“Redeemer: Enhanced Edition” Review (Xbox One) – A Short But Brutal Tale of Revenge

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Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment
Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment

Redeemer: Enhanced Edition is a fast-paced and downright brutal tale of revenge. While short, Redeemer packs a ton of variety throughout its bloody campaign including a much appreciated co-op mode.

Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment
Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment

Story:

Vasily has given up his violent life as a soldier after he began to disagree with the path that his fellow soldiers were following. His best friend, Berkut, disagreed with Vasily’s objections and instead chose to seek power. Vasily, seeing the evil in Berkut, decided to end the life of his once friend. Unfortunately he failed. After crash landing in a snowy mountainside, Vasily stumbles upon a peaceful monk village where he decides to live out his days. After nearly 1,000 days of peace Berkut finds Vasily and burns the village and kills his friends. Despite his former promise to leave his violent lifestyle behind, Vasily sets on to take down Berkut and anybody else involved in the massacre.

Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment
Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment

The story is told through simple art work cutscenes and voice overs and while serviceable as a device to keep you slaughtering random soldiers and monsters,  packs no real emotional resonance. You don’t really care about Vasily, Berkut, or the monks because you’re never given time to get to know anybody on a personal level. That’s not a knock against Redeemer though, as the story only exists to keep you moving from one area to the next and as such, it does a fine job.

Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment
Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment

Gameplay:

Redeemer sports a top-down perspective ala Diablo and, like Diablo, the main focus of the game is to destroy everything in sight. Nearly everything can be picked up and thrown at enemies and many areas of the environment can be used as brutal finishers such as impalement on tree branches or diced up by industrial fans.

The game begins rather small in size, with only sparse enemies. You’re allowed to learn the basics of attack before anything too intimidating gets thrown at you. Vasily can punch, kick, roll, and parry in his basic move set – but later the game adds limb detachment, guns, and a ridiculous number of melee objects.

Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment
Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment

All melee objects quickly deteriorate with use, but that isn’t really an issue as you can barely take a step without finding a replacement. There are knives, crowbars, wrenches, bats, axes, staffs, swords, and more scattered throughout with each having a slight difference in attack power and speed. You can exchange your current melee weapon for another at any time, but you are limited to only carrying one melee weapon at a time.

Likewise, you can only carry one gun at a time. While the gun roster is not as diverse as the melee, there is still a bit of a variety. A pistol, carbine, SMG, shotgun, and a plasma rifle will all become available during your playthrough. Various upgrades can be added to each weapon to allow for more ammunition, silencers, and other perks. Each weapon behaves exactly as you’d imagine: pistols are great for smaller enemies/humans, while shotguns deal tremendous damage to the beefier monsters. Plasma rifles are great for crowd control, while Carbines have a long range and can take down many enemies with just a few well placed shots. Overall the guns feel great and add a nice variety to the gameplay.

Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment
Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment

Redeemer does boast a level up system of sorts, and it rewards players who experiment with the various methods of destruction available. There are two basic areas of improvement for Vasily: Monk and Soldier. The monk skill set involves physical attacks made by Vasily and levels up every time you punch, kick, or melee any enemy. The Soldier set upgrades Vasily’s gun abilities and levels up everytime you shot any of the five available weapons at an enemy. Each weapon or physical attack then has its own set of perks which are unlocked as your character levels up and sometimes adds more combo moves, better health regeneration, more powerful ammunition, and other helpful items.

I highly enjoyed the level up system once I realized it existed – the game doesn’t ever explain the system or how it works. I had a ton of fun switching wildly between weapons and challenging myself to take down whole rooms using only one weapon or one specific attack. It adds a bit of depth to a rather shallow, albeit incredibly fun, game.

Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment
Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment

Graphics:

For what it is, Redeemer: Enhanced Edition looks and plays fine. The graphics are not on par with AAA titles, but at the same time they never detract from the gameplay. The levels are varied, ranging from outside vistas to cramped laboratories, and new enemy types are thrown at you up until the end, keeping you constantly entertained by thoughts about what abomination might attack you next.

Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment
Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment

Length and Replayability:

A first run-through may take 5 or 6 hours, depending on your skill level and how much you like to explore. There are 16 franticly paced levels, each varying from 10 minutes long to around 30. The addition of an Arena mode and Co-Op help add a bit of replayability to the game and many may find their selves starting a second playthrough just to see if they can level up all perks before the conclusion.

Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment
Photo Credit: BUKA Entertainment

Final Thoughts:

I went into Redeemer blind and was pleasantly surprised by the game that I found. The ridiculously gory action combined with the campy story kept me pushing forward just one more level on more times than I can count and upon completion I was eager to dive back in and see how well my incredibly enhanced character would do if I replayed some of the earlier levels with all my unlocked skills.

Fans of top-down brawlers like Diablo will love Redeemer, as long as they understand that there is no loot grind involved. The sheer chaos which unfolds onscreen in each level is a thing a beauty and I loved wildly grabbing weapons and watching as enemies flew in every direction as my one man army forged ahead unwavering in his single-minded quest for revenge.

If you’re looking for a fun distraction, you could do a lot worse than giving up 5 hours of your time to Redeemer.

A review code for Redeemer: Enhanced Edition was provided to Fan Fest News by BUKA Entertainment. You can purchase Redeemer: Enhanced Edition on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam for an MSRP of $24.99.

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