Redemption Reapers Review – Ender Lilies Developer’s Attempt at an SRPG

    Title: Redemption Reapers
    Developer: Adglobe
    Release Date: February 22, 2023
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: Binary Haze Interactive
    Genre: SRPG

There’s been a rise in popularity within the tactical RPG genre. Each month, a new title appears to test our understanding of the battlefield and managing a party. It’s one of my favorite genres, so I was looking forward to the Adglobe-developed Redemption Reapers. From the promotions leading up to the release, I witnessed what I assumed to be an epic adventure. Sadly, this SRPG tries to do far too much while forgetting some of the genre’s core elements, delivering an unfun and unfilling experience.

Redemption Reapers has a powerful opening that sets up an intense hatred for the main enemy known as the Mort. These creatures make their way into a village, and it’s up to the main protagonist Sarah and the remaining members of the mercenaries known as the Ashen Hawk Brigade. The Mort are reasonably easy to hate, I mean, they all have a generic Lord of the Rings Orc look to them, but I was up for the quest of taking these things out and saving who I can.

That said, the enemies aren’t the only generic thing in this game. While the narrative attempts to throw a bible of terms of lore at the player about the war against these creatures, I didn’t really care about the regional struggles, and I wanted to know more about the main cast. Strangely, the narrative doesn’t dive into them until much later, and the opening few hours are simply about clearing out maps of enemies.

Further, the character designs seem to have no originality, each simply looking like the job class they are assigned. You have the cute blonde hear bow girl, the muscly axe dude, and the coolheaded spearmen; it’s just so dull it hurts. I do feel like Sarah is the most interesting character of the bunch, and while the story becomes more focused by hour 10, getting there will take a lot of patience. Notice how I said “patience” and not “strategy.”

Redemption Reapers 1

Redemption Reapers continues its quest for generic features by providing map after map of creaky dungeons or torn-up villages. In the opening hours, you’re slowly introduced to each of the five Ashen Hawk members, but they will never feel like a real party. Supposedly they’ve been a group for quite a while, but their chemistry hardly works. Where perhaps some character-focused side-quests would benefit their friendship, you’re forced to play through each chapter linearly, which limits level-grinding, and is a massive setback while you get accustomed to the systems.

Character gain experience after each attack. However, if a character doesn’t attack enough, they will be under-leveled. As you progress, that character will typically be one-shotted by enemies because stats are kept exceptionally low here. Just don’t expect your HP to reach over 100. The developers attempted to mitigate this issue with a way to “train” party members, but this only allows you the chance to dump excess experience points in a few characters to give them a few levels.

This game is begging for a side-quest option where you can play a few missions before a primary mission to level up your characters properly. If not played correctly, you’ll likely have a few characters who may never be needed in battle. The early chapters need free-play-type missions to keep the party balanced and add rewards for those who want to play optional missions. I failed to mention that skirmishes do eventually become unlocked, but this is after a lengthy opening 4 hours where the feature just isn’t available.

Redemption Reapers 6

Other included systems that aren’t explicitly detailed allow you to upgrade weapons, each with durability that requires them to be repaired. You have no idea how many times I got to the end of a fight, only for all my characters to be running around with broken weapons, and I tried to equip other weapons they were holding onto, but I couldn’t. That said, money is tough to come by, so you’re faced with several dilemmas before a mission. Do you buy a new weapon, upgrade a weapon, or fix your weapons? I opted to fix them because it was the cheapest, but I never had enough for everything.

I’m not complaining about the difficulty; I just don’t understand why I needed all these systems to work against me. If that wasn’t enough, characters could only heal once during a match. There are particular areas on the map that refills this heal, but you have five party members and usually only two additional heal areas. This all seems unfair.

Redemption Reapers 4

Battles require some sense of strategy, but they will likely all play out similarly. This has to do with follow-up attacks that reward you for surrounding enemies. If you have a character adjacent to an enemy, a follow-up attack option is available. This opens up a nice flow in the first few hours, but it grows dull quickly since it’s the only strategy you’ll use throughout the entire game. Surround the enemy, execute the attack and surrounding follow-up attacks over and over again.

Later on, you must consider buffs and debuffs as well, but don’t expect the game to highlight this for you. It all comes down to character skills which can be upgraded between chapters. If you forget to do this, you’ll likely know because of how fast you die, but skills can be upgraded with added passive abilities that aid with keeping your party alive a little longer. That says, if a party member dies in battle, there’s no way to revive them. I wish there were a way to share an unused healing item to bring them back or something.

Redemption Reapers 5

Navigating the maps can be confusing, but I enjoyed the way characters can be controlled. You aren’t tied to actions in the game. Instead, AP dictates how many times you can attack, but it’s also possible to move after an attack to set up a follow-up attack or put some space between enemies. Further, the animations for attacks are profound and carry a lot of weight to them. Sadly, it’s strange when you do this awesome attack but only deal three damage to an enemy.

The sad part about battles is that they have no sense of urgency. You’ll likely barely know what you’re doing there, let alone why you’re fighting in the first place. Still, that doesn’t stop the developers from throwing 30 enemies on a map and expecting you to make it to the end to fight an extra-tough enemy. It’s like these maps are endurance rounds to see how long you can avoid damage, but even when I overcame a map that I spent 2 hours trying to complete, I felt more annoyed them accomplished. This is mainly because the game gives you no additional resources to make the trials ahead easier. You can easily be under-leveled for a mission and become stuck because there’s no way for you to improve your party.

Redemption Reapers 2

Regardless of how generic Redemption Reapers is in terms of presentation. I enjoyed the cutscenes and voiced dialogue. It isn’t the best, but it highlights some of the more important moments of the narrative. Sadly, static character illustrations represent the party during regular character interaction, but these scenes are still voiced.

Graphically, there isn’t much to write home about on the PC version. It doesn’t support graphical options or provide options for high-resolution screens. However, one of the best elements of this game is the music, which is better than it has any right being.

Redemption Reapers 3

Redemption Reapers is a messy tactical RPG that could have been so much more. The presentation and character design are simply generic, with a narrative that will likely never grab your attention. There are some unique systems of character movement, but too many systems work against the player creating an unfun experience from beginning to end.

Here’s to hoping updates based on player feedback make Redemption Reapers better in the future.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.

Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.