Redout 2 is a futuristic racing game from 34BigThings in the vein of Wipeout and F-Zero. This sequel to the 2016 title takes players back to the far future where humans spectate and compete in the SRRL, the Solar Redout Racing League, a hyperspeed anti-grav motorsport. While Redout 2 doesn’t have an overt plot, it has immersive and complex lore involving interplanetary colonization, war, and industry that is reflected in the background environments and in historical tidbits shared by a disembodied announcer.
Gameplay is all about racing though. You’ll control and unlock sleek and pointy futuristic racing ships that reach speeds of over 800 kilometers per hour. In addition to accelerating and braking, you can strafe left to right to deal with tight corners and point your nose up and down to stay parallel with the track over steep hills and loops.
Ship management factors into races as well. You have the ability to boost for as long as your ship can handle the increase in heat. Furthermore, you can stack different kinds of boosts. There are on-track boost pads that cost no heat to your ship, but you can also boost at will or hyperboost, which will automatically push your ship to its max heat. While overheated you can keep boosting, draining your ship health and exploding in the process. Going a few seconds without boosting or colliding with anything will allow your ship to repair itself and cool down, so maintaining maximum speed becomes a balancing act of pushing your ship to its limits and perfecting your piloting skills.
The learning curve for Redout 2’s brand of anti-grav racing feels steep. It’s possibly the most technical futuristic racer I’ve ever seen, as staple moves like drifting around corners take a good amount of practice to perfect. There are a plethora of AI assists you can turn on and at different percentages to facilitate the more demanding aspects of racing, but it feels genuinely rewarding to see the improvement in your skill as you slowly turn assists off and retry troublesome tracks again and again.
The track selection is vast and many have memorable sections you’ll be eager to retry, but early on the game throws some curveball courses at you that feel impossible to complete. Thankfully there is a rewind feature available for some events that let you keep trying harsh corners or massive jumps until you get it right.
Aesthetically Redout 2 doesn’t stand out much; although its tracks paint a gorgeous futurescape with bright neon and sleek metal, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before in the genre. Its energetic techno music leaves a similar impression, and without any characters or truly standout ship designs, it lacks a lot of personality. However, the way the game conveys its sense of speed is in a class of its own. The blur and warp of the background and the muting of sound and music as you stack every boost available to you leaves my heart racing every time.
I have a few minor gripes however. I experienced infrequent frame drops on some races, and some of the assist options appear to not function randomly. Opponent AI is also somewhat inconsistent; even on the lowest difficulty I’ve seen racers pull from behind to take first in the final laps. And at present multiplayer options are limited to just an unranked mode that drops you into a random race, but an SRRL ranked mode and season challenges are planned for the future.
Ultimately, Redout 2 takes the anti-grav racing genre very seriously. If it weren’t purely fantastical I’d be inclined to call it a simulation racer, but I came to appreciate its demand for mastery of its mechanics. It’s possible that fans of similar games in the genre might bounce off of this one, but I truly believe with enough time it will blow past its competition. The game is out now for $29.99 on Steam, Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S, with a Nintendo Switch release in July.
Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Redout 2.