Redout review for Xbox One, PS4, Switch

Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PS4, PC, Switch
Publisher: 505 Games/Nicalis
Developer: 34BigThings
Medium: Digital/Disc/Cart
Players: 1-6
Online: Yes

Redout is not what you’d call an ambitious game. It looks for inspiration to the likes of Wipeout and F-Zero and then…well, it doesn’t really do anything beyond that. I’d like to say that this game builds on the futuristic racing base that those two franchises established, but that would be a lie. It basically just mashes those two series together and calls it a day.

In general, I don’t have an issue with games that steal freely from others, but there’s just something about the way that Redout does it that makes it hard to overlook. Like, it doesn’t even do anything beyond borrowing heavily from its spiritual forebears. The vehicles, the environments, the music — if you told me that they were lifted straight from one of those games, I’d have no problem believing it.

What’s more, it doesn’t even do anything all that interesting with what it has here. The vehicles don’t handle incredibly well; they generally feel a little too lightweight, and even if they’re clearly going fast, they never feel like they’re going all that fast. Even when they explode, it’s a lot less exciting and visceral than it should be when, you know, a spaceship explodes. The races, too, are pretty dull: the tracks all seem to blend together in a vaguely futuristic haze, without any of them having very distinctive personalities.

In Redout’s defense, you could arguably say that it’s not like anyone is doing anything with those old futuristic racers. Notwithstanding the release of the Wipeout Omega Collection earlier this year, we haven’t seen games like this on home consoles in what feels like a long time. And there’s nothing specifically objectionable going on here — it’s all competently done, no matter how generic it feels. So, in that sense, you could do worse than picking this game up if you absolutely have to play a futuristic racer.

Of course, for PS4 owners, at least, there is the little matter of the aforementioned Wipeout Omega Collection, which does the futuristic racer thing better than Redout could ever dream. There’s something ironic about a game from the past capturing the vibe of the future better than a game that came out this year, but when the alternative is as forgettable as this, the choice is pretty clear.

505 Games provided us with a Redout Xbox One code for review purposes.

Grade: C+