Zwooom! Redout Brings F-Zero-y Hover-Racing

ZWOMP!

John mentioning MegaRace reminds me: we never post about Redout [official site] being out. Redout is a futuristic hover-racing game inspired by games like F-Zero and Wipeout, with futurecars zipping around wild futuretracks. And it came out two weeks ago. Whoops. “I played exactly one race of it and it is both pretty and fast,” our Graham tells me, which is reason enough to bring it up now. Observe, futurecars:

It’s the future, see, and everyone’s done away with wheels because… they’re not really sure. Something to do with a crank in some pre-holo movie hating wheels, maybe? Apparently the real story is that in the far-flung future, we trashed Earth so bad that most of humanity moved off-planet and now uses Earth as a big playground.

So off you go, racing around hovertracks. Redout boasts twelve-player online play, twenty tracks, power-ups, a career mode with levelling-up and upgrading, and other racy things.

Player reviews on Steam are mighty positive, though I do note that the folks at cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer were a bit more reserved.

Redout is £26.99/31,99€/$34.99 on Steam. It optionally supports Vive and Rift cybergoggles, if you think your meatware can handle your brain shooting around at breakneck speeds.

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37 Comments

  1. pillot says:

    It’s not great, there’s just a severe lack of this type of racer on pc.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      I’d be happy if it didn’t make the mistake that every other futureflyingcar racer on PC has done so far (Quantum Rush, Distance et al) – people always seem to think these games have to be stuck at MAXIMUM DIFFICULTY (ludicrous speed, using ALL of the buttons, U-turns like the eye of a needle, AI that’s never less than perfect etc., etc.) and that anything else is a mark of shame. Wipeout was better than F-Zero for many reasons, but a lot of it came down to one series deciding they didn’t have to be so difficult – right from the word go – that your eyeballs imploded in protest. F-Zero GX is great, no question, but for anyone bar True Gamers it’s simply far too god damned hard. I’m none too confident this game understands that and for that price I’m not really willing to take the risk (it wasn’t at all obvious within the first two hours’ play that Quantum Rush was not willing to let up, for example).

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Don’t know about GX but both the original F-Zero and 64 were spot on. There are several difficulty settings and “leagues”.
        Anyway there’s really a lack of racers. Maybe it’s too difficult to make one.

        • Syrion says:

          I spent a lot of time with F-Zero GX, versus none at all with Wipeout. Sure F-Zero GX gets hard in later leagues, but it starts off with easier ones and progresses from there, just as the player does. The thing is, to get the most of it and play it to completion you have to invest time, but for me that ment a lot of motivating, fun time with progress and nothing short of one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in my life, right next to FlatOut 2. And I’m not even a racing game fan…

          From what I’ve heard and seen RedOut is similarly tough if not a bit tougher than F-Zero GX, so I guess playing this casually is pretty much ruled out for better or worse.

          • drinniol says:

            The story mode in GX was the only truly difficult thing in the game. It just demanded perfection every time.

          • Eight Rooks says:

            I’ve spent a lot of time with Wipeout (twenty, thirty hours on HD/Fury, for one thing) and enough time with F-Zero GX to be reasonably confident of what I’m saying/that you probably don’t really have a good idea of how good you are at videogames. Even after all that I found the highest speed on Wipeout completely unplayable and the elite/”proper” requirements largely impossible, but that was fine, because the game was plainly very keen to ease me in, and it was nice enough about it I kept chipping away at more difficult races (I’ll love Sony Liverpool forever for actually putting in a sane set of times/points for mere mortals to attempt). The very first race in F-Zero GX felt like a greased hockey puck flying across the rink at a thousand miles an hour in comparison. Near-uncontrollable, wildly demanding right from the word go, utterly unconcerned with whether or not I’m having any fun. It is not an easy or a welcoming game by any stretch of the imagination. Really, really polished, a definite work of art, enough that I was jealous of people who were any good at it, but as elitist as any classic arcade franchise. The move to stuff like Quantum Rush and MAXIMUM DIFFICULTY all the time is exactly the same kind of thing that essentially killed shmups, old SNK franchises etc. – chasing the same audience year after year as they demand a perpetually harder challenge. Wipeout was the only franchise that understood sometimes it’s no bad thing if you hold the player’s hand a while.

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            Thulsa Hex says:

            @Rooks

            I dunno about your F-Zero GX assessment. It could be just your aptitude for these types of games, no offence intended. You see, my sister (who was 15 at the time GX came out) didn’t play video games at all, except for the odd bit of Mario Kart 64. Since I didn’t bother getting MK Double Dash, and the N64 had long been retired, she decided to give F-Zero a go when she saw me playing it one day and got into it quite easily. Within a couple of weeks we’d won all the leagues and were taking turns at busting the hardest time trials in an attempt to unlock everything. We made huge headway, until I accidentally deleted our save file when I was clearing out the replay files you could saved. We never went back to it (or any other game, together) after that, but we had a blast up until then.

            Someone mentioned that the story mode was harder, and I think they’re right. I don’t remember making that much headway, and I know my sister wasn’t into the challenge stuff as much as racing and time trials.

          • Syrion says:

            @Eight Rooks
            I wasn’t trying to prove you wrong, just offering a different perspective of the experience :)
            I don’t recall exactly what F-Zero GX is like when you first play it, but I think the others are right that mostly the story mode’s difficulty can be all over the place. If I recall correctly the game did get quite some criticism for that.
            But, at least my experience of playing the leagues was very different, and I think I played the story mode alongside that, switching it up until I felt confident enough to carry on with either mode. So, at least for me, the difficulty curve was very appropriate.
            But, in the end, a lot of it also comes down to how patient one is and how much time one is willing to spend with a game. The same reason why (Nintendo-)hard games weren’t problematic for most kids. But later, with a job, relationship and own kids, ouf… :)

          • Syrion says:

            Despite all that, I fully agree that no matter how “hardcore” a game is, there should always be a suitable difficulty curve that doesn’t start somewhere along the very top.

            In the case of Redout, it seems that was alleviated a bit by rewarding you with ingame money even for losses, with which you upgrade your ship or buy new ones, so you still progress in the game even if you’re less quickly learning the gameplay.

      • haldolium says:

        I don’t know if WipeEout actuall was keen on “holding hands” but from my experience it actually offered a comprehensible learning curve, where at first you learned the game at Vector and maybe didn’t want to go below “Rapier” once you knew how to play.

        Othes, Redout included, are not so. You have to adpat right away to become perfect. Thats sad and throws me off quite a bit.

        Played 6 races so far and I always lost due to not managing the *perfect* track and never touch the sides. I might not be the best player (okay in fact I am not) but at the very start, games should be more forgiving. Can’t say if it might be an A.I. issue too/mainly, but if that already causing me to end up absolutely last it really doesn’t bring in motivation for further playing tbh.

        Also soundtrack and track design aren’t very captivating right now.

        • theVenerable says:

          Definitely a bit hard at the start of the game.
          And I agree with the ‘speed is not everything’ comment.
          Other games of this type started slower and built up gradually.

          The game starts pretty fast, with fast and aggressive AI, and also with some pretty hard sharp turns.

          Throws you in at the deep end, and I think that may put a few people off this game.
          I want to enjoy it more than I do, but it’s too challenging early on.

      • CartonofMilk says:

        Never understood the acclaim for wipeout. F-zero is a classic. F-Zero x was a gem. The best futuristic racer there’s ever been to this day. GX was a huge letdown though and got me to sell my gamecube for an xbox. 16 years of complete loyalty to nintendo gone because of Fzero GX! (well ok no there were OTHER reasons but that was still a factor)

        • Syrion says:

          I haven’t heard this one before. Despite being an N64 disciple I sadly never owned F-Zero X, but it always seemed to me like F-Zero GX is nothing less than a major graphics and content upgrade of that one. How did it let you down so much?

      • ulix says:

        You’re joking, right? Wipeout was always A LOT mor difficult to play than F-Zero. F-Zero had broad courses and very direct controls, while Wipeout had this indirect (“sluggish”) handling and very difficult, narrow courses.

        I was never good at Wipeout, slamming into walls every few seconds. F-Zero on the other hand felt, to me, a lot more manageble (both on N64 and Gamecube).

        I actually came here to ask if this feels more like F-Zero or more like Wipeout, because for this reason (it being too difficult) I never really liked Wipeout all that much.

        • ulix says:

          If we’re talking about the story mode in GX, you’re right of course. That one WAS insanely difficult. I think I ever only finished the first two races…

          But the rest of the game, the normal leagues and such… A LOT easier (for me) than Wipeout.

        • Syrion says:

          I haven’t played it, but from watching several videos the physics seem very similar to WipeOut, not nearly as direct as in F-Zero, but on the flipside also with only little focus on weapons/powerups, which is always positive in my opinion.

      • fish99 says:

        Agree. I always started on the slower speeds on Wipeout and worked my way up until I found a comfortable level, and it always had the option to turn off weapons and just play as a pure racer.

  2. Whelp says:

    A red out is when you pass out due to blood being pushed into your head by positive g-forces (downward acceleration.) I don’t see how this can happen with a flying car unless you’re flying at a very high altitude.

    • Agnosticus says:

      Negative g-forces and who says the complete race track including the buildings aren’t built orthogonal to the planets surface?

    • brucethemoose says:

      Some wipeout courses did have intense negative G sections, where the track turned down and the car stuck to the road.

      Of course, the kind of Gs those pilots experienced would turn any normal human being into an amorphous pile of flesh, so reality is kinda thrown out the window anyway.

    • fish99 says:

      Whether the vehicle is flying, stuck to the track, or floating above it, doesn’t actually matter because the track can go anywhere, so you can have positive and negative G forces. You can have loops where you’re inside and outside the track.

  3. Morgan Joylighter says:

    Wtih just a little imagination, you can pretend that this is a current-gent sequel to Star Wars Episode I Racer, and they’re just racing on some weird planets that have not yet been seen in the Star Wars galaxy and with some weird alternate-class pods…like Indycar vs F1 or something. That is one things to do with Episode I that there really ought to be more of…podracing games. As long as no one says, “now this is pod-racing!” except totally in jest ;)

    Another thing would be a proper lightsaber fighting game that wasn’t on rails. Recreations of the famous three-way lightsaber fight are shockingly rare in modern video games. Almost all of them are in questionable-quality mods for ancient games. Jedi 2/3 was the only one that really got lightsaber combat right and allowed a layer of skill on top of the endless button mashing. But now that Star Wars has been consumed by the Disney empire, it’s unlikely we’ll ever get a lightsaber combat game that is that hardcore-friendly or that moddable ever again :(

  4. Eight Rooks says:

    Also that PC Gamer review talking about the speed limiting the track designs brings Ballistic to mind. “The fastest racing videogame ever made!” Yes, and that was precisely what meant it was crap. Dodge the barriers across the tunnels – it was basically one of those lane-switching mobile endless runners before they were ever a thing, and it wasn’t a very good one, either.

  5. bill says:

    I found all my old gamecube disks a few weeks back… except F-Zero GX.

    :-(

    • Syrion says:

      That’s too bad.. If you do manage to find it, you may be interested in that the Dolphin GameCube emulator runs the game surprisingly well. I’m usually not very interested in this kind of thing, but playing it very fluidly at a higher resolution even on a laptop is really cool!

  6. Syrion says:

    As someone who was never interested in Wipeout but regards F-Xero GX as the unreached pinnacle of futuristic racing, I fond Redout hugely appealing. It is clear inspired by those, yet it seems to feature just enough own and even rather unique ideas with the mandatory dual-stick controls to not ve seen as an outright clone. It seems to sport a similar kind of finesse to the racing dynamics as F-Zero GX does and, from what I’ve seen, no rubber banding! Yay!

    Only, I feel that it is lacking a bit in terms of character. The visual design is great as is the soundtrack according to others, but besides that the game seems to be structured mainly around bland menus and a very generic progression system. Surely that shouldn’t have been a top priority up until now, but if they manage to improve on that I think this could be even more outstanding.

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      Thulsa Hex says:

      This sounds encouraging for the most part, and I loved GX with all my heart. I wish it had a demo, though. The concern about a lack of character is a bit of a red flag, however. I picked up (the awfully-titled) Fast Racing Neo (link to fast.shinen.com) on Wii U around Christmas time, and while I had a bit of fun, the lack of character or world building was a bit too obvious for me. I didn’t go back to it after my initial few races, and think that this was a big factor. F-Zero has the ridiculous B-movie superhero shenanigans, Wipeout has such striking visual design, and even Episode I racer had character to it. FNO didn’t look bad, but just felt a bit “generic future racer.” It’s also a tad bare-bones in terms of modes, but to be fair it was also only $15. It reviewed very well, though the cynic in me suspects that a lot of that was down to the stark absence of the genre in recent years… but maybe I should give it more time.

      Haha, I dunno. As you can see, I want to give these new future racers the benefit of the doubt, but I also don’t want to settle just because there’s nothing else out there. I miss a world where you not only had the slick AAA giants of Wipeout and F-Zero, and surprisingly-good tie-ins like Episode I Racer, but also the less-polished but still fun and/or interesting AA stuff like Extreme-G and POD (Planet of Death). There was quite a bit of choice with this stuff in the late 90s/early 00s!

  7. Ericusson says:

    Still can’t get past how pretty much everything was amazing in WO 2097 and Redout does not rise to the level of its predecessor.
    The inertia of the different weighted vehicles is nowhere to be found, neither is the finely tuned gameplay, nor of’course … the fricking soundtrack.

    I ended up getting reimbursed mostly cause my aging 750M laptop can not handle the flashy graphics of Redout … though I may very well give it another shot on a future 1080 powered one, one day.
    Just do not expect anything like Wipeout 2097 (then again would I spend the time to learn all the tracks and vehicle handling these days … maybe yes maybe no, we live in a)

    • Ericusson says:

      Just to add : the fined tuned inertia …
      Readout has inertia and an awkward concept with their air brake / turn assist I found which did not really work for me.

      I also miss the wipeout 2097 management of collisions with the tracks beginning with a slight grinding of your ship. Here is a simple slow down which I find frustrating. I just think it made a better experience in gameplay than what Redout proposes.

      I was never a fan of the F zero series despite a few tries as i just can’t get along with the settings and design choice and the lingering memory of a cheap plastic feel like (nintendo legacy) of the games.

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    AutonomyLost says:

    I bought this earlier in the week and think it’s a blast. Straight-forward, blistering speed, and just fun.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Ben King says:

    That classic RPS fanzine: PC Gamer. I lolled. Also the game looks shiny, but borderline beyond what my computer can handle.

  10. fish99 says:

    I’ll get this when it’s a bit cheaper. Compared with say Wipeout HD or Fast Racing NEO, it seems a bit pricey at £27.

    Wipeout Fusion is still my favourite of this genre (and I’ve played most of them) with the best gameplay and track designs. P.O.D. was awesome too, but technically that’s not a hover racer.

  11.   says:

    I like it. It’s okay. I have sold my ps3 years ago and ps2/psp wipeouts are blurry, plus their load times are maddening, even in emulators; ps4 has no Wipeout so far… but again, I don’t want to look at it like a Wipeout clone. It has its own decisions, some I like, some I don’t; the dev is active, the roadmap is on Steam, I value transparency and honesty.

  12. Ilikecookies71 says:

    TLDR: I like Wipeout, this is nowhere near similar and stands for its own. It’s fun if you like simplistic arcade racing.

    If you are glancing at Redout expecting a game similar to Wipeout you will be quite disappointed, it’s sadly lacking the most basic gameplay I love so much from that series.

    In my opinion the core gameplay of Wipeout is made out of 3 components: ridiculous speed, energy and weight management. When you meet the corner or get hit by a weapon you feel your bulky ship slowly trying to regain its momentum. When you open an air-brake at 900 km/h you feel the entire ship leaning towards it. Wipeout gives you perfect control over your ship and designs the tracks around it.

    So what does Redout do differently.

    Energy Management:
    In Wipeout you regain energy by absorbing pickups, you carefully have to maneuver over, instead of using them offensively against fellow racers, in Redout the only way to regain energy is by not being hit or crashing into a border and then watching it slowly regenerate. Wipeout gives you a choice, take the risk of blowing up and being removed from the current race or maybe eliminate an opponent by gifting him 3 rockets as speedboost.

    Ship control and weight:
    Flying 4 120° turns in a row at Phantom speed in Wipeout is a nice feeling, you throw your ship around never actually seeing where you are going but simply steering 500m ahead of what is to come out of pure memory. Redout has the same aspect but doesn’t deliver on it. Be it building momentum, cutting corners or bumping into other ships, everything gives of a extreme arcade like feeling. There is no weight in Redouts ships, no such thing as a “air-brake”, all you can do is float around and let your ship strafe a bit. There is no planning needed, there are no complex corridors, you simply adjust to the small part you are currently flying in and move to the next.

    Ship upgrades and weapons:
    Wipeout made this simple, ships are different in performance but everyone has the same chance of getting a weapon. You have to earn the right to blast your teammates with plasma by working your way to a pickup field and getting there first. What Redout set out to do seems to be a sort of progression system, you can upgrade your ships performance, equip it with different weapons and that’s it, there are no pickups in the race itself and statistically your ship will be better compared to other racers and have a better chance of winning.

    Well, this bickering comes from someone who spent a few hundred hours in 6 Wipeout games over the span of years. While Redout has a harsh learning curve for people that aren’t used to the genre I don’t particularly find the game challenging or fun in the long run. What it offers in good looking tracks it lacks in complexity.

    Nonetheless I can still recommend you try the game and see if the shoe fits. This is a genre which sadly barely gets games, so even if I personally don’t enjoy them as much I wish the community around it grows and offers more variety over time.

  13. Spongbo says:

    I read the PC Gamer review, and it seemed only semi-literate. Could have used an editor.

  14. Thankmar says:

    I waited for this one to get finished quite some time, but I wait just a little longer and see some more reviews (like here – wasn´t there a future racer specialist writing for this site?).

    On a side note and just fyi, if you want a different scratch for your futurorace-itch, Rollcage hommage Grip just hit Version 1.1. Its (my first) early access and good fun already. Development seems to get on steadily. The last update brought a mode called Carkour, which consists of a lot of stunty tracks to master. Its from Rollcage Stage 2, and I have fond memories of that. The Devs promise multiplayer for the next update.

    Handling could be tighter, and I don´t like the music, but its in a good place already. The 16 Euro might be too much for the content right now as it is ea, but more seems to be on the way.

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