General game information
Game name: Immortal Redneck
Release date: April 25, 2017
Price: US$ 19.95
Available on: Steam
Genre: Roguelite first person shooter
Immortal Redneck is a roguelite first person shooter where the player controls a “redneck” who experiences a strange accident and becomes a mummy while vacationing in Egypt. Right after leaving his sarcophagus, our character cocks his boomstick and enters the ancient pyramids, looking for answers and things to kill. We don’t need any more story than that in order to have fun in this kind of game, and the developers seem to understand that perfectly, as they spent the rest of their writing budget on funny one liners that wouldn’t look out of place in Shadow Warrior or Duke Nukem 3D.
The game wastes no time introducing us to the unfriendly denizens that inhabit the pyramids we’ll raid, and entering new rooms will instantly alert us of enemy presence thanks to a health bar present at the top of the screen, which will go down as we exterminate the opposing forces. Movement is fast, approaching original Doom speeds, and we can also jump at least three feet into the air and mantle objects that are in range of that maneuver, something that makes platforming segments far better than they have any right to be (I believe that first person platforming shouldn’t be a thing, but thankfully it seems that the good people working at CremaGames found a good middle ground, making the whole affair almost pleasant).
Speaking about the inhabitants of the pyramids, if there’s an area where Immortal Redneck shines, it’s the way that the enemies are presented, and their variety. We’ll face teleporting wizards, undead archers, bull-like creatures that will charge at us if they get the chance to do so, and all sorts of weird creatures, each with their own move set. Some foes will drop gold, and health or ammo consumables (which recharge all available weapons) and if we wait for too long, these drops will disappear, becoming one with the sand that permeates the pyramids.
Thanks to the fast movement speed, combat is quite enjoyable, letting skillful players dodge their way out of hairy situations with relative ease. Shooting enemies in the face with a shotgun is almost as fun as it is in DOOM or Shadow Warrior 2, and the weapon selection can be quite creative (you can wield a grenade launcher that spews explosive potatoes, or a crossbow that fires like a machinegun, among other interesting tools of destruction). We may also use different skills that feel a bit like “ultimate abilities” in hero shooters (though they don’t take a long time to recharge and aren’t usually as powerful as an Overwatch ultimate ability, for example) and equip scrolls that change the way certain things work (not always in our favor). Sadly, weapon sounds are incredibly low and muffled, something that made me think that all the guns would be weak peashooters when I fired my first shot.
Since Immortal Redneck is a roguelite with a random map generation element, the level layout resets every time we die. In order to avoid common pitfalls of randomly generated content, developers CremaGames opted for an interesting solution, as every individual room has been created by hand, but the overall layout of the levels combines a number of handmade rooms (ranging from first person platforming segments, to puzzle rooms that will spawn a chest, combat arenas and even ambushes that will swarm the player with fast melee enemies) into a randomly generated map. Thanks to this decision, we should never encounter rooms that can’t be beaten, but we also shouldn’t feel like we are doing the same thing over and over again, since the overall map isn’t the same as the one we traversed during previous runs (this doesn’t always work, since when we get to the end game we’ll probably know most rooms by heart and will quickly identify whether they are puzzle rooms, platforming sequences, or plain old arena fights).
Progressing further into the game lets us face massive bosses that will unlock access to other sections, and should we fail to overcome the overwhelming enemy forces, we’ll die and respawn in a hub section where we can use the gold we obtained from fallen foes to buy new classes (which come with their own sets of abilities and powerful weapons) and even unlock upgrades that will stay with us after we bite the dust. We may also find blueprints that can be used to create helpful tools if we have unlocked the shopkeeper with our hard earned cash (he can also “freeze” the pyramid so we may run through the exact same layout as the one we’ve just experienced). Entering the fray will result in our redneck having to relinquish all of his gold, a mechanic that was probably inspired by Cellar Door Games‘ excellent Rogue Legacy.
Moving on to the tech side of things, Immortal Redneck comes out as a winner on the graphics department, but it’s sadly lacking a lot on the audio front, thanks to the weak and muffled weapon sounds. The art style is cartoonish and exaggerated, something that fits perfectly with the protagonist’s not always witty one liners and the general “classic first person shooter” theme. Thankfully, the soundtrack doesn’t suffer from the same issues as the weapon sounds, and while we won’t find any modern classics, I enjoyed the Egyptian themed musical arrangements that accompanied me as I raided the pyramids.
Ultimately, Immortal Redneck is a fun roguelite first person shooter that will provide countless hours of enjoyment for action enthusiasts thanks to its fast paced combat and randomized level layouts.
8/10 – Very good.