Before I go on to lament the 14 years that have passed since the last Road Rash game – 2003’s Jailbreak on Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance, for the record, itself a port of an earlier PlayStation game – let’s spare a thought for the three years that have passed since Road Redemption, developer Ian Fisch and his small team’s spiritual successor, first broke cover. This is a game that’s been slowly blooming in early access ever since, and one that’s only now ready to be pushed across the finishing line.
It’s a game born of a fannish devotion, first sparked in a rental Louisiana rental store when Fisch and his brother got hold of a copy of Road Rash on 3DO, and Road Redemption feels – for better and worse – like a fan-made game. There are rough edges, for sure – and for that matter, plenty of rough surfaces to boot – but there’s also a game that’s come about from a handful of devotees who ask the same questions we all so often do of our favourite games. What if? And how about?
So this can feel like a Road Rash filtered through the raw, unruly imagination of the infatuated teen. Wouldn’t it be fun if that combat system was fleshed out with counters and critical hits? How about four-player splitscreen? And how awesome would it be if you were on one epic road trip, from bleached deserts to post-apocalyptic wastes, duking it out with various gangs? And how much more awesome would it be if it was a roguelike? And hey – how about jetpacks too?
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