Review: Redout 2 Is Slow to Get Off the Line

I love racing games—especially the futuristic type of super speed racers that seemed to be inspired by F-Zero. There is definitely a demand for spaceship looking cars careening through space, under the sea, and other exotic locations, and Redout filled that gap nicely. Needless to say, the anticipation for Redout 2 was a little high, and despite Redout 2 delivering on its promise of fast of superfast vehicles and incredibly difficult tracks, I’m having a hard time getting into this sequel.

Redout 2 is a racing game where you pilot a vehicle at insane speeds. In fact, Redout 2 might be one of fastest racers I’ve ever played. Since the vehicles you’re operating don’t have wheels, the dynamics of racing in Redout 2 are a little bit more like flying than just racing. You can turn but also strafe. When you’re navigating a jump, you will have to boost to stay in flight, and you even have to roll your craft to meet the track at the proper angle to ensure a safe landing. Pitching up and down on tracks that rise and lower is essential, too, as your craft will otherwise grind into the track and slow you down. Since Redout 2 is all about speed, any time you’re not going at a breakneck pace, you have the chance to fail your time trial, or get so far back in a race that you won’t be able to recover.  

Screenshot: Redout 2

While Redout was known for its difficulty, Redout 2 is insanely punishing. I’m not someone who has spent a lot of time with the previous game, so the high barrier to even get into the normal game mode was a real let down. One of the tutorial levels was so difficult, I spent an hour or two before finally mastering it. You might think this is a case of a game reviewer that isn’t able to play video games, but I’ve been playing this style of racer since SNES’ F-Zero. The problem isn’t that I’m not that great, yet, it’s that most of the game is locked behind mandatory tutorials. Locking even multiplayer features behind a mandatory (and hard as balls) tutorial is a bafflingly bad game design decision that tanks an otherwise fantastic racing game. I even waited to publish this review to see if it was just me with the problem, or if the community feels the same. According to the Steam store page, the reaction is shared by more than a few users.

Redout 2’s difficulty might be a high bar to overcome, but it’s extremely satisfying once it is. While arcade lets you jump into the action with a number of premade vehicles, the real fun is in career mode, which give you the ability to unlock new vehicles and parts to customize and maximize them to your liking. There are a number of different types of events you can participate in, including time trials and races with AI racers. These latter races can feature a large amount of competitors, and can turn into chaos. However, racing against the AI is a bit of a letdown, and, shocker: even the slightest mistake at any point will usually put you too far behind to succeed.

Screenshot: Redout 2

Unfortunately, it seems like even if you do your best in Redout 2, there are just some things that can’t be overcome. For instance I’ve found myself flying straight through the track when I expected to make a landing. There are also a few things that make Redout 2 a little strange to control.  I spent most of my time playing Redout 2 with a controller, and sometimes I’d find myself fighting against the controls. For instance, each of the two different boosts are mapped to the shoulder buttons, but hitting those while strafing and pitching up/down can make it feel like you need a few extra digits. This was something else that was alleviated a bit through practice, but it’s yet another barrier to enjoying Redout 2’s super-fast gameplay.

Redout 2 features a number of different groups of tracks, with each group being in its own themed environment. Some tracks will take you deep underwater while others will have you soaring through the clouds, or even in space. The environments are gorgeous—but you don’t get much of a chance to look around. The tracks are also extremely challenging, even in the earliest circuits. To master each requires quite a bit of skill and practice. The biggest annoyance, however, are the unskippable cutscenes. Before each track there is an introduction that you have to sit through that gives a little bit of lore and information for each track. While I appreciate the effort, I don’t need to hear the same tidbits every time I want to jump into a race.

Screenshot: Redout 2

Redout 2 could be a great game, but it’s a little slow to get off the line. There have been a response from the developers about making the tutorial a little easier for new players, which is something that would vastly improve the first hour or so with the game. I’d like it if they removed the mandatory tutorials and let you skip them to get right into the action. Because Redout 2 manages to be a pretty damn great game—and one I’ll revisit in a few months.

Redout 2 is available now for PC on Steam and the Epic Games Store, on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, and on XboxOne and Xbox Series S|X,.

A Steam key was provided to us for the purposes of this review

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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, video game historian, and small streamer.
He is also the editor of the Games and Tech section but does not get paid for his work at 3CR.
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