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Road Rash (Kinda) Returns: Road Redemption

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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Nathan Grayson

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