The first thing that stood out to me in playing Redout was just how good it felt to drive/hover your way around the track. You immediately get smashed in the face by the incredible sense of speed and how little time you have to react, but once you start getting the hang of the movement, it feels so authentic and so well-crafted around the sweeping curves and loops of the tracks. Like some racing games of this nature, your hovering vehicle affords you the ability to strafe as well as turn. This isn’t just a neat trick, but a necessity if you plan on making tight turns. In addition to strafing, you also use the right analog stick to pitch your nose up and down. This is used both in the jumps littered throughout the tracks to affect your trajectory, and also used to lift the nose of your ship up when driving up steep pieces of the track like loops and down when going over the tops of hills. These both ensure that you don’t lose any speed in those actions, and it adds just enough to make it an captivating experience.
As you get better at navigating the tracks, you can really start to take in how beautiful the maps are with their expansive backgrounds. They may not be quite as diverse or detailed as some in Fast RMX, but they do offer a pleasant backdrop when you get a fleeting moment to check them out. Each map will feature several different tracks and race types that create a reasonable assortment of fun events for you to try out. While there are plenty of regular races against AI opponents, and of course the standard time attack style, you also have some unique events like “Speed.” In this game mode, your goal is to stay above a certain speed for as long as you can, and the total amount of time you accomplish this is subtracted from your total lap time – with a goal to get the lowest time possible. Events marked with “Pure” are events that don’t allow you to use your ”augmentations.” Augmentations are the upgradable items of which you can carry two, one active and one passive. The active items are manually triggered and perform an action like draining energy (used in boost) from an opponent and giving it to your ship, or blasting an EMP that temporarily prevents opponents from gaining energy and distorts their vision. Passive items are generally just raw buffs that will make you faster, take less damage from hitting walls, or grip the track better for tight turns. When you add all of this to a simple upgrade system for each unlockable vehicle, you end up with a racing game dense with satisfying content.
Dancing with yourself
You can have a lot of fun playing with yourself – in Redout – but half the fun of racing games is competing with others. In this, there’s some good news and some bad. Redout, unlike many PC games, has a split screen option. So if you have a friend that wants to park in front of your computer, you can race against them either using another controller or, somehow, the keyboard. This is probably something best reserved for Steam Link though. Yet if you want to take your competitive action online, you are going to have a hard time. Not because the option isn't available, but because there just aren't many people playing an indie racing game a year after its release. I did manage to get in to one session and got completely destroyed in a couple of races, but every other time I looked, nothing was being hosted. The only hope at this point is a either the microscopic chance of cross platform with the future Switch release – which would be great – or perhaps a resurgence in popularity due to the release of the game on a mainstream console. The latter is actually fairly likely considering Redout has been much cheaper than it will be on its launch for the Nintendo Switch.
Crossing the finish line
If you were a fan of any of those classic ultra fast racing games, or even just thought Star Wars Episode 1 Racer for the N64 was cool, you're probably a good candidate for strapping in to Redout. It easily supplies all of the reaction-testing challenge of the games that inspired it while adding just enough freshness to set it apart in direct comparison. However, if you're seeking a multiplayer fix, you may want to wait until after October to see if the buzz of the Switch release makes everyone want a taste of the PC version, but that very same resurgence may result in the game not being discounted for as much as it has been before. The price has been as low as $13.99 for the base game, so keep that in mind going forward. All of that aside, Redout is definitely among my favorite racing games on Steam, so don't forget about it while waiting for a good deal.
I highly recommend you this spectacular challenge that delivers unforgettable amazement and excitement.
I rate it 9.5/10.