Red:OuT seemed to come out of nowhere, but it came at a great time. I’m a huge fan of classic titles like Wipeout and F-Zero, but unfortunately PC hasn’t seen as many games like that of late. Hell, even consoles are lacking, considering Wipeout’s Studio Liverpool has closed down and Nintendo is seemingly oblivious to the fact that there are quite a few people who would take children hostage for a new F-zero game (hell, I’d settle for an HD remake of GX at this stage). So Red:OuT came at a great time.
The game is totally aware of the fact that it’s been inspired by the classic futuristic racers, which is the right kind of attitude to have, as it means they’re aiming to make their own thing in the vein of the classics rather than ape them. Is that something Red:OuT manages to do? Let’s find out.
Upon closer inspection, it seems Red:OuT takes after Wipeout more than F-zero. It’s got the near-future aesthetic, as well as the pod-racer design that Wipeout vehicles typically sport. When it comes to difficulty, however, it’s taken a cue from all the classics. Red:OuT is a game that will keep you on your toes and then some. Races will be desperately close, and you’ll need to navigate brutal turns at breakneck speeds.
You’re aided by the strafe mechanic, which allows you to shift your craft in the direction of the turn. Mind you, they didn’t exactly mention this in any kind of tutorial, but since the game takes after Wipeout I rightly figured that there’d be some kind of turning mechanic so I checked the controls to find out which button helps you turn. What I didn’t know, however, was that that the game also requires you to lift and dip your craft vertically when going up or down loops. This fact was relayed to me through one of the loading screen’s snippets of tutorial text.
Aside from the strafe and pitch mechanics, Red:OuT has the ever-classic boost mechanic. It’s a pretty standard boost mechanic, whereby your boost recharges over time. You also get two powerups, one passive and one active. This is a little different than the pickup system in other racers, as it’s more based on the levelling system, but it’s similar in practice as it revolves around getting fancy new toys that let you screw over the other racers. Mind you, some of the game’s races are known as ‘pure’ racing events, and these events don’t let you use any of your powerups.
In terms of variety, the game offers a respectable amount for its asking price, and I felt the track design was really well-thought out. Quite a few of the tracks have weather effects, and it really helps give them a sense of variety and uniqueness. Aside from that, the game has a ton of polish for an indie, and 34BigThings has clearly put in a ton of work. You’ll be pleased to know that it did 60 fps with absolutely zero drops in my playthrough, so you’re set for some smooth racing action.
Now, in terms of doing something new with the formula, I think Red:OuT manages to stick to what we’ve seen from classics like Wipeout and F-Zero. However, it’s got all-new content and it’s on PC, so that’s absolutely more than enough. Considering the dearth of futuristic racers on PC, even if Red:OuT sticks to the formula, it gets points for doing a great job of it. And there’s no doubt that Red:OuT does a great job of reviving classic future racing gameplay. Any fan of the genre should check it out.
Red:OuT was reviewed using a PC downloadable code of the game provided by 34BigThings. The game is set to release in the near future on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The PC version was tested by Mazen Abdallah on a PC running Windows 7 Pro, with a 4GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970 fitted on a 4th Generation Intel i7 4790 3.6Ghz CPU and topped with 8GB of RAM. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.
• Great variety of tracks
• Challenging racing action
• Great visuals and smooth performance
• Online is still not that populated
• Vehicle variety could be better