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.

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