In May 2019, game developer 34BigThings brought its sci-fi racing game Redout to the Nintendo Switch. The game was praised for its resemblance to the F-Zero series and managed to win over F-Zero fans for lack of a recent F-Zero title. Less than two years later, we can welcome the sequel to Redout: Redout: Space Assault. Redout: Space Assault, unlike its predecessor, is not a racing game but a real on-rails space shooter, more in the spirit of the Star Fox series. Does this game manage to satisfy our hunger for a new Star Fox? You read it in this review!
Redout: Space Assault is actually a prequel to the first part. It takes place a number of years before the fast races of the first part. The story is set around the colonization of the planet Mars. Under orders from the great Poseidon Corp, fighter pilot Leon must protect the space around the company’s base on Mars. There are plenty of space pirates and rebels who want to counter colonization. As a player, you take on the role of Leon and take your place behind the wheel of his space vehicle. It is a lean and predictable story, where there could have been room for an epic space spectacle.
As soon as the game starts you can immediately see that the makers are inspired by the Star Fox series. From the third person perspective, you take control of Leon’s spaceship. Besides being able to fly from top to bottom and from left to right across the screen, you have access to shooting with bullets and missiles. Furthermore, with a boost from your drive, you can fly forward quickly or you can slow down. The controls work very well and can be slightly tweaked to your own taste. For example, you can set that you move up more like a pilot by lowering the lever and your weapons can shoot at an automatic position. In this way you will have to maneuver through three different types of levels.
Three types of levels
The majority of the levels are so-called on-rails levels and follow a certain route from which there is minimal deviation. In these levels you are busy shooting the enemies and avoiding their attacks. Sometimes you come across off-rails levels where you get more freedom and you will be able to fly around between the asteroids. In these levels the aim is to collect certain signals. There are also special racing levels in the game. Unfortunately, the controls in these levels do not work optimally. If you expected these racing levels to reach the level of the first Redout, you will come home from a rude awakening. To be called at least remarkable because the developer has shown in the first part that he can make a good racing game.
The difficulty of the levels increases rapidly. Where in the first few levels you still get the space to avoid the guns of the enemies and to disable them, that will quickly be made difficult for you. Entire squadrons of enemies will fill your screen in no time and try to mow you down. For this reason, it is important to upgrade your spaceship throughout the game. During the game you collect money with which you can improve your weapons and shields between levels. This way you have a better chance of surviving the levels. What struck me, however, is that it takes a few upgrades until you notice a satisfactory effect from, for example, a reinforced weapon arsenal.
Graphic space spectacle
The game is characterized by its graphic splendor. The environments are beautifully designed and simply look amazing. Space stations, asteroids and large planets set the scene and make you aware of the immense distances of space while playing. In this way you get a sense of depth, which is very good. The colors of the weapons and explosions splash from your screen. There has also clearly been time in the design of the various ships and characters. These are recorded by voice actors, where the acting can be called good. This helps to give the thin story more character and knows how to fascinate enough not to be boring.
It is not often that the sequel (or in this case prequel) of a game takes a different genre. In my opinion, the developer could just as well have started another franchise with this game. Nevertheless, Redout: Space Assault can be called an entertaining and challenging title. Those who yearn for a new Star Fox can certainly enjoy this game. It is not original, but until Nintendo itself comes with a new Star Fox, this is a nice sweetener.