LifeisXbox’s Redout 2 review | While I haven’t played the first Redout (yet!) I have quite some Zero-G racers under my belt already, like WipeOut, F-Zero, Antigraviator and most recently Gravity Chase (check Jim’s review HERE) so I’m not exactly new to the genre and that obviously comes with some high expectations because Redout claims to be one of the fastest out there. Let’s see if they make good on their promise.
First of all, it’s important for fans of the previous game to understand that all combat has been cut from the game and 34BigThings’ Redout 2 doubles down on the speed instead. There are no pickups on the track and no weapons to shoot at your opponents, just you, some boost pads and your (hopefully) faster-than-light reflexes.
And do be warned: this is not an easy game. Redout 2 will make you sweat for every achievement and you’re in for a long haul if you’re aiming for the 1000G/100% completion.
Most Memorable Moment
After struggling to beat the tutorial’s Speed mode training, I looked for help online and noticed someone mentioning that you can use the regular boost ON TOP of a hyperboost for extra speed. Seems like all boosts in this game are cumulative and that kind of blew my mind!
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- It’s fast | Like, really, really fast! While that’s not the most eloquent way to start a review, I can’t overstate just how great the sense of speed is in Redout 2. Sure, a screenshot like the one above may not do it a lot of justice with the obvious cliché speed lines, but when you’re playing this, you’ll be afraid to even blink and miss a single second of the high-pace action. It’s hard for me to compare the speed to other Zero-G racers, as the Km/h seen in the UI can easily be manipulated to show you what they want, but I wouldn’t second guess anyone claiming this was the fasted racer out there either.
- Cumulative boost | The way Redout 2 achieves this great sense of speed is through the cumulative boosts. You pick up speed gradually by not bumping into anything (a challenge on itself) but then you can use a regular boost, a hyperboost with a cool down and also some boost pads on the track and they all combine into on massive speed gain that will make your eyes water. You can even keep boosting past the regular limit and use your health bar as an additional resource.
- Great Soundtrack | Redout 2 has a great tracklist and I do mean the audio type. I heard a lot of enjoyable music, from simple drum ‘n bass beats to voiced songs that really got the blood pumping. It’s a shame then that the audio bug that frequently reared its head put a damper on my enjoyment. (more on this later in the review)
- Course characteristics | There are many different regions, each with multiple courses to race on and they all have their own unique characteristics that impact your gameplay. If there is low gravity, you’ll risk flying off track. If you’re flying in the hot mines on Mars, you’ll overheat more easily, so you should boost with caution, lest you explode into a fiery ball by keeping the throttle pressed too long.
- Ship upgrades | In the career mode, you unlock upgrades for your ship or even cosmetics for every race you win. You’ll slowly but gradually see the impact on your speed, steering, strafing and other aspects of your ship and going back to races that seemed impossible at first will now be way more manageable after tinkering on it in the garage. It’s just a shame that there is a value assigned to your upgrades and you can’t play the very first races again with your completely beefed-up supercar.
- Varied tracks | Redout 2 put a lot of effort into making the tracks feel dynamic, with jumps that let you fly for miles, possibly even skipping entire sections of the map if you go full-on Mario Kart Rainbow Road with it, and there are also branching paths, reverse modes and even Boss tracks where they stitch all of the region’s tracks together for one long race. But those very same jumps also cause me the most frustration as it was often difficult to see where you’re supposed to land.
- Sizeable Career | I can hardly believe I’m not putting this as a positive, because I usually love it when a game gives me a ton of content for my money, but the amount of races you need to complete to beat the entire career path is daunting and something that is sure to burn me out if I’d go for 100%.
- Visual appeal | The cars and tracks look amazing, but outside of photomode you will be hard-pressed to observe them in much detail, as the game blazes past everything so fast. What I did find less appealing where the levels themselves, I’ve seen games like Antigraviator and Wipeout with steller environments that I couldn’t help but stare at. In Redout 2 I really liked the Mt Fuji setting in Japan, but the other tracks felt uninspired.
- Manual strafing & pitching | In Redout 2 you’re not only steering your ship, you’re also very much flying it. Which means you can also strafe sideways on the track and will need both analog sticks to make sharp turns. You also need to pitch your nose to optimise the airflow and this was just one ask too many for me in a game that goes this fast. My brain simply couldn’t handle the extra factor to take into account. It’s fine to ask us to “steer” vertically for the jumps, but not if you need to keep it in mind during the entire race. Luckily, you can enable some assists…
- Difficulty Settings | You can make the game a lot easier by setting the AI to easy and turning on some assists, but this option only becomes available after beating the tutorial, which was proving to be a difficulty roadblock on itself. I’m not kidding: at the time of writing, only 43.40% of Xbox players have managed to get past the tutorial. Heck, beating the very first career (there are 4, I believe) seems to be such a daunting task, that only 0.98% of players have managed to achieve this and the others are still at 0%
What we Disliked
- Slow load times | For as fast as Redout 2’s racing is, the load times are like watching a snail crawl. Sometimes it would “only” take ~20 seconds to load the next level on my Xbox Series X, but I’ve timed the longer loads and came up with an average of 1m10s. It’s not a good sign if I need my mobile phone handy while playing your game, just to keep me awake during the slow loading screens. What makes matters even worse is that you face the same loading screen time when you try to restart the race. You’d think all the assets are already loaded into the memory and a retry should be near-instant.
- One mistake can cost you the race | Redout 2 is unforgiving and even a single mistake can cost you the race. This is infuriating only because of the above slow loadtimes and the below lack of mention that you can rewind during races. But outside of regular races, if you miss a jump and fail to land on the track, you can kiss that gold medal goodbye.
- Bad onboarding/Tutorial | I got stuck in the game’s tutorial because it was impossible for me to beat that first Speed level which is required to even unlock the career mode. It turned out I had to combine the boosts and also that I could keep boosting, using part of my health, both things the game failed to explain clearly in the tutorial. If I had purchased the game, there was a good moment there where I would have been on the brink of asking a refund, if it wasn’t for someone posting some advice to twitter. And then, after about 10 hours of playing Redout 2, I accidentally press the B button on my controller and notice there is a “rewind” function*. It’s incredible to me that the game failed to explain to me that this feature was present as it could have saved me a ton of headaches. *It only works in regular races.
- No Split-screen Multiplayer | This is an immediate strike against any racing game for me and an automatic full-point deduction. I usually play the campaign for racing games first, but the only reason to keep them installed afterwards is for some good old couch versus in split-screen mode and sadly this is lacking, you can only compete against friends online.
- Online matchmaking | While I applaud the fact you can keep playing the single-player career while the game is matchmaking in the background, I would have liked a simple prompt to ask me if I wanted to join the race I was matched for. It feels really bad to be pulled out a race that was going well, only to be put in a queue with no other players. I can’t hold the absence of other online players against the game, but it shouldn’t start the multiplayer mode with only one other player found (who is likely to have left already). or at least it should give the option to add some AI-controlled bots.
- Audio bugs | For some reason, the soundtrack stops playing every few seconds, which is very annoying and drained much of my enjoyment while playing Redout 2. I’m sure this is the type of bug they’ll patch soon enough, but it was a solid strike against the score at the time of writing.
Do you prefer to see Redout 2 in action? Here is a video!
How long to beat the story | ~46h would be my guess
How long to achieve 1000G | ~80h because of the grindy achievements
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Robby lives and breathes video games. When he’s not playing them, he’s talking about them on social media or convincing other people to pick up a controller themselves. He’s online so often, he could practically list the internet as his legal domicile. Belgian games-industry know-it-all.