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Video Game / Road Redemption

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Ride or die!

Road Redemption is a Vehicular Combat Roguelike game and Spiritual Successor to the Road Rash series. It was released on October 4, 2017 (after three years on Early Access) on personal computers via Steam, with console releases on Xbox One, Play Station 4, and Nintendo Switch released in 2018.

In a World… where America has been devastated by nuclear war and inexplicably become populated primarily by Australians, rival biker gangs vie for power, kept in check only by a powerful arms dealing corporation. After the assassination of a prominent biker gang leader threatens to destroy the uneasy peace between the country's gangs, the Ironsights Weapons Cartel places a $15,000,000 bounty on the head of the murderer. Now, every biker from coast to coast is dying, figuratively and literally, to claim the bounty's head and the cash reward. As one such biker, players are tasked with outracing their opponents and taking out anyone who gets in their way, from rival bikers to law enforcement.


  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Santa Claus is an unlockable character, with a giant candy cane as his 'weapon'. He is unable to damage enemies with his weapon (except for bosses), and instead regenerate nitro on each hit, as well as be able to glide in the air with said nitro. (You can still kill enemies with other methods, but a "NAUGHTY" tag will come up and you'll take damage)
  • And the Adventure Continues: The Jackal leader realizes that they had become big targets now that they've claimed the bounty, but did reason that they can afford bigger guns now.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Anytime you get a game over, you can spend any XP you've gained up to that point to purchasing upgrades that carry over to each play-through. Be sure to spend as much as you can, as your XP and cash amounts get wiped after you're done.
    • You will oftentimes suffer bike crashes and falls that would be fatal plausibly, but HP reduction for crashes and accidents are almost nonexistent (it used to be really high during its early access build, but it was adjusted to what it is during release).
    • Certain characters may not be suitable for certain objectives (such as assassinations, except for bosses). These characters will not be given these objectives to keep things fair (unless if the game is done in a co-op mode).
    • If you happen to had gone off track, you can use the "put me back on track" in the pause menu to put you in the proper position, with a little bit of health to sacrifice. This doesn't work if you fall off your bike as the game will automatically do this for you.
  • Arc Villain: Each third of the campaign goes through a different gang's territory, led by a boss who will occasionally taunt and shout at the player.
  • Black Comedy: The Jackal leader sometimes serves some after a takedown.
    Jackal Leader: That'll be a closed casket.
  • Cold Ham: The assassin mocks and threatens the player in a slow, soft, and melodic manner. No shouting, but plenty of ham.
    Assassin: Do you have any idea how many people I've killed, Jackal? You better hope you don't catch me.
  • Competitive Balance: Weapons have a "Right tool for the right job" dynamic going on:
    • Melee weapons are generally effective against other riders. Light melee swings faster but does less damage, heavy melee is slow and strong, long melee has the slow speed and the low damage but over twice the reach.
    • Swords quickly eat through energy shields and decapitate unprotected riders, but bounce off helmets, leaving you vulnerable.
    • Guns are extremely powerful with good aim, but are limited by ammo.
    • Explosives are Difficult, but Awesome. Planted explosives are powerful against groups and a One-Hit Kill on otherwise-tough vehicles, but are in very short supply. Pipe bombs can wreak havoc on groups and are one of the few ways to attack behind, but have long fuses and rely on not getting hurt. The grenade launcher has a weird combination of momentum physics and a firing arc, but doesn't have the fuse time of the other two.
    • Tasers deal no damage, but bypass deflections and short out shields in one hit.
  • Continuing is Painful: Failing a stage objective imposes a harsh and permanent penalty, compromising your chances of recovering.
  • Cool Bike: A few, especially the assassin's bike, which can deflect cars without taking a scratch, and it's yours for the campaign's home stretch after taking him down.
  • Cooldown: The jump jets have a cooldown of a second or so between uses to prevent bikes with lots of fuel from simply flying through the stage. When using the jets, you can hold down the button for a larger jump that uses more jump jet fuel, but once you let go of the button or it's been held for the maximum time, you need to wait for the cooldown before using it again (though you do not have to be on the ground).
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: SIGMA are a technology-obsessed gang who have become merciless killing machines thanks to their cybernetic enhancements.
  • Deflector Shields: Starting in the SIGMA arc, some enemies will be equipped with these. Swords are strong on them.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The explosive weapons. Pipebombs require a bit of timing (and sometimes a little of nitro) to properly utilize. It can kill groups of enemies right behind you, making races and assassinations a breeze. The grenade launcher is a little harder to utilize, but it can make the final stretch an absolute breeze once the player figures out how to properly utilize it.
    • The close call bonus gives nitro for almost crashing into oncoming traffic.
    • Grappling an enemy biker and smashing his head in while you're trying to take the lead in a racing segment.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Some unlockable characters have the "no guns" attribute, which disables all firearms including the grenade launcher, though it doesn't by itself disable other lethal weapons. On the plus side, this prevents enemies from having guns as well, but boss battles and missions with ammo pick-ups in them are still a lot harder than usual.
  • Early Game Hell: Because Campaign+ randomizes most of the missions, tough levels can be encountered from the beginning, before you can buy ammo belts or other upgrades, but at least those levels keep their powerful items.
  • Enemy Civil War: A lot of the enemies often fight amongst each other, with the exception of those being in their teams (the police will not kill each other on purpose, neither will the reapers, etc). They can still hit each other by accident.
  • Excuse Plot: To summarize a whole paragraph, post-apocalyptic USA, filled with Aussies, big cartel leader gets killed, huge bounty placed, everyone is out to get it, including you.
  • Genre Throwback: The late 90s and early 2000s had no shortage of vehicular brawlers with gratuitous over-the-top violence and a take-no-prisoners attitude that rewards aggression, all rounded out by a simple plot. This is that kind of game.
  • Guest Fighter:
    • Shovel Knight himself is a playable character, unlocked by beating the campaign with two riders. Appropriately, he uses a shovel as his main weapon, and refuses to use guns.
    • From Killing Floor 2, Hans Volter and DJ Skully are playable characters.
  • Hero Antagonist: The police, whose contribution to being an antagonist is simply being in your way. There isn't much way to discern their true morality though; they go after aggressive riders (i.e. everyone in the areas you visit), and the Jackal Leader sometimes calls them crooked when one is taken down.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Enemy riders are affected by explosions at a wider range than the player. This makes it possible to drop a pipe bomb at the last second, or aim a grenade launcher at the road in front of you, and blow up rivals lining up to take a swing without being harmed yourself.
  • Hit Stop: In the Takedown objectives, the game world slows to a stop when the quota is reached, resulting in this for the final blow on the last target.
  • Homage: The bonus level at the end of the campaign is one to Rainbow Road from the Mario Kart games, particularly the Mario Kart 64 version, taking place on a rainbow-coloured road floating in space with star-adorned guardrails.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Your bike can hold a pipe wrench, a shovel, a taser, a pistol, a machine gun, a shotgun, a grappling hook, a grenade launcher with three grenades, three plastic explosives, and ten pipe bombs. The sword is too much for it, though; your rider will carry that on their back instead.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Opposing leaders will take a moment to mock you or make threats whenever they can. The assassin will also do this on occasion.
  • Jump Physics: After reaching SIGMA territory, your bike will come equipped with jump jets.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The sword's top tier upgrade is a katana. The "Road Ninja" achievement is unlocked for making 88 kills with it.
  • Knockback: Kicks don't do damage on their own, but send light opponents veering off the road. Knocking opponents off a bridge or into an obstacle or traffic will result in a crash, which gives you double the rewards you would get for depleting that opponent's HP.
  • Large Ham: The Reaper leader talks exclusively in this.
    Reaper Leader: I'll kill five Jackals for every Reaper you've killed, fucker!
  • Macrogame: XP accrued in campaigns is spent on a "skill tree" of permanent upgrades.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Averted. It's generally advisable to do whatever is necessary to avoid getting sandwiched for too long by hostile riders, as this situation is the quickest ticket to losing lots of HP.
  • Mission Control: The Jackal leader will often chime in, informing you of your mission, your progress, giving words of encouragement, and even commenting on your kills against rival gangs. Sometimes, the rival gang leaders will mock or threaten you, and more rarely, the assassin himself will talk down to you.
  • Mushroom Samba: Occasionally a level will take place in a "Hallucinogenic Chemical Zone", where cars rain from the sky which can impede your progress.
  • Nintendo Hard: You have to focus on driving, avoid crashing, avoid getting killed, avoid getting sandwiched, and micromanage your nitro and supplies to make it to the end. Failing to complete your objectives will instill a penalty for the remainder of the play-through (such as -25% max health), and these can be stacked! Losing your life leads to an instant game over, forcing you to start from the beginning. If that is not hard enough, some characters come with certain abilities locked, and some don't utilize any of the skills you unlocked in the skill tree. Further more, playing cooperatively tends to make the game a little more difficult since the game will have a hard time adjusting all the NPCs to be with everyone, meaning if one gets left behind, it will be really hard to catch back up.
  • Nitro Boost: Nitro is held in a blue meter which can be expanded with shop items. Filling the meter requires finding a nitro pick-up or taking down enemies.
  • Noob Cave: Reaper territory. No shielded enemies, straightforward tracks, forgiving objectives. You can eventually skip the early parts or eventually the whole thing, but some characters (particularly those who don't benefit from the skill tree) can benefit from a few stages of easy cash.
  • Noodle Incident: The war that is mentioned constantly in the Phantoms arc, by both the Phantom leader and the Jackal leader.
  • Off with His Head!: Any biker not wearing a helmet will be decapitated if hit with a sword. It grants double the rewards (health, XP, nitro, ammo, etc) when done successfully.
  • Old Save Bonus: Having Killing Floor 2 installed on the same PC unlocks DJ Skully and Hans Volter as character, while unlocking the spiked baseball bat weapon for KF2.
  • Piñata Enemy: Enemies with a cash, health, nitro, or ammo icon over their head give a large reward for taking them out, and, just like the standard reward, this is doubled if the enemy is taken down with a decapitation or crash.
  • Price on Their Head: The campaign mode is all about getting a $15,000,000 bounty on an assassin.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The assassin's bike, which you get to ride for the last mission escaping from Phantom territory, can smash through cars no worse for wear. Other bikes can still pose a threat, but all the risk associated with close call bonuses goes out the window. To a lesser extent, all guns are as deadly as they ought to be, and the grenade launcher is extremely powerful if it hits its mark, but these are restricted by ammo.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: Parts of the level will be rearranged each time you play, and so will your objectives and what power-ups you will find and purchase.
  • Roguelike: Players only get one life during the campaign; if they die (as in losing all the health, not losing the race), they have to start over. After each death, however, the player has the chance to purchase permanent upgrades, including nitro boosts, new bikes, level skips, starting out with a gun, etc.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: The Campaign+ mode outright randomizes the order of most of the missions.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: The Reaper Leader cannot get through a sentence without swearing.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Health upgrades at the store are named after psychedelic drugs. One gives you an extra life should you run out of health, called "Mushrooms".
    • One of the Phantom gang member names is "Blue Falcon".
    • The second unlockable character is Gordon Gekko, with half the base health compared to default character Dutch but gains 50% more money and 25% more XP in return even before skills and enhancements like Lucky Rabit's Foot, Medal of Valor and Midas Vest come into play. Greed is Good. Alas a missed opportunity for a Black Rain reference with all the motorcycles and decapitations involved in the game.
    • Your rider will rechamber a shotgun after each shot by twirling the lever and closing it with one hand.
    • The post apocalyptic setting featuring biker gangs with inexplicable Australian accents and the fact that completing the game once unlocks the "Road Warrior" achievement are clear references to Mad Max.
    • The "Road Ninja" achievement is unlocked for killing 88 enemies with a katana.
  • Stern Chase: According to the Jackal leader you're only twenty minutes behind the assassin at the start of the game. Since you're both going flat-out you get to the opposite coast before closing the distance.
  • Sticky Bomb: Plastic explosives can be placed on other vehicles, initiating a three-second countdown that should be used to get some distance from your victim.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Some weapons include pipebombs, plastic explosives and grenade launchers. Expect to see vehicles exploding in abundance.
  • Tranquil Fury: The SIGMA leader, who is hardly expressive due to being mostly cybernetic, but does make her anger known from time to time.
  • The Unfought: The first two gangs have a boss level against their leader, but the Phantom's territory ends with a battle against the target assassin instead, followed by a level where you ride the assassin's bike out of Phantom territory, with the implication that this leader and gang are still around after the events of the game.
  • Vehicular Combat: Bikes will be your ride of choice, as well as that of your opponents, but some will drive cars and trucks as well.
  • Villain Respect: The gang leaders will occasionally toss a compliment the player's way, but either threaten the player or insult their ride as they do.
  • Violation of Common Sense: When sandwiched between riders, it's often smart to plow right into the first available oncoming car. The crash damage and lost time are easier to recover from than a beating from both sides.