Game On: Road Redemption
We’ve gotten our hands on the hotly anticipated homage to the illustrious racing-meets-mayhem video game of the 1990s: ‘Road Rash’. Here’s what our in-house gamer-nut had to say about it
we review the spiritual successor to one of the most popular video games ever: Road Rash
ROAD RASH WAS ONE THE MOST POPULAR games here in India, especially among those of the twowheeled persuasion. I have extremely fond memories of hour after countless hour glued to my computer, elbowing my siblings out of the way in an effort to keep playing the thrill-a-minute bike racing game with a vengeance. So when I heard that a fan was building a spiritual, modern-day sequel to a game that was an integral part of my childhood, I was naturally sceptical. I needn’t have been, though, because the development team have the same rabid reverence for the original as I do, and the result of this reverence is a game that takes everything great about Road Rash, and amplifies it.
Being an indie game built on a successful Kickstarter campaign, it doesn’t have that polished sheen born of over-indulgence and teams so big they don’t know what to do with them that you find in games being churned out of the big studios. ‘Road Redemption’ is a little rough around these edges and, in my eyes, that’s perfectly fine. I downloaded the game on Steam (PC master race!) and got down and dirty with it. There’re so many familiar elements that tug the strings of nostalgia, like mouthy NPCs, assorted weaponry to beat the living hell out of your opponents, and annoying police officers who are extremely hard to shake off. The game, though, is very evidently a modern one, and the devs have elevated its arcade-like, slightly frivolous approach to the styles of the 21st century. Decapitating opponents spouts a shower of blood, detonating enemies causes massive explosions, it’s a whole bunch of edgy, maniacal fun.
There’s an absorbing campaign mode, where The Jackals (your guys) are up against a group of biker-boys adorned in the post-apocalyptic fashion styling of Mad Max. All rusty metal and pointy spikes. The Reapers, as they are called, need to be raced against (finish in the top three in a race), escaped from (time-trial run), thwacked (an elimination race where you have to quite literally eliminate your opponents), and beaten in a race to escape the police (basically, survive the onslaught),
among many other things.
There are also boss battles, different levels, and unlockable rewards based on how well you do, which adds an additional hook to the game. There’s also a quick play mode where you can split the screen for up to four players, and an online mode where you can participate in races with people from all over the world in a team-versus-team sort of format.
The game is an absolute hoot to play, and simple enough that you don’t have to overheat your brain after a long day’s work, but not so simple that you lose interest. It’s also oddly cathartic, when you knock off a rival’s helmet and then decapitate him with your sword; doing in the game what you can’t do in real life when some idiot cuts you. It’s much easier to play on the controller than on the keyboard, so make sure you have access to one. The edge-of-the-seat action, and glorious gore all add to the game’s charisma and, overall, whether or not you’re a fan of the original, as long as you like racing games with a bit of a sharp edge, ‘Road Redemption’ will leave you squirming with anticipation, screaming with rage, grinning with wild jubilation and, more than anything else, it’ll leave you coming back for more.