Anti-grav racing is something that is I’ve enjoyed for a long time, since WipeOut 64. It’s fast, exciting, engaging and takes you to some interesting places. Something other racers never seemed to do for me. Now finding this on the PC, I’ve lost many hours to master just one track, out of nearly a hundred.
This is a racer, nothing more or less. You have laps to complete, across a variety of tracks, with different rules. Normal races and Pure races are only the start of the many events. Some have you simply trying to survive, to pass through a set number of check points. Others have you racing for points, the better your current place the more you earn. Others are to see how fast you can go. This is what keeps the single player fresh. Rarely are two events quite the same, back to back.
Not only are there a plethora of events, there’s also a good number of teams. With six different teams, there’s plenty to choose from to make the most of each event. If you need something tough and sturdy, one team is a clear and obvious choice. The same is true of speed, agility, grip and more. Each team has a strength that help or hinder in your current event.
Unlike most other racers of this type I can think of it has some very clear mechanics relating to the track and speed you’re going. The first is the level of stick, grip you have to the track. This can work for you and against you. Some tracks, you can near drift around each and every bend. Others need you to be much more controlled, needing stability for such close and frequent turns.
The second and to a degree, third, mechanic relates to the people who are piloting these craft. Depending on your speed, the orientation of the track, you may black out. Not only that, as the name says, red out. Depending on the turn you make, you can watch your screen go red or the colours fade out. I’ve not pushed it so far that I’ve completely blacked the screen out or it’s gone to red, but I’m pretty sure I’ve come close. Knowing just how far you can push can be the difference between a podium finish and needing to repeat an event to progress.
A welcome fourth addition to this title is the ability to upgrade your racer. While it doesn’t sound like much and the bonuses aren’t excessive, it can change your second or third placing to a first. These upgrades come in the standard areas of acceleration, engine power, the like. The other upgrades, disabled for Pure events are power ups. These can dramatically change your racer. Self repair, turbo boosts, extra grip on the race tracks. These give you a degree of customisation that is very welcome. Now with livery, custom skins for your racers which you can earn, you have plenty of freedom to choose and experiment with.
Audio and Visuals
The first thing that stands out in Redout is the style. It’s styled as a racer and it’s true to that core. Race locations are varied, icy plains to deserts, to cities to more. Racers themselves are an odd mix of positive and negative spaces, wings that expand when the drives are at full power yet somehow still solid. Not only that, all of the levels are filled with colour, yet it never overwhelms. The different ways the racers are built, styled, you clearly recognise who you’re driving for. You are a driver, pilot in a clear sport and that is exactly what you should be. You always know where the race track is going next.
The option exists to experience this in VR, Occulus Rift, OSVR and Vive.
Like other racers of this type, these games live and die by their soundtrack. This is one that works for me, a clear mix of dub styled music, as well as more of an electro sound to my ears. The sound of racers and the announcer never overpowers each other as well. They blend into together at times, perhaps a little too much. When you’re so focused on the track and keeping your position, it can be hard to remember what lap you’re on. Even if that happens a quick look can tell you how many points you’re on, your position and lap. The HUD is minimal but very functional.
Multiplayer is here and in two forms. The first and most obvious is in the online leaderboards. While the dev’s might have wiped out all previous, personal leaderboards, the new online ones are well designed and update regularly. It’s a real challenge to equal some of the times posted.
The second is the ability to race against your friends and others online. Only two modes are present here, Race and Pure Race. This is a bit of a disappointment, but in my few races seem otherwise stable and if you’re up against some really skilled players, you’re in for some damned difficult races.
After the technical frustrations I had with this game, I had a great time with this title. It’s hard not to get pumped, planning your course. More importantly remembering that while you were going forward, you will need to time your turns, control your pitch and yaw. With so many vibrant tracks and vibrant racers, minutes quickly turn into hours. If you’ve got a PC or console, even the Switch and you like the genre, this needs to be a part of your collection.
The version reviewed was the PC Steam version.