Sometimes games can over complicate themselves, either through multilayered and intertwined stories or requiring the player to learn an array of controls or mechanics to have any chance of progressing, but not Redeemer. This fast paced brutal brawler throws you into an action movie inspired world with just one task, kill anything that stands in your way; and through the use of over the top environment kills – killing in Redeemer is a lot of fun.
You play as Vasily, a monk with a dark past, and unfortunately, this past has caught up with you. For years Vasily worked as a special operative for the worlds largest cybernetic weapons manufacturers, but after too much killing he decided to seek refuge with a tribe of Monks. 20 years later and the corporation has caught up with him, and let just say that they didn’t break up on good terms.
The story of Redeemer is about as generic as they come, but in all honesty, I paid little attention to what was actually happening narratively. This isn’t to say Redeemer‘s story is bad, all dialog is well voiced and it does flow, but it’s not what will keep pulling you back in for more – I had the tactical combat and brutal finishing moves to thank for that.
Redeemer plays out in a classic top-down brawler fashion. The camera works perfectly with the style of gameplay, and should you choose to quickly evade with a darting role it does a great job of keeping up with you. I keep referring to Redeemer as a brawler, but in all honesty, the combat has more depth than your conventional beat’em’up.
As you play through the progressively challenging levels you’ll face a variety of different foes, from armed henchmen to exploding blobs of genetically weaponised flesh. Although most enemies can be taken down with a few punches to the face, there are a few that require a more thought-out approach. Take the big spiky dudes, sure there’s a more technical name than that but I like big spiky dudes. Due to their spikes, you simply cannot engage them empty handed, you’ll need either a firearm or weapon to take them down. This may seem a simple addition to the gameplay but does enough to prevent the repetitive feeling of bashing the same button over and over again.
As previously mentioned, Redeemer offers a host of different weapons for you to wield on your journey to redemption. These range from electrified batons to semi-automatic firearms – all of which mix up the gameplay. The guns feel almost overpowered, which is a good thing as they often come with very little ammo, so when you do find one I recommend you save it for a worthy foe. A unique element to all the different weapons is how they come with their own finishing kill animations, and they are glorious. What adds to the glory of these brutal moves is how they reward you with extra health. The only way to replenish your health bar in Redeemer is by laying waste to enemies – and the wonderfully brutal environmental kills and the finishing moves reward you with even more vitality.
This aggressive approach to the gameplay fits in perfectly with how Redeemer is meant to be played, but it also adds to the difficulty, which gets seriously tough. Playing through the game on normal took me just under 8 hours, only about 5 of which was progressive – the rest was spent repeating certain areas. By no means am I an example of a good player – but just feel like you deserve a warning going into Redeemer, it really does take no prisoners.
Redeemer isn’t a game for everyone, but if you’re in the market for a slick and fast-paced brawler that will hand your arse to you on several occasions then Redeemer is definitely one for you. Although there isn’t much meat to the story, playing through the contrasting environments and taking on a plethora of different enemies provides enough fresh air to keep you engaged, and the finishing kills, I mean throwing a mutated creature onto a surgical bed only for a circular saw to cut them in half isn’t something you see in every game, but feels right at home in Redeemer.