Immortal Redneck (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 26.02.2018

Review for Immortal Redneck on PlayStation 4

Rednecks vacation by going dune buggy hunting in Egypt, apparently. Having lived in Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida, this humble writer has seen a lot of so-called rednecks, and none of them had ever been to Egypt to dune buggy hunt gazelle. This, of course, doesn't make it impossible, but still. It's kind of absurd… so when a simple, salt of the Earth friend finds himself on the wrong side of the afterlife, and has to pile-drive his way into a pyramid, shooting monsters and slaying their superiors, the absurdity doesn't seem quite so strange. In context, at least. Immortal Redneck is an FPS rogue-like that has some interesting ideas, but by the time all is said and done, it gets drier than a piece of jerky in a bug zapper.

Immortal Redneck starts you off as a mummy. As you leave the safety of your sarcophagus, you are presented with three pyramids. Inside each of these pyramids are a host of baddies to shoot, slash, and blow up. Meanwhile, there are tons of treasures to snag, and a whole host of loot to unearth. Immortal Redneck, to put it another way, should work a lot better than it does. It is with sorrow and a heavy heart, though, that one must be honest, and honesty dictates that Immortal Redneck is a blast until you realise how obnoxiously stale it gets.

Beginning the first run, a room lays in front of you. A host of doors are scattered across the foyer, begging someone to explore their depths. The next room, chosen because it is on the ground floor and requires no climbing, is swarming with monsters. Ancient beasts with fire-laced arrows pick the player off from a distance, while a temple shaman summons mysterious black orbs to assault the player. Shortly after dispatching these two, a host of tiny mummies come a swarmin'. They won't end, seemingly coming from nowhere. Just then, from the corner of the eye, a large sarcophagus can be seen bouncing around and unleashing the little cretins. A quick lob of dynamite and kabloom! Pick off the last few little mummies, and the doors all unlock. The rural friend is free to explore some more.

Immortal Redneck, much like its title character, is all about living in the moment and having a blast. While some degree of strategy is only natural, it's entirely on the player to come up with something that works. Head shots don't matter, friendly fire only seems to be something that can be inflicted on the player, and fall damage doesn't exist. This is pure, animalistic chaos, and the lack of rules is refreshing and makes it hard to go back to stricter titles. Being given a veritable playground of unconstrained chaos is truly liberating, and only gets better as the player evolves.

Screenshot for Immortal Redneck on PlayStation 4

After each run, you are allowed to keep money earned. Similar to Rogue Legacy, there are stats that can be bought to carry over across play-throughs, but you can't stockpile cash. When re-entering the pyramid, the proverbial piper must be paid, and any remaining cash given to the gods. This is fine early on, when power-ups aren't very expensive. Levelling things like health and defence is easy enough in the early hours. After five hours, though, runs have to really count, and this previously aloof master of chaos starts to show some of its constraints (probably for the best, given how over-powered people could become if the systems weren't in place).

One of the more interesting add-ons to the store is the gods' powers. After each death, the player is granted the choice between various powerful god abilities, depending on which ones they have purchased. One god might grant you the ability to hold four weapons instead of the standard three, but he also limits jumps to one at a time. Another turns all pick-ups into steaks, Immortal Redneck's health pack, but also restores a small amount of health each time a new room is entered. Weirdly, not all of the gods feature the tit for tat balancing act of good perk for bad perk, which makes some of them clear choices for getting better runs. This ends up being balanced out by random stat buffs applied to each god before each run. While one god, for instance, has terrible weapon loadouts (another thing that differs from god to god), she might have gotten buffs to HP, Attack, and Defence, making her the clear choice for the next run.

Screenshot for Immortal Redneck on PlayStation 4

Beyond that, purchases are largely the same as many have come to expect from the genre. Defence, speed, chance of critical damage, better ammo pick-ups - they are all there. There is an additional shop that can be opened, but it's largely pointless. Players can buy scrolls to be picked up at the start of a temple, or set a temple to Déjà Vu, where it's the same layout, but all the gold that has already been pilfered will now be gone. Scrolls are merely circumstance changers. Some, like one that turns the gravity to that of Mars, is surprisingly useful, while another that causes enemies to explode upon death is merely irritating. There are a ton of variations, and while some are good, others are awful. Imagine, five hours of no fall damage and bam! That last scroll causes fall damage. Ugh. Imagine, also, the pots you have been slamming into this whole time suddenly explode when they are broken. This one is especially annoying considering they break whenever touching them. Ewww.

Each run feels unique, and yet, painfully similar. Sadly, as time goes on, the tables seem to shift heavily to the latter. Room configurations seem to have a fairly limited pool (although it would take a while to get through all of them), and enemy placement becomes almost a science before ten hours has even passed. It becomes easy to run into a room and pick enemies off as they spawn, but don't be misled. While this is the case, death is still all too easy. When it arrives, and it will (often), it brings down its mighty scythe and...

See, the problem with pyramids is how they are shaped. The bottom floor is bigger than the others. This means the easiest floor is also the largest. It can become pretty easy to get lost on this floor, too, so runs can sometimes take as long as 30 or 45 minutes to make a simple mistake and die. This results in an experience where the player is properly rewarded with being able to buy upgrades, but not one where they always feel like they are making any real progress. Health and defence upgrades don't always feel relevant or even beneficial, and the skill tree constantly dangles the carrots of better god powers or more gold under a steep price-tag. Most runs end in being able to pick up an inconsequential percentage increase to health or damage output, but as you will see shortly, those don't always feel relevant, either.

Screenshot for Immortal Redneck on PlayStation 4

The feeling of repetition is felt throughout, as the redneck spouts off the same few one-liners over and over. One particularly annoying line about the birds and the bees and the mummies gets repeated so often that it's easy to pinpoint exactly when the audio will start sometimes. Even with things like challenge rooms breaking up the mundane task of exploring the pyramids for the fifteenth time, there's not a lot of depth involved with these, either. One particularly annoying type of challenge room requests the player reach the treasure unharmed. All too often this is ruined by the fact that the player might run in, ready to stomp on monsters, only to get hit by some environmental hazard and fail the whole thing right out of the gate.

Jumping doesn't feel particularly good for a while, often feeling clumsy and stilted. After a bit of playing around, it begins to feel natural, and there's something satisfying about leaping through the air and landing just as a shotgun shell shoots through a chubby mummy. Speaking of guns, the gun loadout is really tight, but takes a long time to get used to. There seems to be a tight balancing of the most effective weapons being the ones that require the most practice. Weapons like the ankh have an infinite amount of ammo, but they hit for a laughably low amount, requiring ten shots sometimes to put down an enemy. Meanwhile, weapons like the dual pistol do significant damage, but take longer to reload and have limited ammo. One good example is the Phoenix flame, which hits some enemies fairly hard, but has a brief cool down and limited ammo. The balance is affected by your starting stats, but it's a smart way to keep people thinking strategically, yet still giving them options.

All of this creates a cocktail that just doesn't feel rewarding. Making a good run through a pyramid, even slaughtering a boss on the way, is met with good amounts of gold to spend on power-ups for the next run. Thanks to the random assignment of powers, though, whichever loadout chosen impacts how much those upgrades really feel like they matter. The result is an uphill battle, via Sisyphus, and while it's a blast to play, minute to minute, as the hours add up, so will the frustration.

Screenshot for Immortal Redneck on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Immortal Redneck's first few hours are a delightful cage match between you and the chaos within. After a few hours, though, it feels like the same old, same old. Tension is replaced with apathy, as things feel like a hamster wheel churning out the same bits and pieces. It is best experienced for its moments, and not its whole, as those moments are exhilarating and intense. As a whole, though, it fails to retain any lasting attention, and amounts to something that is fun, but ultimately disappointing.

Developer

Crema

Publisher

Crema

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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