Redout 2 review for PS5/4, Xbox Series X/One, Switch

Platform: PS5
Also on: PC, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher: Saber Interactive
Developer: 34BigThings
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-6
Online: Yes
ESRB: E10+

My biggest complaints about the first Redout were a) that it didn?t have a distinctive enough personality to set itself apart from its biggest influences (specifically, Wipeout and F-Zero), and b) even though the game said you were moving at high speeds, it still felt sluggish. The good news about Redout 2: to varying degrees, both of those problems have been fixed.

This doesn?t mean, however, that Redout 2 is free from flaws. Rather, it just means that it?s replaced the problems of its first game with a whole new set of problems this time around.

To be fair, the new problems can all be boiled down to this: Redout 2 is hard. It requires a lot more dexterity than your typical racing game. It?s not just one button to move, one to steer, and one to brake. Rather, you?ve also got to manage the horizontal and vertical directions your ship is facing at all times, while also using your turbo boost as much as you can. As someone who?s never been insanely dextrous with a controller, I?m not going to lie: it?s a huge challenge to press both sets of shoulder buttons and both thumbsticks all at once, and I was horrible at it.

It doesn?t help that you?re expected to do all of that while also flying down a very winding track so quickly you can barely see what?s going on around you. Every track is non-stop colours and flashing lights, and if you?re not taking a crazy hairpin turn left or right, you?re probably steering up or down as the track changes its orientation. Or, sometimes, you?re being called on to manage both your pitch and your yaw as you go hurtling off a jump that?s also a 90 degree turn, and that?s far enough away you need to hammer on your booster button. Replicate that for a few minutes at a time across 36 tracks that are all very different from each other, and you?ll see why this game is such a challenge to master.

It also doesn?t help you can?t change the difficulty until you?ve beaten the lengthy tutorial ? or, in other words, you can?t make Redout 2 any easier until you?ve basically mastered it. It?s rare to see a racing game that so thoroughly embraces the ?get good” approach to difficulty levels, but that?s pretty much what Redout 2 does.

Having said all that, if you?re after a challenge, I can see why Redout 2 might be so appealing. Each of the tracks was clearly laboured over extensively, and the game takes the time to give you a very detailed lore behind each track. While cosmetically the game still has a lot in common with the likes of Wipeout and F-Zero, it?s clear that the developers wanted it to be a lot more than that. They wanted a game with its own personality, and that?s what they?ve created.

On top of that, there are game modes galore here ? you don?t just have time attacks and races, you also have boss races and arena races (which have zero margin for error, since it?s one crash and you?re out) and last man standing modes. This is a game where you?ll have plenty of opportunities to master each track in multiple ways.

Of course, Redout 2 is specifically designed for people who need to master every track ? anyone who stops short of that probably won?t enjoy it too much. It?s meant for people who want racers to challenge them, so if that?s what you?re after, this is a game you need to play.

Saber Interactive provided us with a Redout 2 PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: C