I was a fan of anti-gravity racer Redout when it released in 2016. As a result, I was excited to learn that there would be a new Redout game, even though this time, instead of an anti-gravity racer, it would be a space combat game. That’s a bit of a departure, but I love space shooters, so I was excited to check out what I assumed would be an ultra-fast, balls to the wall mixture of shooting and flying. What I didn’t expect was a completely on rails shooter. That isn’t a deal breaker immediately. Hell, some of my favorite space themed shooters were on rails. What makes Redout: Space Assault a bad game is the complete lack of fun I had playing it.
Redout: Space Assault is a mostly on rails shooter that looks a little bit like Everspace—but is otherwise nothing like that game. If anything, the gameplay feels more like Starfox or similar. You don’t have full freedom over your ship–instead, you react to enemy projectiles while following a mostly predetermined course. Sometimes, you do have a little bit of freedom to fly around, but for the most part, Redout: Space Assault is on rails. On rails can be fun with interesting encounters, difficult enemies, and engaging boss encounters—but Redout: Space Assault has none of that. And what’s worse: despite it having Redout in its name, Space Assault is not a fast game.
I would love to report that I played through all of Redout: Space Assault’s nine chapters, but I did not. Each of the chapters contains a varying amount of levels, but even so, I couldn’t bear getting through them all. It was horrendously boring. I found myself even nodding off during a few of the levels, most of which consist of mindlessly shooting with your main gun or missiles, often both, to enemies that fly conveniently into your arc of fire while shooting slow moving projectiles you can easily avoid. Completing a level gives you currency you can exchange for ship upgrades, and completing optional objectives give you even more of that currency. Ship upgrades include stronger weapons, and more defense. After you complete missions you’ll also get cards, which can bestow more powerful upgrades to your weapons, and even change how they behave.
But why bother?
Redout: Space Assault is one of those games I review that I just want to put down, and never even think about again, let alone write a review about. It’s not like everything is horrible, though.
The production values for Redout: Space Assault are surprisingly higher than you would expect from such a negative review. The character you play as—Leon—chatters with his fellow pilots in an attempt to provide context for you actions, but it’s all just pointless exposition that is spouted as you fly around the same few looking asteroid and debris fields. I’ve seen others praise the graphics for Redout: Space Assault, but I just don’t see how they’re praise-worthy. The colors seemed washed out, and none of the effects were particularly impressive.
It’s a shame that Redout: Space Assault didn’t even attempt to capture the feeling of speed from Redout—as your craft feels like a jalopy. You can fly through rings to get a short burst of speed, or use your afterburner to fly ahead a little—but it never manages to give a good sense of speed. That’s sometimes hard to convey in a space game where distances are nebulous, especially if you don’t have references for an object’s size as you fly past. But Redout: Space Assault is completely devoid of the feeling of moving fast.
I absolutely don’t recommend Redout: Space Assault. It had potential, but it’s a baffling, boring, and incredibly inept game. Play Everspace 2 instead.
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