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Redeemer: Enhanced Edition

Posted by GG Goblin On August - 1 - 2019

A joyous tale of love and peace. Okay, maybe not.

Redeemer launched on PC a couple of years ago. Now, Redeemer: Enhanced Edition brings the top-down brawling tale of revenge and blood to the consoles, casting the player as Kratos’ seemingly twin brother, Vasily. Get ready to paint the town red with the blood of your enemies and find some form of redemption.

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Top-down brawlers in general tend to be somewhat simplistic when it comes to a story. Countering this, Redeemer actually has an interesting tale to tell. Players will take on the role of Vasily, a former operative for one of the biggest cybernetic weapons manufacturers in the world. However, eventually Vasily had outlived his usefulness and the corporation turned on him, forcing Vasily into hiding. Finding some kind of peace at a secluded monastery, Vasily spent years living with the monks, and sure enough the corporation found him and pretty much destroyed everything that he now held dear. Peace was obviously not on the cards for Vasily, and so it is time to use fists, feet, and anything else that comes to hand to take care of this enemy and maybe find a little redemption.

Sure, it sounds like the tag line for an action flick. But once the player starts on their journey to redemption, it is actually quite impressive how much the story will keep them invested. It is not as straight forward as it may first appear, with some cool twists and turns along the way, making it one of the most enjoyable stories for a game of this genre that I have come across.

But hey, great story or not, this is a top-down brawler, and action is king. Redeemer does a great job of putting the player in control of Vasily the killing machine, just as capable with his fists and feet as with any weapon that he happens to pick up along the way. There is a punch and a kick that can easily be linked together into combos. The fighting is very smooth, but doesn’t stop with just those two attacks. There is a grapple, a counter and a very handy roll that will get Vasily out of trouble. However, Things expand far beyond these simple moves.

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For starters, there are contextual attacks, such as impressive finishers when an enemy is stunned, or the chance to make use of environmental features by, for example, throwing an enemy into a fire. Then there are the huge number of usable items in the game. This begins with Vasily simply being able to pick up and throw barrels and other objects in whichever direction he is facing. There are plenty of different weapons that Vasily can pick up and use in melee, such as knives or hammers, for added damage. These wear out over time, but there are usually plenty of replacements around for Vasily to use. Finally, there are the ranged weapons. These again can be picked up through the game, providing Vasily with the likes of pistols or shotguns to take down enemies from a distance. They are well mapped to the controls, with the player using the right stick to aim and the trigger to fire, but they do feel somewhat unimportant compared to the hand to hand brawling. It is not that they don’t pack a punch, it just feels far more fun getting up close with the enemies, especially if there is a large group. The guns have limited ammo and so, much like the melee weapons, can only be used for a limited time.

The combat is incredibly satisfying in Redeemer. There are no complicated button combos to remember, and everything flows together very smoothly. The game has an interesting health regeneration idea in that Vasily will regain health as he puts the beat down on enemies, encouraging players to keep moving from one enemy to the next. There are some stealth attacks, but stealth suggests a much slower pace of game that isn’t really suited here. Players are able to refine their version of Vasily as they progress by choosing to improve both his melee and ranged combat skills, and perks will become available that offer various other improvements, including the likes of new melee attacks or increased ammunition for different guns. It all works quite well.

Redeemer has various difficulty levels for players to try their hands at, with the standard difficulty being just about right for a fun time to start with. However, as the game progresses, the difficulty does spike somewhat and can get a little frustrating. The biggest problem in Redeemer though, comes from the repetition. While the player will fight their way through some interesting environments, and the enemies do change up occasionally to keep things fresh, it doesn’t take long for the constant action to wear a bit thin. Arena battles offer a break from the story and the newly added local co-op allows players to bring along a friend for the fun, but the gameplay remains the same.

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Redeemer: Enhanced Edition is a solid top-down brawler with more story than most games of this genre. While the performance is not always great, the actual gameplay flows very well and feels satisfying. It does lack variety, but if you fancy fighting your way through loads of enemies and giving the cleaner a hell of a job, Redeemer: Enhanced Edition could be worth checking out.




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