Available On: Steam
Developer: Sobaka Studio
Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment
Official Site: http://redeemerthegame.com/
Release Date: August 1st, 2017
Where to Buy: Steam
The major strength of Redeemer comes from knowing what type of game it is from the outset. A game like this is too busy busting heads together to care about an in-depth story, and that’s just fine by me. Much of the focus clearly went into nailing the feel of combat, with great animations and sound design making each hit feel like it has a massive amount of force behind it. It’s satisfying but simple, maybe little too simple, but if an over-the-top revenge story told over a few hours of mindless violence sounds like your cup of tea, then you could do a lot worse than Redeemer.
The bread and butter of Redeemer’s combat are two main attacks: Punches and Kicks. Punches are most effective at dealing damage to a single foe, where kicks are for wide sweeps and crowd control. The player can build combos by linking these attacks together, but also parry if timed properly to a cue. Additionally, enemies can charge the monk and pin him for massive damage, so the player has to react to different cues all while dealing damage to multiple enemies.
Most encounters are reliant on attacking the biggest threat at any time. If a firearm is on the field, then it’s best to take that out first. If a machete-wielder is attacking, then timing a proper parry should take precedence over landing a hit on a small fry. A few late-game enemies drop explosive electric charges when they die, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed you can prioritize that enemy specifically to get this helpful drop and even the odds.
It’s easy for brawlers like this to get bogged down in the same three-hit combos from tutorial to end boss. Redeemer doesn’t manage to entirely avoid this pitfall, the way it makes you manage which threats to prioritize kept the combat feeling engaging for most of its four-hour journey. That may be a pretty short playthrough, but this kind of action-heavy brawler had no need to overstay its welcome.
Weapons are scattered through every level, and while most are good for only a few hits, they’re more for taking out bigger threats as soon as possible before dealing with groups of weaker enemies. Guns are obviously overpowered in a title focused on hand-to-hand combat, but Redeemer was designed with that in mind. Typically, guns are best used for thinning enemy groups before you become hopelessly swarmed. The Monk is given the ability to disarm enemies and take their weapons for himself, so while a guard with a gun approaching alongside a big group of melee enemies can seem cheap, it’s actually the game balancing the encounter. Quick roll to the back, steal the weapon, shoot down as many enemies as possible, and finish off the group with melee.
Ammo is extremely limited in most cases, and so you’ll never be playing on easy mode for too long. Reloading isn’t an option, you just have to pick up another gun, this leads to same extremely satisfying segments where I’d burst into a room quickly disarm a guard, shoot down another and quickly trade up weapons all while making way across a battlefield. All of these elements working together are what makes Redeemer feel so active and rewarding.
Unfortunately, combat suffers in the same that many of these brawlers tend to. The first world is the strongest because that’s clearly the situation the Monk was most closely designed for. Some of the enemies in later worlds seemed to have been balanced with the use of melee weapons in mind, and if you happen to fight one without a weapon then you’ll be hammering on them for a long long time. This will mostly amount to landing the same combo over and over and parrying when appropriate. At times my hand literally felt sore from all the button mashing I’d have to do to take down the enemies that had these huge health pools.
Generally, you have very limited options against heavies too, and these encounters suffer mostly due to the fact that Redeemer for the first time is telling you to stop kicking ass and taking names and adopt a slower, more methodical playstyle. These flamethrower guards can only be safely attacked while they’re reloading their flame charges. The only real options left to you are to roll in, land a single combo, and fall back until they need to reload again. They’re immune to gunfire, so the majority of these fights are spent waiting for openings.
These poison spewing enemies have the same problem, where you’re mostly encouraged to wait out their poison spray attacks before going in to do damage. These poison enemies have a ranged attack that inflicts the same status effect, and these poison globs are very glitchy, often hitting me through walls with no animation of the projectile hitting me.
Altogether Redeemer is fun, but it fails to build this challenge in ways that capture the combat satisfaction present in the first few levels. Limited options against strong enemies and a few technical glitches hurt the experience. If you’re looking to turn your brain off and kill some bad guys for a few hours, then Redeemer will pay those bills in full, but turning your brain off is still an important part of that plan.
Verdict: Redeemer has a fun combat system that’s easy to learn, and hard to master. While options against some late game enemies are extremely limited, what’s on offer is violence-filled revenge story that’s certainly worth your time.
- Fun Combat
- Satisfying Weapons
- Great Animations and Sound Design
- Combat System a Little Too Simple
- Limited Options Against Late Game Enemies
- Minor Technical Issues