We’ve been lucky enough to have Immortal Redneck in our grasp for over a month now and with the release upon us we can finally reveal our opinions on the rogue-like FPS…
From the loading screen which looks like a mash-up of overwatch and Smite, it’s pretty clear that Immortal Redneck is quite unique, you play a mummified redneck who just can’t stay dead.
Spawning from a Sarcophagus in the centre of the map, you’re surrounded by 3 pyramids, entering the central pyramid will start you on your journey to the apex. The inside of the pyramid is a number of procedurally generated rooms filled with enemies. Clearing a room allows you to move on until you find the staircase leading up to the next level. With every level the threat of enemies increases as they get a buff to health and power, this brings greater rewards by the way of small tokens which you take with you upon your inevitable death.
Spawning once again back outside, you can visit the strange tree (in the centre of the desert) which provides you with a skill tree to spend your hard-earned tokens making yourself more powerful or more resistant to damage, there’s other power-ups to work through so spend wisely because any tokens left over will be taken from you as an offering to re-enter the pyramid.
The core gameplay is pretty fast, but has a great feeling of reward as you carefully pick off enemies, some weapons have less ammo but will deal greater damage, others more plentiful in shots but will require a greater degree of accuracy to prove worthwhile, the great thing about Immortal Redneck is how effective these weapons feel, they’re weighty and carry a punch with even the start pistols capable of taking down the early enemies with a well placed shot. With grenade launchers, dynamite, orb firing power-gloves or a good old-fashioned six-shooter or bow & arrow with many more you certainly won’t be short of options, just make sure you use the ammo wisely because just like replenishing your health you can’t be sure what you’re going to find lying around.
There’s a feel of titles like Serious Sam and even franchises like doom with a strong nostalgic element but it’s that rogue-like nature that really grabs you, running back into the pyramid just one more time will keep you playing for hours, days or even weeks as you slowly get more powerful, gaining more tokens and collecting blueprints.
Other items you’ll come across on your travels are scrolls and the aforementioned blue-prints, blue-prints can be taken to the merchant once you’ve unlocked it to craft new medallions granting special powers such as continuing from a certain point in the pyramid or boosting attack, defense or gold pickups. The scrolls will drop from enemies, be warned though, once you touch a scroll you have to pick it up and there’s plenty of negative effects such as resetting the level or reducing your armour as well as the good scrolls which can skip levels, give a large sum of gold either instantly or for clearing all enemies on a level or increase power as well as modifiers such as increased damage while jumping or stationary.
The rogue-like gameplay lends itself well to the game and trial and reward keeps you coming back for more, have a bad run and you just continue from where you where, but have a great run and revel in glory as your acquired tokens unlocks a few more upgrades, It’s designed to be pick up and play, with the longevity of constant progression and it all fits together well with great balancing across the skills with the uncertainty of scrolls to keep you guessing.
Among the skill tree you’ll also find favours which unlock special powers from the gods, choosing this from the starting point you can set about your quest with slightly varied health, starting weapons and abilities such as a double jump or invisibility
There’s not graphically any difference between each ‘favour’ you select, it would have been nice to see a greater variation between the gods powers rather than just the bound arms of our redneck mummy each time, but the limelight is on the speed of the game, even with Mars gravity allowing Halo style jumps and Flash giving lightning quick speed, Immortal Redneck didn’t slow down at all, It would have been nice to have some higher quality textures, more detailed locations or even some form of Xbox One X enhancements. Graphics certainly aren’t terrible, but it could have all been a little bit better looking.
Audio is a little better, background music is consistent throughout the game with a strange Egyptian and redneck hybrid style which fits the title perfectly, nothing really stands out as fantastic, but likewise it’s never annoying especially in the heat of the battle,
There’s also a welcome chime that sounds when you clear a room, sure there’s a bar of sand that depletes as you eliminate the enemies within the room, and the lights above the exits turn from red to green when you have the all clear, but I found the visual clue the easiest and most reliable way to know I was safe to rush around picking up any items left scattered on the floor.
Immortal Redneck will feel a little repetitive for some, the rogue-like approach to a FPS does keep the clock of longevity ticking away, but procedural generation only goes a certain distance when inside the rooms start to feel quite familiar after 3-4 hours. To an extent learning the layout of the rooms does help, especially as you reach higher levels with enemies that are both more powerful and greater in numbers, but I just left myself finding a familiar layout more than a new one, and introducing new rooms more often would have given a greater element of surprise as you progress.
Unfortunately there’s no multiplayer support, online co-op would have been a fun prospect, even doubling the number of enemies would have been a simple way of accommodating another mode, but instead it’s just the single track quest of reaching the apex of a pyramid and then unlocking the second and third as well as the mysterious underground tower.
In all I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Immortal Redneck, which at £15.99 has to be good value for money, anyone who’s a fan of titles like Serious Sam or even Rogue-Like platformers such as the fantastic Rogue legacy is likely to find a frantic action-packed shooter that will keep them going for weeks.