After 20 years of complete absence, we F-Zero fans have concluded that the beloved racing series is no more. We had to take the last few years and see what indie developers came up with. Someone who understood that F-Zero wasn’t just about fast racing, but about high difficulty, extreme frustration, and the right balance of rewarding gameplay. It’s not an easy balance to strike, and many games have failed to truly recapture that feeling. Redout 2 is a unique case though, as the original in the series was a strong title, close to matching that F-Zero sentiment. Yet something was missing throughout his experience. Now the developers are back with a sequel, Redout 2, and while it still doesn’t hit all the notes of that F-Zero magic we’re looking for, it’s a wonderful improvement over its predecessor in a Fans of F-Zero would be wise to check it out.
As I mentioned, Redout 2 is not wrong in hiding its inspiration. This is a modern version of F-Zero if there ever was one. The game is all about high octane racing, precise controls and brutal difficulty. As a longtime F-Zero fan, these are all things I want in a racing title.
The main strength of Redout 2 is its incredibly fast, yet brutal gameplay. Every race is an insane test of your reflexes, as you essentially have a split second to decide where to turn, how long to turn, or how long to prepare for the worst. This challenging gameplay won’t be for everyone, as it’s actually kind of a trial-by-error experience. Nor is it Mario Kart, where there are a variety of options to make the game easier or more fun for newcomers. Redout 2 is brutally tough and it knows it. I guarantee that during your playtime you will crash into walls, fall on courses, and barely get through runs before your ship explodes (which happens when you take too much damage while running) .
The overall track designs are also nice, however, they look quite similar if you’ve played the original Redout. The tracks have a varied set of landscapes that you can race on. This helps the game feel fresh after playing your 15th race or more. That said, if you’ve played the original Redout, many of these tracks will sound vaguely familiar. Maybe it was an intentional design by the developers or something they thought you wouldn’t notice. It’s not a downside by any means, but it will certainly stand out more if you’ve played the original Redout.
There is also a lot of content to find in Redout 2. You have your standard racing modes such as time trial and career mode. Redout 2 also features online racing, which can be fun when playing with some of the best players. It’s a little less fun if you’re playing with a bunch of newcomers, who end up spending the whole game crashing into everything in sight, including you. Ultimately, career mode will keep you busy for quite some time, as there are plenty of tracks to master in order to win the championship.
Ultimately, Redout 2 starts to falter when it comes to how it looks and works. The developers have done a great job making it work on Nintendo Switch, but it’s obviously pushing its limits. It’s definitely not the prettiest game, especially not as good looking as Switch’s launch title, Fast RMX. Environments and details are a bit fuzzy and they don’t quite pop out to you like they do on other consoles. There’s also a weird glitch where crashing into walls causes the game to briefly hiccup. For a split second, it’s like it stutters after a crash, then instantly fixes itself. Maybe it’s just a simple glitch I encountered or something that will be easily fixed in a future patch. Still, it was something I noticed quite often, as maybe I had a tendency to crash into walls on a regular basis.
My other issue with Redout 2 is that it presents you with a story, or at the very least tries to put a story on but in a very poor way. The game tries to tell you the history of the world before this series of races, but at no point in the previous entry was this mentioned. The assumption was right that it’s a futuristic racing title and that’s it. Redout 2 tells a story of corporate greed, environmental destruction, and a horrific war that took place before these races. The thing is, the game never directly shows or tells you the storyline. It’s more of a weird intro video at the very beginning and then that’s it. There’s the occasional reference to some story in the past through a splash screen but, otherwise, nothing else. It’s just a very strange addition that feels bad when playing. It’s almost as if the devs felt they needed to have an explanation of how this world exists and slammed on a bunch of things that of course make sense, and explain why it looks the way it does.
Ultimately, Redout 2 is an explosive game for longtime F-Zero fans. Its blazingly fast gameplay and brutal difficulty make it feel right at home with some of F-Zero’s more recent releases. The game requires precision, incredibly quick reflexes, and the willingness to fail and try again. Redout 2 does this with just the right level of frustration, but also rewards and keeps you coming back for more. It’s definitely not for newcomers to the F-Zero genre, as it’s easy to get frustrated and constantly lose races. It also doesn’t help that this Nintendo Switch version currently has a few visual and gameplay issues; they don’t spoil the experience but end up hampering it a bit. Either way, Redout 2 on Nintendo Switch is a must-play game for F-Zero fans.
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Review: Redout 2 (Nintendo Switch)
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