This isn’t what the PlayStation faithful want to hear, but I was a big fan of the F-Zero games on the early Nintendo consoles when I was a wee lad. I never really got into WipEout on the PS One and the subsequent releases, at least not until the compilation package hit the PS4 this year and I picked it up on the cheap.
Redout: Lightspeed Edition is a familiar game, even if it’s the first time you’ve played it. I had the distinct feeling of “whoa, I’ve done this before” on the my very first play. That’s not a dig at the game or its developers; you could take it as a compliment as the developers were clearly drawing inspiration from the aforementioned franchises. What with Sony and Nintendo seemingly leaving their beloved sci-fi racers behind (c’mon, that collection barely counts) it’s been left to others to fill that void with some cracking arcade-style anti-gravity racers. If you’ve not checked out Fast RMX on the Switch, I highly recommend it!
So, what is the deal with Redout: Lightspeed Edition? Is it simply copying what’s been done before and leaving it at that? No, not quite. It’s obvious from the get-go that the developers have a love for WipEout and F-Zero, but in fairness Redout does its own thing – and quite well, I might add.
As expected, it’s a racer that puts you in the cockpit of numerous anti-gravity racing vehicles that can be raced at insane speeds. It makes Formula 1 look like kids in go-karts. You’ll whip around various tracks while partaking in some 100-odd events that range from the standard race, to time trials, to survival rounds where you need to not blow up your ship. Yeah, you can totally blow your craft up if you crash – and you will crash, lots.
Redout: Lightspeed Edition employs a lot of physics to give the game a realistic – or as realistic as it can be while defying Newton’s third law… – feel to your movements. It’s easy enough to just accelerate and twiddle the joystick, but to succeed you’ll need to get to grips with the game’s advanced controls. Something that threw me off a touch was the fact that you need to adjust the pitch of your ship when going up/down steep sections of a track. For the first half an hour I just didn’t get why I was being blown to pieces for seemingly no reason. Once again, I failed to heed the warnings of the game that was trying to teach me. Pay attention to tutorial segments, folks. It seems a little strange at first to be given so much control, but that’s nothing when compared to the fact you can drift around bends at the speed of sound. Hah, take THAT, Vin Diesel your crappy car mates!
Yeah, in addition to just ploughing forwards through the twisty-turny-bendy-loopy tracks, you can take advantage of the game’s strafing controls. These are mainly to help you fudge around tricky corners and bypass your competitors, but if you do it right then you can pull off some sick drifts and race in what the young people call “style”. Or at least that’s the intention…
While the game isn’t lacking for content – there’s even a decent online and split-screen multiplayer suite – it is lacking in polish. Redout looks great on PS4 – and I reviewed the game playing on a PS4 Slim – with detailed landscapes surrounding the game’s tracks. While it looks really good – and it does – it doesn’t run particularly well. Frames are dropped like they’re the hottest of potatoes, and this is a real bummer. In a game where fast reactions are vital and a fudged turn can ruin a race, it’s simply unacceptable to have the game running so poorly. It’s a real detriment to what’s otherwise a solid little tribute to the game’s of generation’s gone by. I’m sure the developers, 34BigThings, are working on an update as I sit and type, but the current state of the game as it was released isn’t a great experience, especially if you’re one of those who are picky about frame-rates and the like. Personally, I’m not one to make a big fuss unless it’s absolutely god-awful, and I can live with some frame-rate buggery in an open-world adventure if that’s what it takes for me to be able to roam a big-arse world, but in a racer? Man, that’s another story altogether, and one that I’d prefer to not be telling.
Redout: Lightspeed Edition PS4 Review
Redout: Lightspeed Edition attempts to fill the void that the big guns aren't willing to. For the most part it does a great job: massive speed, funky anti-gravity racing ships, mind-bending tracks - even some electro music for those who're fans of it. That being said, it's let down by its poor technical performance. Apparently it runs fine on the PS4 Pro, but if you're rocking an OG or Slim PS4, you're gonna have to live with dodgy frame-rates until an update is released.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.