Saturday, October 21, 2023

Online Saturday - Redout 2 - It Feels Incomplete, Has A Bad Tutorial, And The Online Is Tacked On

Welcome to Online Saturday.
For today's video i'm trying the PS4 version of Redout 2 from 34BigThings. I have the original Redout game, also on PlayStation 4, but i haven't played that in many years. But i have pleasant memories from playing it. Redout 2 has recently come to PlayStation Plus so i was keen to try it as i'm still enjoying racing games at the moment. 

I'll be upfront about my feelings after playing this game, i do not recommend it. frankly, it feels like an unfinished early access game with modes tacked on. Even as a free PlayStation Plus download, it borders on a waste of time when there are far more games out there to play.

It starts with a cinematic that looks a little weird, like it's a lower resolution that the rest of the game. i wonder if the disc version of the game has a higher resolution cinematic than this. It tells some story before panning the camera behind our vehicle, then there's a lurch, maybe for a frame or two, as the graphics ramp up and we're into the tutorial. It does work well and it is exciting, but this tutorial is at full speed and adds a level of anxiety as it feels like there's not enough time to read the prompt and do it as the vehicle is still racing on the track. as we race there's an unprompted speed boost that slams us into the wall and then another prompt for strafing that also puts us into the wall as we try it.

The tutorials don't get any better. there's even an instance near the end of the video where a prompt appears just as the track loses a side wall. so in the process of reading the prompt on our screen we race straight off the track. as for the rest of the tutorials, they are more like telling us how to do something without explaining what the expected result or next step is. one that frustrated me was the rewind feature as it told us how to enter it, then gave no further explanations for all the buttons that appeared on the screen. 

A weird thing about the tutorials is that you don't need to finish them to unlock unranked multiplayer. i found it frustrating that i had to go into multiplayer to find out i can't do multiplayer, but at least it said what the requirement was to unlock unranked mode. so that's what i did, and then in multiplayer i had situations where prompts came up on the screen that i didn't fully understand. it wasn't until i went back to finish the tutorial that they were explained. I understand why multiplayer was locked, but i don't understand why it was unlocked before the tutorial we finished. that one decision made gave me negative impressions of both modes.

At best i can call the multiplayer tacked on. there is just 1 mode. Ranked mode, like a couple of other modes, is "Coming Soon". but it's almost unbelievably basic. all i can do is select unranked and wait. there's no lobby, no region, no course select, nothing. all i can do is wait and join when it's found a match. and over about half an hour to forty minutes, i only found 1 match. and even then the other racer DNF'd. after the race the messaging is unclear, as there's no tutorial or prompts or text boxes, and you're dumped back to the home screen when you leave multiplayer. i didn't want to leave it, i wanted to race again.

This whole "Coming Soon" debacle is why this game feels incomplete, almost like it's in early access. it's not just the ranked multiplayer, but even on the home screen there are two other modes with "Coming Soon" on them, "Season Challenge" and "Community". it's hard to believe that DLC came out for this game before these modes did. there's no date on them when they're coming, no information as to what they are either. Why even use up space on the home screen advertising some features that are coming later. that should be off to the side, with information about what they are and when they're coming. it's not even clear if they're DLC or a patch. The three "Coming Soon" features and not really there multiplayer really do make this game feel incomplete. i could even say that with a tutorial this bad, that also adds to it.

It's a graphically nice game, but i'm not entirely convinced the racing is that good. the tracks are great, they're interesting and the world around them is also impressive. the vehicles are unique and each one looks different. it's cool how you can parts, too. But the vehicles don't work well on the tracks, or the tracks aren't suited to the vehicles. the tracks don't feel designed well enough for the handling of the vehicles. It could be a speed thing, like maybe the vehicles are too fast.

Overall, i can't recommend Redout 2. even as a free to download game on PlayStation Plus, it's hard to recommend as ultimately it borders as just being a waste of time. I'm even starting to wonder if the first game was actually good or not. it's been soo long since i played it that maybe my memory is wrong.