Top-down shooters aren’t ordinarily my thing, but after playing and subsequently really enjoying The Hong Kong Massacre on PS4 earlier this year, I’ve found a new flavour of games that I’m slowly learning to enjoy. Redeemer Enhanced Edition is one such game, though it’s not strictly a top-down twin-stick shooter.
Redeemer Enhanced Edition is a simple game. There’s not much story to follow. It’s as simple as you playing as a bald, angry dude who has given up his past life as a soldier to live in peace at a temple. Bad guys show up and start causing shit, so now you slip back into your old ways to crunch some skulls and get your home back in order. And that’s about it. There’s very little else too it, and that’s fine by me.
While Redeemer takes on the appearance of a top-down twin-stick shooter, it’s actually more focused on melee combat and smashing anything you can find over the bad guys’ heads. Guns play a a small role but, as I found out, they’re largely useless outside of shotguns. They’re unwieldy and not very accurate, and they lack the satisfying squelches that come with putting your knee through a bad guy’s face. So don’t go into this one expecting a Hotline Miami-like experience, but more top-down God of War.
As expected, there are plenty of levels and lots of secrets to find. You’ve got your metroidvania-esque layouts and an upgrade system that encourages you to go rooting around the levels for upgrade points and such. Upgrades are an important part of the game, though not early on. During the opening hour or so you can get by with your basic attacks, but the difficulty soon ramps up as tougher enemies are thrown into the mix, some of which unfortunately require the use of guns. Bleh. Like I said, the gunplay isn’t the game’s strongest point, so when absolutely required I’ll always go for the shotgun. However, if you can manage the ranged weapons then you’ll be able to put some of your upgrades to good use, as one such perk restores health for every gun kill you manage to pull off.
For me, it’s all about the punching, kicking, and comically taking out the bad guys with gory environmental kills. No matter what level you’re playing, there’s always the opportunity to impale an enemy on something.
You don’t just have to rely on your hands and feet, though, as there are melee weapons that can be picked up and used to deal death to the invaders. The only problem is that they all break after a short while, though it’s not that big of a deal as they are plentiful and you’ll never have a problem finding a new murder weapon to play with. Similarly, guns are limited in ammo and rarely have more than a half-dozen bullets before they’re discarded. It’s a touch annoying at times, especially when you come up against a tough enemy who can’t be bitch slapped to oblivion. On a few occasions I had to run around the level, pick up a gun, shoot what few bullets I had, and then do it all again until the bad guy finally had the good sense to lie down and die.
Strangely, stealth is given as a viable option. In some parts of the game you’ll come up against a large amount of enemies, and the game then suggests taking a stealthy approach. If you can get behind a foe without being spotted, you can take them out silently. It’s a nice option to have, sure, but it’s not really a viable approach at all. Whenever I tried to take a sneaky-sneaky route and dispatch baddies with a neck-break kill from behind, I was spotted a few seconds later by another wandering foe. It’s just not a stealth game, so my advice would be to just go in all guns, hands, feet, and bit of wood blazing. It’s far more fun and far less stressful.
I can’t really say much else about Redeemer. There’s not a lot wrong with it. It’s difficult at times – sometimes a little too difficult – and the controls take a little getting used to, and gunplay is a bit poo, but those gripes aside, Redeemer is a very good little game. It looks great on the PS4 Pro and I didn’t have any problems with the game crashing or stuttering with a bad frame rate. It was smooth killing all the way.
If you’re keen on top-down twin-stick shooters/brawlers, you can’t go wrong with Redeemer. It requires very little investment in the game’s characters and story, it’s simply a game where you pick up the controller, kill everybody you can in a level, move on and do it again. Delicious, I say.
Redeemer Enhanced Edition PS4 Review
Redeemer Enhanced Edition isn’t trying to be something its not, despite taking obvious cues from several other games. It knows you want to get straight into the action and don’t want to be bogged down with hours of dialogue, so it throws a ton of enemies at you and lets you get on with it. No faff, no frills, just mindless slaughter.
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Reviewed using PS4 Pro.