Review: Redeemer: Enhanced Edition

If you give an addict a taste of their addiction, no matter how long they’ve gone without, they are suddenly right back in. That’s the plot for Redeemer, the story of an ex-soldier called Vasily. A former elite operative, he has taken solace with a load of monks but an evil corporation has tracked him down. Just like that, the violence comes back.

Unluckily for the bad guys, Vasily has not only not missed a beat from his ‘being a bad-ass’ days, he also has the power of the monks. Well, he has a skill tree where he can select from monk abilities (punching, kicking, melee combos) or solider abilities (weapon related abilities). It helps you customise your experience slightly to your preferred play style, but ammo is limited so it’s much more favourable to focus on the hand-to-hand combat.

Everything is handled from a top-down perspective. It’s not quite twin-stick action, but it does use a classic left stick move, right stick shoot when you have weapons. Primarily, combat is square or triangle buttons, with combos alternating between these two. Sadly, it’s pretty limited and while the punching and kicking looks cool and physical, it gets very samey very quickly. Gun combat is mainly from collecting enemy weapons and disposal once they’re done with – no reloading here. That translates to a fairly fast and frantic pace, which is cool.

Combat gets a bit more interesting with regards to blocking, or rather counters. As enemies attack, they flash red. Counter at this point, and you’ll hit back and continue fighting. It’s a fairly primitive version of the Arkham Asylum combat and works well, however it doesn’t really evolve as much as you would like it to.

Co-op play does little to evolve this, it’s fortunate then that the core combat, despite it’s repetition is good fun. It’s slick, smooth and fast – and bone-crunching. Combos end with a close up view of the action, enemies faces being busted into walls. Environmental kills let you chain the combos together nicely, in brutal fashion. Executions – specific to the weapon you’re holding also add a tasty layer of violence.

It’s not the longest of games – about five hours – but it sure does look nice. Effects, little details, frame rate – all are better than you’d expect from a top-down shooter. Whilst the environments are nicely detailed, I did find myself getting caught on various bits which I struggled to work out whether they were actually scenery, or just painted on visuals. The third level in particular which is a broken down estate building, has a lot of rubble and whilst trying to find the exit, I would keep getting stuck on broken tables. That said, this is slightly nitpicking as these instances weren’t too annoying.

Arena mode offers 10 waves of baddies to handle. This just further shows up the lack of depth to the combat however as I cleared 9 of the waves just by hammering square and triangle. The final boss of the arena mode took a bit more work, but was more roll, then spam. The arenas on offer too act more of a practice mode for the limited combat – there’s no reward for completing them. Not even a trophy.

Redeemer is a nice looking top-down brawler. It’s limited and offers more by way of style over substance, however there are much better options out there (such as the recently reviewed God’s Trigger) which show it is possible to blend both of those things.

Reviewed on PS4

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