Redeemer Violence Awakened is a beat’em-up action game developed by Sobaka Studio. Sold as a twin stick brawler, Redeemer will have you feeling like an unarmored Batman. The gameplay is raw and intense and corresponds well to the art style.
Redeemer follows Vasily, an ex-operative who took up the path of a monk. He is plagued by his past as he pursues peace and harmony, and now after 20 years, his ex-employers are back to capture him. This is all we get in the opening cut scene, and it will be another hour of gameplay before we can start piecing the puzzle back together.
One piece includes running into enemies who shout “Traitor!” Another piece is watching your fellow monks being executed. Every time this happens, Vasily is frozen from your controls and you watch in horror as the murders unfold. The combat tends to drive the story, showing you more as you are unleashed upon the next pack of enemies.
Many reviews advise use of a controller, and I will agree with them. I first used a keyboard and mouse as that’s what I’m used it, and it was bearable, but not ideal. Ironically being a twin stick brawler, I didn’t actually use both sticks very often. The run-and-aim idea was only used for the occasional gun I picked up, and the only gun I picked up was the shotgun.
The default mapping feels clunky and limits your movement and aim while performing some actions. Aiming while delivering a flurry of kicks is impossible without moving, and it pushes combat into intelligent blocking and parrying. Blocking and parrying is a necessity while brawling with many enemies, although not explicitly taught in the opening levels. When the enemies flash red, you can face their direction and spam your parry button to break their attack, leaving them vulnerable, and then can finish them off with punches.
Knock down sequences happen when you miss parries or don’t block fast enough, resulting in having to spam a certain button to get out of it. The longer you take, the more damage you receive. The knock downs are punishing as the damage you take is far higher than gunshots from enemy pistols.
Weapons have a limited durability, which is frustratingly low. This offers some additional gameplay dynamics on when to pick up weapons mid-fight, and how to ensure a weapon going into the next pack of enemies. The guns are auto aim which is nice but with ammo not refreshing your weapon durability, I was drawn to melee more often; not even bothering with the pistols offered. That’s okay considering this is a brawler and not a third person shooter, but I do think there could be some improvement there.
Other weapons include knives, axes, and an array of combat weapons. Some have a needlessly low durability and you will revert to punching and kicking for a vast majority of combat. This feels bad as the weapons require targeting to pick up and use, cramping the combat.
One highly rated aspect is the environmental executes. When you park yourself next to a tree or fire pit highlighted by a faint white outline, you pick up some sweet camera angles and exclusive animations. These really reflect the main character and the brutal nature of the game.
I am able to run on their “Epic” settings with my GTX 1050 Ti, although I get some fps drops in high enemy density areas. These were fixed with some tweaks with shadows and I haven’t had an issue since. Overall the graphics compliment the genre – brutal and honest – and flow well. The character model designs are excellent, and it is a pleasure watching them rumble.
My only critique is the lack of hidden areas. I think some sort of area fog is needed, where the map is revealed but enemies are not. Instead we have a locked camera, which only pivots by holding in Left Trigger and moves by Right Joystick, and enemies are highlighted through walls. I think a full scroll of the map but fog over the enemies would have been a better experience.
Redeemer is a game that shoots, kicks, and punches first and asks questions later. The graphics match this approach with some sweet cut scenes while killing dudes. If you’re into action packed beat ’em ups with some story attached, Redeemer is one to consider.
Reedmer Violence Awakened is available now on Steam – http://store.steampowered.com/app/447290/Redeemer/
Checkout the official website here – http://redeemerthegame.com/