnage.
The levelling system was a welcome inclusion, also the lack of health pickups/health regen. That’s right! In Redeemer the only way to heal up is to murder more fodder. Adding a sense of risk/reward to proceedings, which is seldom used today.
The lack of any real soundtrack was also quite jarring for me. You’d usually expect a game of this genre to have some over-the-top, loud, bombastic metal soundtrack.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case here, aside from some of the boss stages. Instead the developer went for more of an ambience approach.
Whether this was to create a feeling of dread and foreboding is unsure. Though it was nice to hear that each of the handful of story cutscenes was voice acted, very well might I add.
I don’t know what it was about my time with Redeemer but I really struggled to get into it. I didn’t really feel much of a pull to play it. Whether this was down to the monotony of the action or the chugging framerate is unclear.
I do hope the framerate issues can be ironed out in the future. As I feel this could be a lot more fun to play in 60fps. That being said, fans of this genre should still give it a bash and come to their own conclusion.
Enjoyed this review? Check out Taylor’s review of Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark and Omen Exitio: Plague! If you enjoy our content we hope and encourage you to check out our Ko-Fi page. We need all the help we can get to start a podcast and to further our site’s quality! Thanks!
Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch by Micramanic. Game provided by BUKA Entertainment/Ravenscourt Games.