Road Rash Redeemed

Indie play-alike to vaunted classic gaming series outdoes its predecessors
gamereleasedate: 
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 3:30am
"This new re-envisioning manages to surpass it's progenitor in nearly every way, serving up high-speed, procedurally generated tracks in an intoxicating rogue-like mash up of adrenaline, strategy, bike-on-bike (and bike-on-car) carnage the likes of which will explode your tiny little mind."

I am screaming across a snowy mountain pass, treacherous not just for it's curves, but for the rival biker gang that owns this territory: The Sigmas. As much machine as biologic, their power shields make taking them out with melee weapons a damaging two-step process.

A large group of them materialize for a moment on the distant ridge line horizon of the dipping, twisted hills, the red targets above their vanishing a second later as I ride into a frozen river gully. I powerslide hard through the apex of the turn, coincidental to the base of the descent, dodging the lights-and-sirens and civilian traffic head on.

As I climb the hill, I hit my nitro and take stock of my weapons. This is going to take more than guns; this is going to take the Problem Solver: C4 explosive sticky bombs, set with a 3 seconds timer. There are no shields known to humanity that prevent the instant death caused by converting your screaming crotch-rocket into a 90 MPH ballistic missile. Cyborg or no, you will be reduced to your component parts - if not atoms.

I want this done quickly. As Teddy Atlas would surely say, "Punches in bunches." I'm riding using a character with almost no health, and won't be able to withstand the cluster of vicious attacks from my right and left once I am in the middle of the pack; even with expert kicks, sending my opponents into oncoming traffic, I won't last longer than 12 seconds among them.

As I near the apex of the hill, rapidly gaining speed, nitro systems peddle-to-the-metal, a copper rubber-bands up to me, and (just before I can hit him with a kick that would send him to early retirement, exploding into a tree on the roadside) he reaches out and love-taps me with a stun baton. "Don't taze me, brah," I shout, now completely unable to steer, yet still launching myself head-long into the pack.

Time for a Kansas City Shuffle.

I switch weapons, the pack a hundred and closing ahead. Out comes the Peacemaker. Still frying from the switch that just got flipped on my central nervous system, but still able to aim, I identify the four targets I need to complete the run. As I kick the cop off the road (exploding with a satisfying red pop in my rear-view, illuminated against the cold dark of the snowy night) I level the magnum. There is no hesitation. As each rider falls under my cross-hair, I send exactly enough rounds downrange. They fall in high-speed meth-head pantomime. To finish the entire pack (and to conserve ammo) I whip out the Problem Solver.

Careening past the rear end of the pack, I rocket up to the girl in the lead, and (as the confused riders in my wake exchange quizzical glances) give her a pat on the back, leaving her a ruby-red blinking piece of ticking jewelry. I slam the brakes, and watch the fireworks, as the gang catches up to her just in time. Five bikers explode, taking with them a police cruiser, a paddy wagon, and a taxi cab, all exploding and ricocheting wildly in hulking masses of twisted metal and flare-gun explosions of fire.

Mission accomplished.

The game is "Road Redemption," an excellent, indie-developed play-alike and answer to the old "Road Rash" series of biker-combat racing video games. This new re-envisioning manages to surpass it's progenitor in nearly every way, serving up high-speed, procedurally generated tracks in an intoxicating rogue-like mash up of adrenaline, strategy, bike-on-bike (and bike-on-car) carnage the likes of which will explode your tiny little mind. Combined with the stats-based, rogue-like approach, it's capricious (and totally unhinged) levels of complete insanity (let's race across the rooftops, while it rains cars, for example), truly, "Road Redemption" brings just that: redemption to a long forgotten and uneven franchise, with a damn near definitive fan-rendered play-alike.  

-Seth "Fingers" Flynn Barkan is the author of "Blue Wizard Is About To Die," and is the host of the Best Linux Games Podcast, a weekly audio podcast covering only the best games available for the GNU/Linux Operating System. Which will own you, SUCKAH! (he can be contacted via twitter @Vegaswriter or by sending a message directly through Steam to "skookiesprite")