The sensational speed of a futuristic racing game is always incredibly appealing to me, especially when it features great handling mechanics and beautiful tracks that beg the player to take their eye off the road for just one second. That’s obviously not a smart move though in such a fast-flowing game, but Redout, the latest speedster in the genre, does exactly that.
Futuristic racers usually have a similar atmosphere to them with high-tech courses that revolve around a city skyline or extreme weather, but no matter what the outside focus of the track is its almost always very cool to see. However, in such fast moving games the best time to enjoy viewing the track is during the load screen, before the race begins, and at the end of the race. Rarely can they be appreciated once the race begins and the speedometer is going over 800 miles per hour, causing everything to turn into a blur. When it comes time to race, the player focuses on each turn and has zero opportunity to see great visuals unless they want to wipeout.
There are similar moments in Redout, but what I’ve found it to do really well is that it creates a situation where the player can simply feel the surroundings through great lighting and color, and not necessarily through detail. If everything becomes a blur, then why not make the blur beautiful? That’s what happens here through the game’s lighting effects and vibrant colors. This became very obvious on what’s now one of my favorite tracks ever in any game. See the video below.
Once players get the engines running and start moving, that’s when their eyes become too focused on the track which causes everything else to become a blur. But oh my gosh the lighting and effects are so good in this game. Just seeing the distant colorful blur of a tree in the background or seeing rays of light shine through foliage alongside the track, it almost feels like the player senses these experiences more than they actually look at them.
The sun also becomes apparent on the tracks for additional effect and glare. Furthermore, there are effects from a passing sandstorm that creates a bright and neat looking brown haze that the player passes through. Redout does a good job with its lighting and also captures motion really well with screen effects. I absolutely love the design of these tracks and the visual effects that the player both sees and senses.
It’s so much fun to go faster than ever! Ok, so I don’t know if it feels faster than other futuristic racers that I’ve played in the past, but the game’s slogan says I’m going faster than ever and it certainly feels like it.
Redout is most certainly a blazingly quick racing experience that allows players to purchase new ships with unique capabilities. Players can focus on speed or control, or get a good in-between racer that establishes an all-around setup. It’s mighty fun to go speedster all the way and see the popup say ‘faster than ever’ when players reach their highest achieved speed in the game, but it’s just as important to have a good control of each turn as well to maintain a decent balance in each race.
Redout also features multiple race types that change up the experience slightly, and there are multiple modes to race in including a career, quick race, and online multiplayer. But where things get really interesting for me is the option to play on the big screen or in the world of virtual reality.
I love seeing the game in 1440p because of everything I’ve already stated above. However, I absolutely had to put on my HTC Vive and take a look at what the game offers for VR gamers.
Redout is far from free of issues when it comes to running it in VR. I’ve encountered problems with the game not launching or taking a good couple of minutes to boot. Usually pressing a button on a blank black screen helps move along the booting process. I’ve also had issues exiting out of the game once I finished with a playthrough. The game will shut down, but Steam will still think it’s running.
Additionally, I’ve encountered stuttering that became noticeable after recording a clip with GeForce Experience or changing the in-game resolution setting, and also encountered that the pre-race load screen with the Redout logo is out of focus and makes it uncomfortable to look at. I have to close my eyes until the race loads.
Ok, so setting those issues aside, the game is still an interesting experience in VR. Once players load into a race they can look around at the track before they start, and once they get to their vehicle they can choose how they want to view the ship – whether they want a first-person view or have some of the vehicle shown below them. It’s nice being able to see the location at first and simply look around even though the camera is moving along the track and may cause the player to feel the motion a bit.
Things get really good though once the countdown begins. If you think you can feel the sense of speed when playing on a monitor? Think again! Holy Shazbot am I traveling at insane speeds in VR. Redout isn’t just faster than ever, but it’s faster than ever on VR!
I love the sense of speed that the player achieves when playing Redout in VR as it feels as if you are low along the surface and simply right there – as it should. I also had a moment where I had a photo finish and watched as I passed the guy while crossing the finish line. And oddly enough, something that has yet to make me nauseous, I like being able to tilt my head up to better see the track ahead and know what adjustments need to be made to perfect the course.
I’ve had moments of motion sickness with VR and figured this could be a game that would probably bother me with how fast it moves. I played a long session of about 8 events without having much of a problem on my first day. It could be that I was way too focused on the track to even think about what’s going on. However, on a new day I did look beside me at the wrong time of movement and did get a little nauseous. It will obviously depend on the person and what they’re doing.
One thing I’m definitely not a big fan of is the screen effect that looks like glass breaking when players collide strongly against the wall. This effect in VR feels really awkward with the eyes. I would be happy with an option to turn that off in VR mode.
Playing Redout in VR is fun to try out and play for a while, but it’s far from a great experience until some of the issues get fixed. I also found myself losing interest in the first-person view through VR and wanted to return to the wider view that can be obtained on the monitor. As it is, I like Redout far more on screen than I do in VR. It’s nice having the option to play a race or two in VR, but I can’t see that being my primary way of enjoying the game.
Still, VR issues aside, Redout is a fantastic futuristic racer that all fans of the genre should give a try. I do question how long it can keep me entertained, but what I do know is that it has some brilliant moments that makes it worth playing through. And like I said, it also has my new favorite track, so I’ll definitely return to playing that time and again.
Now to return to the race and reach a faster than ever speed!