‘Road Rash’ was, along with the first ‘Need for Speed’, one of the standard bearers of politically incorrect driving. Not only were we out of breath, but we could bang ourselves and other motorcyclists who crossed our path. Everything was allowed!
Road Redemption inherits that exact formula 17 years after the disappearance of the iconic saga of EA in the nineties. Although it does adapt to the times that run, with certain decisions right and others somewhat wrong. But that summed up, at last, resulted in a worthy successor.
Because it was very hard to see how Electronic Arts itself was dead after the disappointing ‘Road Rash: Jailbreak’ of 2000 for the first PlayStation (and with an inexplicable port for Game Boy Advance in 2003), leaving in oblivion a certain prototype years later, or with the same Dan Geisler, creator of the original trilogy of Mega Drive, failing in its attempt to rescue the saga.
It could be said, in fact, that after its three deliveries for the console of 16 bits of SEGA and that update of the first one for consoles of 32 bits, with the unforgettable Rusty Cage of Soundgarden like intro, began its slope.
Let’s not fool ourselves, the classics of the nineties have not aged well. But the saga continues to retain its charisma. A charisma that has successfully moved to ‘Road Redemption’. And that has left certain things along the way (here there is no FMV of old regusto and iconic songs of the last century) and in others it has been screwed for trying to be modern.
Improving the playable formula of the Road Rash
The original ‘Road Rash’ trilogy was very limited in terms of circuits. It followed the same pattern of ‘Hang-On’, ‘Out Run’ and the like due to the limitations of the time. In later deliveries the use of sprites was abandoned, the depth of field was increased (with the usual popping of those years, of course), and they incorporated alternative routes in certain sections.
In ‘Road Redemption’, without being a portento at the graphic level, it has opted for a random development in the design of the circuits, but always following a defined pattern. There are many more details on the road, and also shortcuts with which to scratch a few seconds compared to the rivals. But above all it is a game that, despite retaining its arcade spirit, is not as linear as there are closed sections in which to step on the brake to take each curve with guarantees.
In any case, the EA saga did not stand out precisely because of its speed, but because of the use of violence. Something that here has been taken to another level. Apart from the increase in the number of weapons (we have four slots, depending on their type, and with different sections for each one, to have multiple variants), the use of the kick is maintained (the ideal option to remove anyone from the track) and we can, the greater, cover ourselves before the onslaught of the rival (in advanced stages will be essential).
Whether with a bat, a shovel, a katana … We can make attacks on both sides of the bike (one per button), and even cancel them before they occur, in case we want to change the direction to the other side. In this sense it is much more satisfying than the originals of the last century, with the addition, in turn, of seeing how we can replenish life and the bar of nitro for every enemy we carry. By power, we will even have a special bar that will be charged and that will allow us to deliver a final lethal blow.
Road Redemption will not all run and kill
Although the story of his campaign is bland to rage (for such an arcade title does not make excuses to take the bike and distribute towle), at least it is to thank the variety of missions that we will have, and always with random order.
We may be asked to be in the top three of the race, or we will be charged with so many goals before reaching the finish line. We will also have time trials or where we will have to survive, for example. What is striking about the matter is that these goals will be secondary: we can move on to the next phase without complying, but we will lose the juicy reward (money to spend in the store) and we will be penalized in a rather hard way (like lowering the bar of life).
Road Redemption is quite replayable, mainly because it triggers a lot of difficulty at certain points, being increasingly difficult not only to meet the objectives, but also simply to survive. And this is where one of his most controversial decisions comes in: that touch of RPG taken a little to the extreme.
Before, yes, it would be necessary to differentiate what are the permanent improvements (the aforementioned rolero component) of the temporary improvements of the store (with money in-game).
If we meet the objective of the race, we will be granted a lot of money; while if we charge the rivals, we will get little pasta. When we complete a phase, we will be able to buy certain things that will be rotating in the store and that will allow us, for example, to increase the power of each type of weapon, to raise the limit of our life or nitro bars, or to alter attack values and defending.
The problem? If they kill us, we lose all these improvements. Because we would go back to the beginning of the game. Something that does not happen with permanent updates.
Now, these have another problem: for each race we get experience based on our performance (every rival that we deserve, basically), but we can only spend that experience when we are killed. There will be added all the proceeds and we will be able to unlock permanent improvements for our character, like to increase the bars of life, nitro, ammunition and a long etcetera, being quite useful some that increase the money or the obtained experience, or others with shortcuts for the history or better bikes.
The problem? That experience is not preserved. If we can not apply more improvements and we have, for example, 102 experience points (as shown in the example above), they will be lost when leaving the screen. What causes that we have to play more times of the desired ones to count on a personage much more tanned and not to suffer so much in the final stretch of the campaign.
The really positive thing about Road Redemption, saving the mentioned rolero component (not to be so satisfactory), is the fact that it has incorporated local multiplayer four-player split screen and as a complement to online mode. For that alone and to revive the glory days of the first ‘Road Rash’ becomes the game we had both sighing.
The opinion of GamerInsiders
Because in the end, that’s it. Download adrenaline on motorcycle based on hosts. We had a great time in the 1990s with such an arcade formula, and we continue to do so now with this spiritual successor who has understood quite well the core of the (almost) forgotten EA classic. Highly recommended.