Some of you may recall the release of a 2017 action game called Redeemer from Buka Entertainment. It’s reminiscent of the kind of Saturday night Cinemax action fare, with its over-the-top gore and ridiculous storyline. God of War it ain’t, but a Saturday night special it certainly is – if you’re looking to pound a few enemies into bloody piles, that is.
And now, the game has come to consoles with an Enhanced Edition, with some touch-ups that make it even better than before. That’s not to say it’s the ideal action experience, as some hang-ups keep it from reaching epic status. But if it’s a head-bashing romp you’re looking for, you’ll be right at home here…
The game follows Vasily, a military man who has seen more than enough bloodshed in his lifetime. So he decides to redeem himself and retires to a monastery, where he follows a life of peace. For years, he feels the lack of violence and feels things turning around for the better, though it isn’t long before his old life begins haunting him. This comes in the form of soldiers that begin invading the camp, taking his sensei and fellow brothers hostage. Turning back to the violence he swore to leave behind, Vasily swears to stop the nightmare once and for all.
The game features non-stop violence, right off the bat. You’re introduced to a number of punch and kick combos, which you can expand upon with the upgrades that you unlock by finding manuscripts and tablets within the game. You can also use parries to throw enemies off, as well as finishing moves to gorily put them into the ground. Items in the environment can also be used, such as a fireplace or a table saw, which are convenient. Finishers can actually give you a boost of health, so they actually provide a purpose here.
You can also pick up weapons with Vasily, including bo staffs, axes, and so many others. They provide a purpose, especially against armored enemies that don’t go down so handily. In addition, firearms are also introduced, and you’ll need these as well, especially as you become surrounded by freaks later on in an underground lab. You’ll see what we mean.
The game’s story is ridiculous, especially when you find out why the enemies came back to the camp in the first place. It’s straight out of Cinemax territory. In fact, it may even be too silly for that. But it sets the pace for the action that Redeemer puts on display, which isn’t too bad. The game definitely relieves stress in all the right ways, with a great combo system, reliable upgrades, strong weapon usage and some good defensive techniques, including the parries and combat rolls. It all comes together pretty well. The only downside is that it can get a little repetitive, right down to the dramatic finisher camera doing the same thing almost every time.
As for the progression system, it’s not bad. However, you only unlock certain things at a time. For instance, you can’t pick which upgrades you want for your character – they’re unlocked randomly. That’s mildly frustrating, especially if you’ve got a preference for one type of weapon, like a shotgun, and not necessarily a carbine. The developers should’ve let us pick and choose what we wanted to unlock here, instead of a little bit of everything.
The game’s main mode will take you a few hours to get through, and there are a few arena rooms to unlock as well. There’s also a pretty good two player local co-op mode as well, in case you feel like bashing heads alongside a friend. That’s…really about it, which is fairly decent for a $30 game. But some may be wondering if it’s worth it for a beat-em-up. It really depends how deep you are into the genre, I suppose.
At least the presentation is pretty good. The game is played from a top-down perspective, making it fairly easy to see where enemies are coming from. (You can also use the camera to “see ahead” in some cases.) It plays out pretty well, though there are times that slowdown enters the picture, which is slightly annoying. There is some variety in the level settings, at least, so the game has that going for it. As for audio, it’s not bad. The music’s got some decent mixture to it, and the voice acting, while cheesy, isn’t too bad. The sound effects are good, too, but, man, the soldiers could use more dialogue. They all think they can bring you down, even after you kill their guys. Idiots.
Redeemer: Enhanced Edition comes up short compared to AAA action fare on the market, like God of War, mainly due to its slowdown and lack of content for the long-term. The inability to pick your upgrades however you see fit doesn’t help either. However, the rest of the game – the ridiculous action, the challenging aspects, the bloody fatalities – do make for a fun time if you’re into that sort of thing. Bring a friend and you can double the fun, too. And the price isn’t too shabby, especially if you’re looking for some solid stress relief. Consider Redeemer a decent round of redemption. 3.5/5 Bashed Heads.