Redout: Lightspeed Edition is a futuristic racing game available from retail stores and for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS4. Redout’s developer 34BigThings was founded on January 15th 2013 when three MSc students at the I.T. University of Copenhagen in Denmark at a time when they did not even have a real office to work out of. Having worked on developing games at everywhere from indie to AAA level; the team was financially viable resulting in being able to remain independent even when establishing their development offices in Turin, Italy and expanding their team to 32 people. 34BigThings have a routine of staying ahead of the game by actively progressing on numerous games in parallel to each other including 80s arcade fragfest Hyperdrive Massacre; physics based adventure Otto; Rocketball and much more besides. Can Redout: Lightspeed Edition live up to F-Zero, POD, Rollcage and Wipeout that inspired Redout’s creation?
Career mode contains over 100 events; beginning in the Solar Redout Racing League with choosing your first ship and as you only get one sponsored ship; it is an important decision. There are two career events available at first including a pure time attack and a pure race with both events taking place at Calima in Cairo. Every career event has prize money and XP up for grabs such as up to $6,300 in prize money for each of the first two career events based upon where you finish on the podium which is necessary to your progression throughout the career in order to purchase active or passive power-ups and each improved ship class. Contracts are offered at certain times within the career mode such as the Silverware Bonus contract for racing with a particular ship and obtaining a medal in the upcoming event for a reward of $27,000, although restrictions are imposed for you to not be able to choose a different team. Tournaments are introduced at the end of the class I events; continuing from class II onwards comprising of three events per tournament.
Quick Race allows the player to practice against 3, 5, 7 or 9 opponents for a varying amount of laps in relation to which of the 11 event types has been chosen to participate in. You can also select the first class of each ship to race in, although there are only two tracks available when playing Quick Race for the first time in the form of Calima situated in Cairo and Speedway located in Alaska, although more tracks are unlocked as you progress through career mode.
There are 11 event types including time attack in which there are no on-track opponents but you must beat track record times, while pure time attack is the same premise as time attack, although there is an added stipulation of being unable to equip power-ups; speed is a variant on time attack with extra turbo boosts activated and the twist being that the player must stay above a target speed to deduct extra seconds from their final lap time; survival is sort of a reversed time attack as you are trying to avoid on-track obstacles capable of quickly shattering your hull with no respawns available in a battle to last as long as possible; and instagib is a further time attack variant as the difficulty is ramped up significantly with highly increased wall damage and no respawn. There are also a multitude of race events including a race in which power-ups can be equipped, while pure race does not allow power-ups to be equipped; arena race sees the first pilot to complete the race or the last ship running as the winner; last man standing eliminates the ship running in last place on each lap until there is only one ship remaining; score is a long race based on points from hitting turbo boosts, leading the pack, setting fastest lap times and not crashing; and boss is a long race spread throughout five tracks that are chained together via teleporters.
Ship design is unique and rather detailed as there are 7 team named ships including ESA-AGR, Koeniggswerth Engineering, Sulha AG Racing, Conqueror, Asera, Lunare Scuderia and Buran. Every ship has a set of six attributes including acceleration, maximum speed, grip, structure, energy pool and recharge speed, while each ship has four classes that steadily increase the quality of every attribute. Your personal choice of ship to suit your piloting style in acceleration or better handling through the corners is a big part of your gameplay experience as every ship has their own respective strengths and weaknesses in every attribute. For instance, Lunare Scuderia is on par with ESA-AGR for best acceleration of the 7 teams, although Conqueror just edges out Lunare Scuderia for best maximum speed, while Koeniggswerth Engineering draws level with Lunare Scuderia for best grip; however the three latter attributes is where Lunare Scuderia begins to fall away with Koeniggswerth Engineering and Asera excelling significantly in structure, energy pool and recharge speed. There are also numerous liveries and colour palettes to choose from in order to customise your ship’s stylish look. Accurate piloting of your ship is vital as the self-repairing functionality of your ship will only commence after a certain period of not hitting the barriers or colliding with other ships.
Instead of having power-ups other than an occasional speed boost gate positioned on-track; Redout: Lightspeed Edition has two sets of power-ups that can be equipped into an active and passive power-up slot which essentially acts as a customised loadout. Active power-ups need to be manually fired during events whereas passive power-ups provide perks to improve your chosen ship’s performance with each individual active and passive power-up costing $4,000 to purchase, although three further upgrades can be applied for a cost of $3,000 per upgrade. Active power-ups include EMP Blast which sends a shockwave that momentarily freezes the energy pools of your opponents, while Energy Drainer siphons energy from another ship before adding it to your own ship’s energy pool; Enhanced Protection Shield System (EPSS) absorbs damage from collisions in addition to preventing energy drain and any effect of EMP shockwaves against your ship; Extra Magnetic Grip provides unmatched magnetic grip and handling with a small added speed boost when upgraded; Turbo Boost drains the entirety of your energy pool for a powerful one-shot turbo boost; and a Repair Drone utilises energy to repair your ship which after upgrading also enables a speed boost as repairs are occurring. Passive power-ups include Overloaded Energy Turbine increases your energy recharge rate and improves your ship’s turbo boost, while Augmented Propeller supercharges your engine by boosting your maximum speed and acceleration; Enhanced Respawn Device respawns your ship on track much faster and refills your energy pool; Hardened Hull adds super-lightweight support to make for a tougher structure and easier self-repair; Magnetic Stabilizer increases grip through the introduction of an extra stabilization system; and Slipstream Enhancer significantly increases maximum speed and energy recharge when slipstreaming directly behind an opposing ship.
Track design is not for the faint of heart or queasy with high speed and exhilarating loops. There are seven environments including Cairo, Alaska, Abruzzo, Volcano, Europa, Neptune and Vertex with every environment containing five unique tracks totalling to 35 tracks. Rather intriguingly, every environment and each track within the environments have their own written history that you can read at your leisure which is a nice touch as it gives the air of a grander scale to every environment and track.
Players can earn XP in career mode for completing events; particularly when achieving a positive finishing position such as on the podium in a race event or setting a lap time worthy of a bronze, silver or gold medal. Earning XP to level up is essential as new career events are gradually unlocked as you increase your pilot level and power-ups only become available from level 3, while levelling up unlocks better ships including class II when reaching level 6, class III is unlocked for attaining level 15 and class IV is obtained for levelling up to level 22. However, $30,000, $50,000 and $90,000 are required to respectively purchase class II through IV after attaining the necessary pilot level.
There are five camera angles including three third-person perspectives with a camera positioned on the top of the bodywork showing part of your ship, directly behind your ship and further back from the ship, alongside two first-person viewpoints positioned from the front of your ship looking forward with no bodywork shown and a cockpit view containing a dashboard displaying your current speed, provisional health, available energy and two power-ups of your choice. Every camera angle can be panned to the left, right or behind for a view of incoming opponents that are attempting to overtake your ship, while also seeing a glimpse of the bodywork of your ship from a more interesting angles. It is an incredibly positive design choice to have such diverse camera angles as it results in every player being able to find a camera angle that is to their unique ideal preference. However, there are no post-event replays which would have been amazing to experience immediately after the event had been completed.
Downloadable content packs have released for PC since the Neptune Pack in May 2017 and the Vertex Pack in June 2017 which are both fully integrated into Lightspeed Edition on PS4. However, a Space Exploration Pack released on PC in November 2017 including a new moon environment and a new Planetoid AR219 environment with both environments comprising of five all-new tracks and a new boss track, alongside 25 new career events; accompanied by three new liveries and five new colours for ship customisation. Redout developer 34BigThings has confirmed that all downloadable content will be released on home consoles.
There are not many futuristic racing games on Vita, despite there being Wipeout 2048 and Air Race Speed; it would have been amazing to see another futuristic racing game on Vita, although remote play is a consolation. Redout: Lightspeed Edition’s remote play performance is incredible as it retains the quality of graphics, audio and general performance as the PS4 version. Split-screen multiplayer is displayed in split-screen during remote play, although it would have been much better to have the player using remote play to have their own full Vita screen with the other player having a full television screen. There are no remote play control optimisations as accelerating and braking or reversing are mapped to the top right and top left of the rear touch pad respectively by default which would have been far better suited to being re-mapped to R and L respectively, especially given how R and L is an alternative to square and X, therefore resulting in what should have been an easy remote play control optimisation. However, after some getting used to the unoptimised remote play control scheme; it is actually a playable remote play experience.
The controls are appropriately mapped to the DualShock 4 controller with the default Redout control scheme consisting of holding R2 to accelerate; pressing L2 to brake or reverse; pressing R1 or square to engage a power-up; pressing L1 or X to use a turbo boost; pressing triangle to switch the camera angle; pressing O to look back; pressing up, down, left or right on the d-pad to pan the camera angle; changing the direction of the left analogue stick to steer your ship; moving the right analogue stick left or right to strafe; moving the right analogue stick up or down to pitch; pressing the share button takes you to the share feature menu; and pressing the options button to display the pause menu. Meanwhile, the arcade control scheme re-maps strafing right or left from the right analogue stick to R1 and L1 respectively, while making the right analogue stick an alternative to panning the camera and pressing R3 to look back with pitching moving to the left analogue stick, alongside the classic control scheme which focuses on PS1 style controls including holding X to accelerate and pressing O to brake. The three differing control schemes is an excellent design choice as it means that every player will find a set of controls which suits their style of play and preference in the futuristic racing genre. Vibration occurs when colliding with the barriers, although there is nothing mapped to the touch pad which could have provided an alternative to switching camera angles, while there is no light bar implementation which could have displayed an alternative heads-up display to represent the current health of your ship’s hull or your ship’s remaining energy.
Graphically, Redout: Lightspeed Edition is a perfect mixture of Wipeout, Rollcage and even some of the artistic approach of Auto Modellista comprising of exceptional ship design, track design and environment design all running at somewhere in the region of 60 frames-per-second. There are some further impressive touches such as how the screen of the camera angle starts to break apart and fracture when your ship’s hull has received too much damage from colliding with other ships or the barriers. At the time of publishing, PlayStation VR compatibility for Redout: Lightspeed Edition has been confirmed by developer 34BigThings on social media which makes sense, especially given that it is already playable in HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Razer OSVR. PS4 Pro support comes in the form of 4K resolution via checkerboard rendering accompanied by the majority of the PC version’s high-end graphics settings and a slightly smoother consistency of the 60 frames-per-second frame-rate.
The presentation of the game is solid with a great user interface across various menus such as the main menu, career menus, quick race menus, track selection menus, ship selection menus, local multiplayer menus, online multiplayer menus, options menu and various gameplay menus with support for navigation via the left analogue stick, directional pad and face buttons, although it does not include support for navigation via the right analogue stick and touch pad. Menu backgrounds include different areas of a futuristic design model.
Redout: Lightspeed Edition’s audio is presented in 5.1 surround sound. A female voice-over introduces career mode gameplay elements, a countdown to the start of every event, when a new best lap time has been set and an analysis of your finishing position. Sound effects include your ship and every participating ship in the near vicinity accelerating, braking, strafing, pitching, speed boosting, engaging power-ups, colliding with the barriers or other ships and ships being destroyed by running out of health or being eliminated from a last man standing event; accompanied by catchy music from a fusion of genres such as dance, electronica and rock. There is no DualShock 4 speaker implementation which could have produced the female voice-over or specific sound effects such as speed boosts and using power-ups.
The trophy list includes 35 trophies with 14 bronze trophies, 16 silver trophies, 4 gold trophies and 1 platinum trophy. Easier trophies include the Trick Up Your Sleeve bronze trophy for obtaining an active power-up; the Sneaky Sneaky bronze trophy for obtaining a passive power-up; and the Natural Born Winner bronze trophy for winning your first gold medal. Harder trophies include the Better Than Ever gold trophy for winning a platinum medal and the Pile Up Trophies gold trophy for winning 45 career events. There is one online multiplayer trophy in the form of Challenge the World silver trophy for winning an online match. It is estimated that depending upon skill and a good trophy guide to provide some helpful tips that it would take between 15 to 25 hours to platinum the trophy list.
There are three difficulty levels including rookie, redout and veteran with the major differences being the A.I. pilots approaching their cornering in a more accurate and clinical style that results in better acceleration from having not hit the barriers, while their strafing and pitching renders their ships to be in the best positioning on-track to achieve maximum efficiency in acceleration; therefore making it quite hard to beat veteran difficulty A.I. opponents.
Split-screen multiplayer allows two players to select their preferences of unlocked ships and power-ups to race on any of the unlocked tracks from career mode in race and pure race events for anywhere from 2 to 8 laps, score events for a duration of 8, 10, 12 or 14 laps or boss events for between 1 to 4 laps with 3 or 5 A.I. controlled ships to flesh out the grid. Split-screen multiplayer performance is just as breathtaking as single player both in graphical fidelity and frame-rate, while even going as far as to retain all five camera angles, although it would have been nice to have a horizontal split-screen for players who prefer their split-screen multiplayer gameplay presented that way.
Online multiplayer supports 2 to 6 players to select their preferences of unlocked ships and power-ups to participate in a race, pure race or boss event on any of the unlocked tracks from career mode in which players can earn XP and money for positive finishing positions, while praise is earned by online multiplayer gameplay that achieves the same quality of graphical fidelity and frame-rate in comparison to single player and split-screen multiplayer. Players can immediately join an online lobby if one is available, search through every online lobby or host their own online lobby, although the host player must wait for a second player to join; rather than being able to instantly start their hosted online lobby. This scenario could have been alleviated by having the ability to start the event with up to 5 A.I. controlled ships in which players joining the online lobby can drop directly into the position of the previously A.I. controlled ship that is furthest advanced towards the front of the field.
Online leaderboards are focused on global rankings, top 50 rankings and friends rankings with each leaderboard containing each player’s rank; name (PSN ID); team; upgrades; equipped power-ups at the time of setting the time; and the time set or the amount of checkpoints you have piloted your ship through within each world and track when piloting each ship class for time attack, pure time attack, speed, survival and instagib events in career mode and quick race mode.
Redout: Lightspeed Edition’s replayability originates from a career mode consisting of over 100 events, 35 tracks, 11 event types, 7 teams with 4 ship classes per team, power-ups and upgrades, XP and levelling up, three difficulty levels, split-screen multiplayer, online multiplayer, online leaderboards and more besides that will collectively have players returning for an extensive amount of time.
- Title: Redout: Lightspeed Edition
- Developer: 34BigThings
- Publisher: 505 Games
- System: PS4
- Format: Retail/PSN Download
- Cross-Buy: No
- Cross-Play: No
- Players: 1-2 (Split-Screen Multiplayer)/2-6 (Online Multiplayer)
- Hard Drive Space Required: 7.01GB (Version 1.01)