The Return of Road Rash in Road Redemption
by Marcus Estrada
Road Rash was a fantastic motorcycle racing/combat series in the 90s. I enjoyed it across various platforms and always hoped the games might come back some day. It seemed that developer Dark Seas Games felt the same when they proposed Road Redemption on Kickstarter in 2013. They managed to successfully crowdfund a spiritual successor to the greatness that was Road Rash! After backer-accessible alphas, Road Redemption is finally available to everyone via Steam Early Access. So, how’s it looking right now?
Road Redemption might not be named Road Rash, but it is about as close as fans are ever going to get in this day and age. With modern graphics, super fast motorcycles, tons of weapons, and angry bikers, you’ve got a game that definitely channels the classic spirit of Road Rash. Players get to hop on a bike and start right into a game with little pretense. Heck, there’s not even much choice in what kinds of stages you play. It seems that it randomly selects a mode and then thrusts players right in.
Some of the modes pull from obvious game types such as race or beat the clock. However, you’ve also got wonderful modes where you need to wreck all your opponents (with weapons or via the environment). Then there is another mode that tasks you with attracting as much police attention as possible. Another odd mode even featured cars raining down from the sky. As you’ve only got a certain amount of health this is quite the precarious situation. Each mode certainly functions, although I would like the option to always choose whatever game type best suits my mood.
There’s already an implementation of experience points as well. You rack up money and XP each round and apply these in different ways. Money gets spent on boosts (that will disappear upon death). XP, however, is persistent and means those upgrades stick around through every playthrough. Getting enough XP in any one run is quite difficult. In fact, Road Redemption seems much harder than its inspirations ever were. This is probably due to the more precise control of motorcycles and large roads. In the early Road Rash games it felt like you basically had a few rigid lanes to maneuver between.
At first the NPCs may seem too difficult. They’re very violent and challenging to overcome. However, given enough matches you do finally start to realize they are not infallible. Soon enough you’ll be kicking or smacking them with blunt objects. Road Redemption is challenging but not impossibly so – just keep at it!
So why is Road Redemption currently on Early Access? Dark Seas Games hopes to gauge feedback from a large playerbase before a tentative first quarter 2015 launch. This means fans can suggest new features, modes, tweaks, and the like that might not otherwise come up. Of course, this is also a great way to test for bugs. Personally, right now the game feels slightly barebones. A current lack of online multiplayer is also unfortunate because I’d love to decimate buddies. It’s definitely still an enjoyable product, though. Road Rash might never be coming back but Road Redemption definitely scratches that same itch. Give it a look!
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg”]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]