When a game becomes popular, it is common for other games with similar mechanics to pop up in its stead. Hotline Miami, and its sequel, shot waves across the gaming scene, garnering positive reception from critics and gamers alike (we gave Hotline Miami 2 an 8.0). Redie (pronounced re-die), copies some of that magic as a very challenging game that causes players to “redie” over and over again, and feels rewarding to those who choose to play it, even if it is a little too similar to Hotline Miami at times.
Redie has no story. Instead, Ruckert Broductions decided to solely focus on the game’s engine and gameplay. Ruckert Broductions developed an all new engine for this game, and it works well for the most part. The engine covers a wide array of PC builds without sacrificing much in terms of quality. The engine also creates a unique top down 3D artstyle. Colors pop, making the game enjoyable to look at. Characters are blocky, but it adds to the game’s charm. While many may write the graphics off as a “3D version of Hotline Miami’s”, the graphics have enough of their own unique flair for them to stand on their own.
When it comes to sound design, all of the guns in Redie sound very satisfying. The individual power and impact of these weapons can be felt with every shot and makes you happy you aren’t actually on the receiving end of the bullet. Sadly, the game’s soundtrack is fairly forgettable. While the main theme is kind of catchy, I can barely remember the music that played during stages. While the sound design does make the guns all the more satisfying, it is disappointing that they dropped the ball when it came to the rest of the game’s sound.
As I have mentioned before, if you have ever played Hotline Miami, you will feel right at home with Redie’s gameplay. The player is dropped into a level with a top down perspective and must kill all enemies in an area in order to proceed to the next level. Your character dies in one hit, so the player must be very careful while navigating through these levels and killing all of the enemies. There are also optional objectives to complete in the level for more points, such as killing a certain number of enemies with a knife, or completing a level within a very tight time constraint.
At the end of a level, the player gets scored. This score is based off multiple things, like how fast players completed the level, how accurate they were with their shots, if the optional objectives (called Mastery Challenges) for the level are completed, and if they can combo up enemy kills. There are leaderboards, both with your friends and worldwide, so you can see how well you do compared to other players, which should incite some friendly competition between friends.
Characters start with a knife, but can pick up a variety of weapons such as pistols, machine guns, and shotguns. Enemies use the same weapons, too, so players must take what weapon the enemy has into consideration when first completing a level. This pick-up/drop mechanic works well for the most part, but does run into a problem when trying to switch from one gun to another.
If you have a pistol and want pick up a machine gun that is on the ground, you must press the weapon pick-up button twice – once to drop your current weapon, and once to pick up the new one. While this isn’t a huge problem, it adds unnecessary time to your run, affecting your score. It just a small design oversight, but an annoying one nonetheless.
Timing is key in Redie. Most enemies in an area will be alerted when you fire a shot and will come running towards the player. Positioning yourself in a way where you can easily escape or dodge enemy fire will allow you to kill the enemies in a level more efficiently, while also creating a bigger sense of tension. You can also choose exactly where to aim with a reticle on screen, and players can get head-shots by shooting someone when the reticle is directly over them. Enemies are programmed well enough to the point where you can gauge what their line of sight is, so you know where not to go.
The game also has a fairly destructible environment, which makes you feel like a badass as you are blasting away at your enemies. Players can also use some objects in the environment as cover, which is very helpful in some of Redie’s tougher levels. Grenades are also occasionally given to the player, giving players a way to do more widespread damage than they would with a gun, at the cost of alerting almost all enemies in the vicinity of the explosion.
While players should prepare to “redie” over and over again, it never feels undeserved, as the levels are designed in a way to where any death is usually based on how skilled the players are, not how cheaply the levels are designed. Players have the ability to move the camera ahead to see what is coming up, which is very useful in the later levels. Redie also has a level replay feature where one can watch their last successful run through a level, which helps players see where they could improve in order to get a better score.
It’s a shame the game opted for no story, though, because at least a premise would have given the player some more motivation. While the gameplay is very fun, Redie would probably be more engaging in longer play sessions as players would have a clear goal in mind besides getting a high score. Having no story does not hurt the game, but it certainty doesn’t do it any favors either.
While Redie is really fun, you always feel like you’ve played it before if you’ve ever played Hotline Miami. I respect what the developers have done here as it has really tight controls and is very fun and rewarding to play, but it feels too similar. If a more interesting story or if more unique gameplay mechanics were present, the game would have been more distinct on its own. If you’ve never played Hotline Miami or if you have and are craving a game with similar mechanics, I would recommend Redie to you. Otherwise, you might want to consider trying out the game with its free demo to see if you are interested before deciding to purchase it.