Redeemer is a top-down brawler, and the newest installment from developer Sobaka Studio. You play as Vasily, and elite operative for one of the world’s biggest cybernetic weapons manufacturers, who attempts to turn you into one of their cybernetically enhanced soldiers, but you escape into the mountains, finding a little known about well hidden monastery. 20 years go by as you train with the monks and attempt to find peace while your past creeps back up on you. The temple is attacked by soldiers and you spring back to being a killing machine, despite years of peace.
So my first thoughts with Redeemer are nice enough graphics, the combat and movement systems were fairly fluid, level design is a bit frustrating at times, but overall manageable. I find the games title a bit ironic as a lot of it’s qualities are far from redeeming. So let’s dive right into the nitty gritty and talk about what gets you from A to B, the movement and combat systems. Overall, player movement feels fluid, except the dodge roll feels a bit sluggish, not in it’s speed, but in it’s recovery time. He’s supposed to be an incredible mercenary, and monk (who we all know are masters of martial arts), so why does it take him so long to recover from a roll? It didn’t even feel necessary to use it, because by the time I had recovered I wasn’t out of danger because they’d caught right up.
I know it’s a brawler, and it’s meant to be hectic, I get that and it does provide a fun challenge as the parry button does work fairly well. When you get into the swing of it, it’s very slightly reminiscent of the brawl in the Batman Arkham series by RockSteady. Except lacking in combos, as you can only punch, kick, charge attack (which at times takes too long to bother with), and shoot. I feel like you could’ve added maybe a grapple action, on the same button as execute and environmental kill, just something to mix up the monotony of the games combat. After the first few chapters I started to get bored with it, beat that guy to death, shoot that guy, put this guys head in an oven, after awhile the environmental kills lose their novelty and it just becomes a grind, even with the addition of new enemies and different levels.
The character designs are interesting, and they provide a nice bit of variety up until you learn how to counter them. Some have special actions like a grapple or pin move, which can be difficult to avoid, and ends up with you rapidly tapping a button while you get attacked by a mob. Though in the spirit of the game, it can get a little frustrating when you can’t parry it, and the hitbox for that move seems to be pretty wide that it makes dodging very difficult. As you get into it, though they differ in looks, some of the enemies have the same move set, whether they’re mutants or soldiers.
The level design can get frustrating with a lack of check points, once you die, you have to fight all the way back to where you were. This can be part of the challenge, but when you get bottle-necked in a small room over and over again it left me feeling a little discourage about continuing on. For the most part, I wasn’t too bothered by it, just certain choke points, and the checkpoints seem random and spaced a bit far apart at times.
I’ll brush slightly over the story, but it’s definitely a bit lack luster and run of the mill with the whole trying to run away from your past but it always comes back to haunt you trope. It seemed a bit too edgy for me personally, and definitely no where near deep enough to get me invested in the main character. So it makes up for that with mindless violence, that lacks in variety. Honestly if you don’t like being punished, and you’re not up for the grind, I wouldn’t recommend this game for you, but if you enjoy brawlers and you’ve got the patience for the difficult parts give it a go.
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Review Statement: The author of this review was provided a PC code by the publisher for the purposes of this review.