Road Rash (Kinda) Returns: Road Redemption

By Nathan Grayson on April 13th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

EA may not be making the most, erm, popular calls these days, but in terms of sheer quantity of beloved classics, you certainly can’t take a motorcycle-propelled sledgehammer to its accomplishments. That last bit, however, is the exact premise of Road Rash, a largely console-based illegal bike racing classic that stole the hearts of starry eyed youths and – as unbiased science has proven – transformed them into vicious brigands and/or motorcycles. Failed reboots and false starts, however, have left the series to the ravages of time, which is basically the saddest thing. But now, hope’s arrived on a gleaming two-wheeled steed. Introducing Road Redemption, a spiritual successor from a bunch of former Road Rash devs industry vets who did not actually develop other Road Rashes. Now, rashes of the non-Road variety? I can’t say for sure, and I don’t think I want to know.

So that looks to be a contemplative rumination on the frailty of the human form and the inevitability of the 18-wheeler that is mortality. Or, I guess, a game about dudes smashing each other into oblivion while moving so quickly that resulting disembodied limbs hit Biff in his dumb face in 1955. It looks fairly impressive, though, and I’m digging the sense of speed.

Also, DarkSeas is made up of folks from Sega, Sony, Bioware, Gameloft, EA, Tequila Works, Disney Interactive, 2K Sports, and Lucasarts, so the pedigree’s certainly promising. Here’s what they’re hoping to achieve:

“Road Redemption represents a return to the challenging, skill-based gameplay that defined gaming on the Sega Genesis (MegaDrive), 3DO, and Nintendo 64. Road Redemption brings state-of-the-industry combat controls, insane crashes, destructible environments, AI, ragdoll physics, and online multiplayer to the classic motorcycle combat/racing formula. The Road Redemption team has been hard at work since early 2012, though preliminary design work started as far back as 2009.”

The high-octane, low-flying-cranium fireworks will be available in both single-player and multiplayer flavors, with the former telling a big story about getting out of prison, working your way up the ranks, and whatnot. Crime! Bad people doing bad things, but you’re slightly less bad, making you the hero by default. I think that’s what DarkSeas is going for, anyway.

The team’s asking for $160,000 to help wrap up development, but so far, they’re not having an especially strong start. Still though, other Kickstarters have rallied back from far worse. With nearly a month left in the tank, Road Redemption still has time on its side.

For now, the planned release date is August 2014. Will this one be receiving your ill-gotten biker riches?

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43 Comments »

  1. Tuckey says:

    Tempted to back this, the slowed motion during the attacking seems to capture something from the Mega Drive Road Rashes, and the huge jump. Not keen on that gun though.

    Then again RR2 is still great on an emulator.

    • daniyaalseeq says:

      until I saw the receipt which said $6610, I did not believe …that…my friends brother could realy receiving money in there spare time at there computar.. there aunts neighbour has been doing this for only a year and at present repaid the morgage on there appartment and bourt a great new Acura. read more at, http://bic5.com/

  2. aemskelley says:

    I remember the countless hours playing this after I’d been told to go to sleep. Played for hours trying to save up for the super bike… yet my megadrive always overheated before I got there and the game crashed. :(

    Might back this!

    EDIT:

    There was this pre-vis a few years back, which to be honest, looks quite a bit better… hopefully they’ll take some inspiration from this video – Maybe it’s the movement or camera sway? Not sure, but this one feels a bit more solid/weighty

    • DonJefe says:

      Hm. You’re right. That DOES actually look a little better. And I was just so excited a moment ago.

    • BertrandBigguns says:

      Previs definitely looks sweet but so does kickstarter video. May not be the prettiest game but they seem to really know what counts. Definitely backing.

  3. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Colour me interested, it’s a shame there hasn’t been anything remotely like Road Rash except for that GTA IV expansion. Not sure about the guns though, or the silly drug running plot and I hope the racer count is high. That being said those wipe open landscapes and highways look a treat, and it generally looks quite good.

  4. Noburu says:

    Im sold as long as I can still hit someone with a chain.

  5. rustybroomhandle says:

    The pitch video seemed too much to me like “let’s each take a turn to say something at camera that we think people want to hear”. This is also a project that would have benefited from being able to show actual gameplay instead of concept renders. Concept renders, mind you, that look neither good nor fun. I have not played Road Rash though, so don’t have any relevant nostalgia-buttons that can be pushed in this case.

    • Sam says:

      Yeah, their game footage feels really odd to me and I’ve been trying to work out why.

      It has a little caption saying “Realtime Footage” so I guess it’s running realtime in the Unity engine rather than a traditional concept render from a 3d package. But it really doesn’t feel like it’s realtime gameplay footage. Obviously there’s no UI, but also the whole feel of the motion just seems off. Like it is being directed by an animator’s spline path tool rather than by a player’s input. It lets them cheat and show us a mid-air beheading that would almost never happen when actually playing, but it also makes it seem like the game feels horribly floaty.

      Also I’m pretty sure there’s no original Road Rash developers in there, most would have been foetuses at the time and their list of games they’ve worked on are all much more recent.

      • aemskelley says:

        I believe there may be another Road Rash kickstarter coming up… which is the one created by the original devs…

        Don’t quote me on that though! :)

        • Wonderboy2402 says:

          I think you maybe right. There was a reddit thread where a dev of the original road rash said he was interested in rebooting the series.

          I don’t believe this kickstarter is the same entity… I really played and loved road ash. But this kickstarter did not get me to pledge? Why? Well I think guns are not something that should be in a road rash. Also, while there is some sort of racing it seems the game is now about being drug runnes and running gangs.

          I always felt the originals had a spirit of entrepreneurial dealings with racing and bike selection. The most frequent dangers were the environments and the weapons would set you into a position to ruin another racers day. I don’t want a slug in the back or bikers with Uzis.

        • BertrandBigguns says:

          Yea but that dude said he wanted it to be on ipad and 2.5d

      • Rian Snuff says:

        This.. It seems right shotty.
        I guess it is early but it doesn’t for me.

        However if the Road Rash devs are going to be back in business I’d gladly back it.

    • DrollRemark says:

      I was really put off by the “let’s name some old things! THE PAST!” section. It had absolutely nothing to do with the game, and just seemed like shameless pitching to me. Also “I got into games development because I used to love playing games” is the most redundant phrase ever.

      Best of luck to them otherwise though.

  6. mrwout says:

    Needs more Mad Max…

    But I’m interested, hope they succeed.

  7. Jimbo says:

    Are they making it for PlayStation 1?

    I have no idea why EA / Criterion didn’t just make Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit BIKES EDITION. Hot Pursuit was basically Road Rash with cars anyway (and it was awesome).

  8. Maritz says:

    Sort of confused by why the $15 tier is limited to 9000 backers. Does it mean they’re going to whack it up to $20 when (if) they reach 9000?

  9. RobF says:

    Hopefully they’re planning on making it look less like a cacky Wii game?

    Also this: http://www.mobypicture.com/user/retroremakes/view/15116727

  10. thecat17 says:

    I remember travelling on nearly hour long bus rides with my brother each way to the electronics store that had a 3DO just to play that version of Road Rash. Playing the Genesis version with him at the stepgrandmother’s house during boring family holidays, trying to run each other over when the other wiped out and was running back to their bike. Somehow, the leader would inevitably run onto an oncoming car and launch themselves hundreds of yards from said bike. And it was utterly hilarious every single time.

    I played the tar out of the PC demo that I had, probably obtained from one of the PC Gamer demo discs. I think it may have even had a couple of Soundgarden songs on it, upping its enjoyability for me considerably. And there were FMV sequences, right? And weren’t they delightfully cheesy?

    Excited, I am for this version.

    • mangrove says:

      Cheesy indeed! I recall if you left it idle at the start screen it would eventually play a music video with some hairy guy singing about how much he loved his dog.

  11. mrmalodor says:

    That looks awful. In fact, I suspect this might be a scam. Their “realtime” footage looks like a cheap pre-rendered cutscene, apart from the fact that the graphics are ugly.

  12. Lobotomist says:

    I dont know about road redemption (tried it once only) but these guys sound like combination of passion and know-how unlike any indie i seen before.

    I am sure they will kill it with this game, and i am looking forward their next game also :D

  13. Sam says:

    The $800 tier reward is quite extraordinary. You’ll be given all their code and assets, and the legal right to use them for commercial work. Which would presumably include hitting the Build button and selling their game for $10 less than whatever they’re charging (or giving it away for free). They’re also giving away the source and assets “a few months” after release to the general public under a non-commercial licence.

    I can only assume they’re not planning to sell many copies after the date they send out that reward, or they’ve really not thought it through. Any attempt at a “you have to change the game a reasonable amount before you can release your own version” clause seems doomed to see them spending more than the $160,000 they’re asking for on protracted legal battles.

    Hm. Also noticed they’re using (some?) assets sourced from TurboSquid. I would be very surprised if the Road Redemption people have the right to resell a licence to use those assets. So maybe whatever assets they’re using from TurboSquid will not be included?

  14. sinister agent says:

    Maybe this will pave the way for someone to finally make some sport + lethal violence games this side of 1994. IT IS A PILE OF MONEY WAITING TO BE MADE, DEVELOPERS.

  15. The Random One says:

    “The goal of Road Redemption is to make our dream game. The game we’d like to play right now, but doesn’t exist.”

    If your dream game is a game from 1991 with prettier graphics, you’re not dreaming high enough.

    • Doganpc says:

      What? Everything was better back then! Even sex… well maybe not sex but everything else damn it!

    • Slurpy says:

      Whatever. An HD remake of Super Metroid would be better than any game released in the last twelve months.

  16. -Spooky- says:

    Shut up and take my fuckin´ money! *throwin´against the monitor after seen the kickstarter vid*

  17. Earl Grey says:

    The revival of a Road Rash type game should be resulting in excited skid marks, but the pitch video -devs excitedly telling us they like old games while what sounds like ‘The Sims’ buy music plays- doesn’t exactly sell it for me.

    Maybe it just needs more Soundgarden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFkxYUxxtD4

  18. Simplisto says:

    Not fast enough.

    Bikes + Weapons != Road Rash

  19. blacksun_redux says:

    If they contact, and contract the composers of the original soundtrack for Road Rash 1, (NOT Road Rash 2, 3, or 3DO), Michael Bartlow and Rob Hubbard, then I’M ALL IN.

    Best soundtrack EVER.

  20. armyofdan says:

    I’ve been asking/waiting for this for a long time. Thanks for the chance to put my money where my mouth is.

  21. hypercrisis says:

    Didn’t THQ have Road Rash for a while?

  22. Rapzid says:

    Hmmm… I loved Road Rash on the Sega. But to me it was always about racing. Getting more cash to buy better bikes. Not sure I like their focus on guns and gangs and drugs… Could be fun, but not what Road Rash was IMO.

  23. mollemannen says:

    consolebased? the best version was on pc. the awesome cutscenes and the menu artwork really makes you wonder if EA actually had something to do with it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TV_Z2_b5SE

    also the awesome feeling of kicking another bike straight into oncoming car haven’t been replicated since.

    • Eclipse says:

      agreed, the PC Road Rash was AWESOME :)

    • sinister agent says:

      I am surprised by how un-horrible that music sounds. Very good given the standard of PC music at the time. Great artwork too, utterly unlike the other versions, and in fact anything else I can think of.

  24. MichaelPalin says:

    People will hate me for saying this, but when they where listing their credentials with all those classics and experienced companies I could only think “and you go and decide to make a stupid motorbike game, instead of a type of game I may be interested in”, :P

  25. MrBRAD! says:

    Nooope. That start footage makes me think “university student’s Unity homework”. If they can’t make even a mediocre Kickstarter pitch, then there is no chance of them making anything more than a mediocre game. Avoid.

    “I did an internship at Bioware, look at this footage of the shining beacon of gaming that is SW:TOR, also one guy over there says he helped make an iPad game for Disney or something. Look, guns and KATANAS!!1! Gibe money pls.”

  26. Bweahns says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b74MUhos3XA

    Burn the dog! Burn the dog! Burn the dog!

  27. kororas says:

    Loved Road Rash back in the day. When i got bored of actual racing I would play a game of see who could spill the fathest. You could fly for several miles if u clipped the right object at the top of a hill!

  28. El_Emmental says:

    Clearly not trashy enough, Road Rash isn’t a “clean” racing-fighting game, it needs more dirty grease and bikers riding bikes aren’t thin sport ones (for at least half the racers), the road/environment/cars shouldn’t be clean like that – sure it’s just a sketch made in Unity, but it shows they clearly missed that aspect.

    And seriously, katanas and guns ?

    Simply because it’s a cliché (“lol trenchoats double-uzis katanas”) doesn’t mean it’s actually fun/smart/interesting to play with it, it sounds like a bunch of people knowing little about game design (at least for the 90s) or marketing: “people like katanas and shooting guns, let’s put these in the game”.

    Same with the drug dealing part: Road Rash have never been “realistic” nor “authentic”, it’s a typical error of beginners to pick something not because it’s fun or necessary for the immersion, but because it sounds “serious” and is based logical, real-life elements. I don’t want to be a violent drug lord committing murders, rape and extortion at all, I just want to drive fast and beat my opponents with various melee weapons and funny items (oil can, spikes, various stuff I grabbed from the environment: a wildcat, tires, mailbox, etc), with a racing system rewarding fighting over min-maxing your trajectories.

    With current-gen tech they could have showed splitscreen, sidecars (RR:JB !), cops chasing you, planned game modes, how they’ll design the garage and customization, how they’ll put tons of shortcuts/alternative paths (like in “Beetle Adventure Racing!”), etc.

    I won’t pledge for this one, not convinced they “got” what RR is about (for many of us).