It was just under two years ago that I reviewed the PC release of Redeemer, a violent top-down brawler developed by Sobaka Studio.
I thought it was simply okay; its combat initially seemed fun, but repetition quickly set in, and an uneven difficulty level added in a certain amount of frustration. Determined to make its game better, however, Sobaka Studio has been hard at work further polishing Redeemer, and the fruit of its labour is an enhanced edition that is now available not only on PC, but also PS4, Xbox One and Switch.
It goes without saying that the core of Redeemer: Enhanced Edition remains the same: a 16-chapter campaign with a passable story and multiple combat arenas. Across both, you’ll be engaging in huge amounts of violence. This time around, things are indeed a little more entertaining and a little less frustrating though. Redeemer has in fact been enhanced.
Redeemer: Enhanced Edition‘s campaign is much better balanced than the original game’s release, making you feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall less often. You’ll still come up against one or two difficulty spikes, but overall, Redeemer is now way more manageable without having to resort to cheap hit and run tactics.
A part of why Redeemer: Enhanced Edition provides a lesser challenge is the introduction of a level system and perks. You now earn experience for killing enemies with your fists, feet and a whole host of melee and ranged weapons, and as you level them up you’ll cause more damage with them. At certain level thresholds you’ll unlock perk points, too, which can be used to purchase some helpful boons that make you a serious adversary.
The final perk you’ll unlock for your fists, for example, gives your punches the power of fire, while perks are available for most guns that allow their bullets to pass through enemies. By the time you reach the end of Redeemer: Enhanced Edition you’re a real force to be reckoned with, capable of dealing with sizeable groups of enemies without too much to worry about.
Thanks to Redeemer: Enhanced Edition‘s new levelling and perk system, you’re able to get further into the game before repetition becomes a problem. Unlocking a steady stream of upgrades keeps the action fresh, allowing you to wipe out enemies in new and more efficient ways. You are still likely to tire of the game’s constant action by the end of its campaign though. There really isn’t much variety to its levels or enemies in the grand scheme of things.
This time around though, you don’t have to fight your way through Redeemer alone. Local co-op is possible throughout Redeemer: Enhanced Edition‘s campaign, allowing you to crush skulls with someone by your side. It makes the action even more chaotic, and also more fun. Working together, you’re able to take down enemies more effectively, too.
A playthrough of Redeemer: Enhanced Edition is likely to take you about 6-8 hours unless you attempt to beat it on Hardcore difficulty, which isn’t for the fainthearted. There’s then also the combat arenas to tackle, which probably won’t take you all that long to conquer. Whether you’ll return to the game after that depends on how much you like its brutal combat, brought to life by detailed visuals.
Playing on Xbox One X, Redeemer: Enhanced Edition‘s graphics aren’t exactly anything special, but they get the job done. What’s surprising is how much you can tweak them: heading into the display options presents you with a myriad of graphical settings that you’d only really expect to find when playing a PC game. And you probably will want to tweak them if you like stable performance, because some of Redeemer: Enhanced Edition‘s chapters do have performance problems at default settings.
There’s no doubt about it – Redeemer: Enhanced Edition is indeed an improvement over the original game. It is still ultimately a victim to repetition though. As good as the new levelling and perk system is, it’s not transformative; it just keeps the tedium at bay for an extra handful of levels. But if you want to play a game that’s combat heavy, where you can quickly kill enemies with your fists before switching to a firearm in the blink of an eye, it’s well worth checking out.