App Reviewed on: iPad Pro
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
I definitely have fond memories of the iconic motorcycle combat game known as Road Rash, and it has struck me as odd how some major attempt at recreating that experience hasn't really happened. Road Redemption Mobile definitely takes a crack at recreating some of Road Rash's magic, but it largely falls flat for a wide array of reasons.
Road Rash roguelite
Much like Road Rash, Road Redemption Mobile is a racing combat game featuring motorcycles. This means that as you tear down open roads full of normal, vehicular traffic, you'll also be coming into contact with competitors that you might decide to pass by hitting them with a wrench or kicking them into the path of an oncoming car.
There is a story explaining all of this violent road racing, but it largely just feels like light set dressing to justify the gameplay. Structurally, the game is like one, giant point-to-point journey that is broken up into legs where you are asked to complete mini missions like dispatching a certain amount of rival gang members or just flat-out racing.
Ride or die
Upon completion of these missions, you either receive rewards like money for being successful or lose some amount of your health for failing. From there, you can purchase upgrades from a shop that can grant things like increased experience gain, higher boost capacity, and more before moving on to your next challenge.
Across all of these challenges, your health bar determines whether or not you get to keep pushing forward on the journey. If you wreck too much or are killed by enemies, your run ends and you just have to start the game over from the beginning. After the end of each run, you may have achieved some milestone that unlocks new bikes or riders to play as or earned enough bankable currency to purchase permanent upgrades on a skill tree to give you a boost on each subsequent run.
In theory, all of these concepts sound great, but Road Redemption Mobile seems to find ways to bungle almost all of them. The biggest sore spot of the game is definitely its controls. Although this is a port from its console/PC counterpart, there are actually a surprising number of control customization options. Unfortunately, though, none of them feel right. Even if you opt to play with a controller (which is heavily recommended by the game's main menu), you never really feel like you are driving a vehicle. I know this is an arcade game so I shouldn't expect (and don't want) realistic controls, but the driving should feel like driving and it doesn't.
On top of that Road Redemption Mobile is littered with bugs. I've driven clean through cars with no penalty, seen motorcycles spawn right on top of each other and float in air, and had auto-steer controls send me headlong into walls. You can try the first few stages of Road Redemption Mobile to see if you get the same issues, but beware if you decide to purchase as well, as my attempt to buy the full version of the game simply did not work and attempts to use the Restore Purchases button validated my purchase but did not unlock the full game.
The bottom line
Road Redemption Mobile is a pretty big mess, and only partially in the way you want. A spiritual successor to Road Rash should be chaotic and involve a lot of collisions and other shenanigans, but that's only enjoyable if the game feels and plays the way you expect, which is simply not the case here.