Redeemer is a game that I first came across back in April 2017. I was at EGX Rezzed, and Redeemer was tucked away in the back of one of the many rooms in London’s Tobacco Dock. Having chatted to one of the developers, and played the game, that was unfortunately the end of it. I forgot to chase up the game and find out what happened to it. That is until recently.
I was going through why emails, as you do, and saw a subject line that mentioned “Redeemer: Enhanced Edition”. Immediately, my brain flashed back to Rezzed, and I clicked the email. Sure enough, as expected, the Enhanced Edition is an upgraded version of the base game. The base game released back in August 2017 on Steam but the Enhanced Edition has released on Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. The Enhanced Edition promises a new local co-op player mode, balance to some of the levels and the division of the main character’s abilities (which we’ll dive in to a bit later).
Story wise, the story follows Vasily. Vasily is an ex-soldier who retired at a monastery. Wanting to live out the rest of his days in peace, he decides to become a monk and find his inner peace. Fully immersing himself in the ways of the monastery, Vasily becomes a brother to his fellow monks. One day, Vasily’s meditation is interrupted by soldiers of an evil corporation.
They murder many of Vasily’s brothers, and kidnap the rest of them. As the name suggests, the game is a story of redemption. Vasily swears to end the corporation, and free his brothers. Along the way we learn Visaly’s story, and learn of his dark past and connection to the corporation. The plot of Redeemer is not overly impressive in its execution, but it doesn’t really need to be. This game is one you play for the gameplay, not for it’s blockbuster movie plot. Luckily, the gameplay does deliver.
Redeemer is a top down brawler game, which combines both action and stealth. The player must navigate through the level, disposing of the enemies that stand between them and the end of the level. You can do this in a variety of ways. The first way is hand-to-hand combat. Executed using a combination of the X and Y buttons, this is the bread and butter of the Redeemer combat system. As with many games that have featured a combat system since the release of Batman Arkham Aslyum, Redeemer’s combat system is essentially a copy/paste of Arkham’s combat system. It is also possible to parry enemy attacks, by hitting LB when the enemy flashes red.
Executions are also available. These are done using the B button when a skull appears above the enemy, or by using the same button to perform an environmental kill. These range from throwing enemies into mill saws to burning them in a fire pit. The game’s combat system feels fluid and smooth, and it’s possible to zip around the screen chaining multiple attacks to multiple enemies. You can also pick up weapons to deal extra damage to enemies, and it’s even necessary to do so for some of the bigger enemies. These have a percent of health on them, and deteriorate with every hit.
Then there is the stealth mechanic. It’s not so much of a mechanic, more just the ability to perform stealth kills on enemies. This can be extremely useful when the room is full of enemies, as it lets you take out a few before mayhem ensues. Lastly there are the guns. Kill an enemy and they will drop the weapon they were holding. It may be a gun or a weapon. Each comes with a finite amount of ammo, and once it’s gone the gun is dropped. You can also change guns at any point. Guns range from pistols to plasma guns, and you will soon develop your favourite. You didn’t hear it from me but the shotguns are hella powerful.
As you play Redeemer you will gain the ability to unlock certain perks. As we said earlier, Vasily’s abilities have been split. There are two sections, Monk and Soldier. The monk section houses the abilities related to hand-to-hand-combat; your punches and kicks. The soldier section relates to your guns; their accuracy, silencers (adding to the stealth gameplay), etc. While I can’t comment on if this is an improvement from the base game, I can say that the perks menu was very easy to navigate. I knew which area I could upgrade thanks to the exclamation point next to the sub-section. Everything was laid out nicely, allowing me to jump in and quickly upgrade before getting back to the action.
The game’s campaign also offers a local co-op mode. The screen extends very far on the co-op, allowing each of you to go off and do your own thing. It doesn’t do that neat trick like the LEGO games do, where the screen splits and you each have a mini screen. Nonetheless there is adequate room for you to roam the level and batter enemies. Once you have completed the game, there is also the arena mode to try out. This is a mode with waves of enemies which you must survive. As you would expect they become increasingly difficult, but the mode provides a nice option for jumping in and out of the game quickly.
In terms of visuals, the game looks nice. Everything has a nice aesthetic to it. Nothing new and game-changing, but it looks nice. Audio wise I feel the game absolutely nails it. Vasily’s voice sounds gruff, almost to the point of being a cliche. Yet it suits it. And the soundtrack? Oh the soundtrack. Being a fan of the heavier side of music, I loved the music to this game. Regardless of that, there’s something about double bass and distorted guitar riffs that perfectly accompany ripping the arm off a mutant and beating it to death with its own arm.
What we end up with is a game with some solid gameplay and a story just tight enough to hold it all together. The mix of stealth and all out violence are always fun, and bouncing around the scene smashing in people’s faces never becomes tedious. The game looks and sounds good, and is overall a very solid game. The only thing I would say is that I would recommend this game on Switch over any other platform. The levels are over quite quickly and it fits the dynamic of the Switch perfectly. You definitely should play Redeemer: Enhanced Edition if you are a fan of fun, fast paced violence. Any platform is fine, but should you own a Switch I recommend it over a home console.
Redeemer: Enhanced Edition is a fun title which delivers on its promise of violence and fun gameplay. Although the story leaves a little to be desired, the rest of the game is solid. The game’s short levels mean I personally believe it is best played on the Switch, for gaming on the go. However any platform will do.