Title: Redout: Space Assault
Release Date: January 22, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Space Shooter
When Apple Arcade launched, a handful of developers jumped on the service to release exclusive titles thinking that it would grow into something more meaningful. However, I haven’t given any thought to Apple Arcade since it launched and haven’t considered joining the service at all. Now, developers bring their once exclusive titles to consoles, and developer 34BigThings presents Redout: Space Assault. This shooter based in the Redout universe is beautiful in its presentation but holds onto too many of its mobile limitations, allowing it to be a competent gaming experience on more powerful hardware.
Redout: Space Assault is a mission-based game with a career mode that features several mission types, boss battles, and minimal moments of space exploration. The story has players assume the role of Leon Barret, who works for the Poseidon Security Force as they work towards colonizing Mars. However, space pirates and other enemies aim to control the endless frontier, and it’s up to you to stop them.
The story scenes have voiced audio, which adds a nice layer of quality to the adventure, but I can’t say you’ll have a full grasp on the adventure unless you pay close attention to what’s going on. The layout of missions contributes to this as they seem to just abruptly end after a generally short stage. This works as a mobile experience given that short and sweet levels are the norm, but it doesn’t quite translate well to PC or console.
Other mobile systems that don’t work well on different hardware include the upgrade systems that require players use coins gathered during levels to pay for stat increases. Low cluttered screens represent the menu UI with large buttons, and the presentation is just dull with no personality. There’s also the addition of cards that affect your ship’s stats, but these are more like passive upgrades that can be found after completing a mission.
Level design can be cool as there are on-rails moments of space battles, but then you can take control of your ship during certain missions to find secret collectibles and more coins. While most missions require you to get through all of the targets, there are other unexciting missions where you have to quickly follow an ally or stay on track. Additionally, there are boss encounters, which can be exceptionally difficult since the target reticles appear even if it’s on the opposite side of the ship. This just confused me as to which direction to actually shoot at the boss.
There are a few different ways to shoot down enemies, but one interesting option is the auto-fire mode, where all you have to do is aim at an enemy, and you’ll shoot at it. You can also launch missiles, which do greater damage, as well as equip other weapon types. This gives the levels a more mindless feel, as if you aren’t really playing as you’re merely lining up enemies for your auto-fire to take effect.
Level design is decent, given that you don’t spend too much time in missions, but they do end up feeling repetitive. As a mobile game, I would have appreciated it more, but they don’t really stand out on PC. There’s also a significant lack of speed in the game. There are thrusters, but I’m in space, and this is Redout; I want to go fast. Playing a 2D shmup shows better speed than what this adventure offers.
Redout: Space Assault should have been a different game and not just a port-up of its mobile counterpart. Little went into resigning the UI or adjusting the gameplay experience for more powerful hardware, and the lack of speed makes it a strange fit within the Redout universe. I enjoyed the shmup direction, but auto-fire and short on-rail missions don’t make it even close to a memorable entry of this genre.
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