Immortal Redneck is a fast-paced nostalgia-fueled FPS from developer Crema. Set in Egypt, you take on the role of a redneck who, for reasons, takes on an onslaught of enemies. In a genre that’s flooded, can Crema craft a standout? Can games that feel inspired by older eras like the N64 find success in 2018? Let’s find out.
Release date: May 10th, 2018
Approximate size: 1.9 GB
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developed by CremaGames
Published by CremaGames
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch; Also Available On Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC
Don’t expect an academy award worthy plot, this wasn’t written by a phenomenal author like, say, Nicole Pierman. Expect a simple plot designed to set the foundation for what you’ll be doing. This is one of those games where the story isn’t important or a major focus, instead, it was reserved for the gameplay. The premise of the game is that, while on vacation, a foul-mouthed Redneck desired to ride his buggy in the desert. Whether it was carelessness or mysterious divine intervention, the Redneck crashes the buggy and seemingly loses his life. His corpse is altered by devout Egyptian religious beings or the Egyptian gods themselves and is resurrected as a Redneck mummy. Not much else is given nor is it ever truly explained why you enter the pyramids themselves. In this instance, if you ever find yourself wondering why, your imagination becomes a tool to fill in the blanks.
Some games don’t need a plot and some games feel as if they can get away with having a poorly constructed one. This game is the former. Immortal Redneck didn’t need to have any story elements to justify why it is you are in the predicament you’re in but I can appreciate them implementing a nice foundation for how you became Immortal. In explanation, a quick line or two of text would have been nice to have. The drawings used to represent the story are wonderfully drawn and presented.
Immortal Redneck, at its core, is a retro-inspired and feeling first-person shooter. Essentially what you’ll be doing is clearing randomly generated rooms of enemies and then proceeding to the next room. You do all of this to climb up to higher floors in the pyramid and on the third and seventh floors, you’ll encounter boss fights. The goal is to clear three pyramids. With the foundation set, let’s talk more about these floors. These levels are open with different levels of elevation and come across as mini dungeons rather than simple rooms. They are sprawling spaces with various secrets and enemies scattered abroad. The level design in this game is pretty spectacular and allows the player to attack enemies in dynamic ways with the option to take advantage of movement. It’s very rare for two rooms to play similarly back to back. One moment the goal of the room might be to maneuver through it without taking damage to receive a reward and then the very next room might have you fighting more enemies than you could have predicted. Great level design, truly, and it helps that the platforming is implemented well and is all fluid.
Speaking of fluidity, the character you play as controls wonderfully. The controls are responsive as you move across the map and combat is great. This is very much a retro shooter with the inability to use iron sights and general gameplay is very much like an old PC shooter. Gone are the tropes that now dominate the genre, gone are health regeneration, breaking reload animations to switch weapons, and gone are heavily scripted events. The only real issues I encountered with the movement of the game was the gyro controls. The gyro controls work very well, don’t get me wrong, but I couldn’t find how to turn them off. They aren’t intrusive or anything like that, they are just present and when you tilt the controller slightly for whatever reason, they can work against you. Other than this simple issue, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a game that allows the player to move this fast and traverse the environment with ease. The best modern comparison has to be 2016’s near-perfect Doom.
As you are moving across the screen, you are given plenty of weaponry at your disposal to fight enemies off with. All your traditional weapons are present such as pistols, machine guns, shotguns, rocket and grenade launchers, and you have some more bizarre weapons such as swords and other mystical weapons. Shooting works great in this game; regardless of the type of weapon, and the recoil and impact are satisfying, especially with Nintendo’s HD rumble. Together, with the movement, you have a truly great FPS that can compete with modern games despite looking like it has come from several generations ago. As you take out enemies with these weapons, they will drop several things such as currency, health, and weapons. Each one critical to the game. Enemies are challenging and taking them down to get these items isn’t always an easy task. The developers did a great job at making these enemies a force to be reckoned with. The variety and the combinations in which you encounter them is unpredictable and always forces the player to change his strategy or to adapt. Who do you take out first? The enemies that teleport when you fire at them? The hulking brutes that head straight for you? Or maybe the ones perched above firing at you? Placing the player in precarious predictions and forcing a strategy on the fly is a sign of great game design.
Over the course of fighting enemies and solving puzzles, you’ll eventually be pushed to your limit and experience death. Death in this game is handled uniquely. What happens is that over the course of playing, you’ll gather currency and when you die you are essentially respawned outside of the pyramid and have two options. You can run back into the pyramid but you must give up all your money to do so or you can spend some of it on a skill tree and use the leftover money to pay admission back into the pyramid. What this does is balance the game and creates some challenge. Yes, your goal is to reach the top but maybe you allow yourself to get killed because you have enough for an upgrade you need or want. Likewise, maybe you almost have enough for an upgrade you need and are killed. It’s an interesting dynamic that can affect your play style. I noticed that in the beginning I was more careless but once the currency started building, I forced myself to be more cautious. The upgrades will become a must in higher floors because enemies do more damage the higher you get.
Now the upgrades themselves are also very intriguing. You have your typical ones that increase your health and defense but then you have some that embody you with the power of Egyptian gods. Yes, it’s as cool as you think. Once this upgrade has been unlocked and you die again, upon respawning you’ll be given a choice on if you want to start as the default Redneck or with some godly influence. Each god powered infused version of the Redneck plays differently and adds another layer to the gameplay. These abilities cater to a players play style and can aid you in playing how you want as they have their own stats. One might give you more health, higher defense, tesla gun, energy sword, and/or a hook shot like ability. I found these variations of your main character an interesting addition that adds more dynamic gameplay, more experimentation, and encourages more playthroughs.
Now, with all the toys and abilities the game gives you and with the challenging enemies that populate the levels, you know I have to mention boss fights. That’s a must in my reviews. The boss fights encapsulate the same retro feel as the rest of the game. They all have their powers and techniques, they all require their own strategies, and they all offer their own challenges. Depending on what you have equipped or what powers you are using, it can make the encounter easier or harder. You may find yourself dying a couple of times before you figure it all out but once you complete them, there is that satisfaction from accomplishment. Every choice you make can aid you or lead to your demise and this isn’t just with enemies but also with the game’s scrolls. Scrolls are random in discovery and they can either help you by, say, increasing the amount of currency you get from defeated enemies or they can make matters worse by, say, taking away your ability to jump. I’ve experienced great joy from them, hoarding excess about of currency that was dropped from evil Egyptian foes. I have also, however, received some pretty horrendous conditions. I had one where I couldn’t reload or couldn’t jump and this reduction in abilities made it much worse. One situation, in particular, had me lose the jump button and have to restart because the ledge I fell from had the only exit from what I could tell.
Immortal Redneck is a fantastic little game that I think everyone should play, especially those who love first-person shooters. The game offers a lot of freedom in terms of mobility and how you want to play. The game is full of enemies, challenges, secrets, and utilizes a unique mechanic when you die. The only time the game feels unfair is when you get a random scroll that can ruin your playthrough because it puts you at a disadvantage which could lead to an impossible situation. The gyro controls work and are a blessing to those who like that way to play but for those, like me, who like a little more traditional play style will find them as an inconvenience. Those are the only blemishes on an otherwise stellar experience. The game is a blast to play, it really is, and it’s an absolute joy of immense fun to play.
If you ever wanted to play a modern game that has the speed of 2016’s Doom and the look and feel of classic N64 inspired games, well, look no further than here. Immortal Redneck captures the spirit of that N64 era while adding its own flair on top of it, as well as an Egyptian aesthetic on it. The outside of the levels, the hub world like element where you reenter the pyramids or level up, looks better than the levels you’ll be playing through. The levels fit well within the world of the game, but they can feel bland and repetitive after seeing them over and over again. There is a lack of visual variety in them that could have benefited them. Yes, there are some that offer different uses of colors and designs, but they ultimately feel the same. Some of the ones that use a different color scheme all together are the ones that stick out as being great, but I feel as if they are far and few in between.
The highlight of the game’s graphics, to me, would have to be in its enemy and boss designs. The game has a healthy variety of enemies and they all look unique to one another. Everything can kill you and the spectrum is broad and ranges from flying flaming skulls that look as if they were painted at a rave to mountain dew green colored frogs. It’s very visually appealing. It almost feels as if they felt that instead of being able to have diverse, colorful, environments that they would take those unused colors and apply them to the game’s enemies. It works well and when taking it all as a whole, the enemies and world’s compliment one another nicely. The bosses themselves have been designed to intimidate you with their designs and attacks and, once again, the team did great here. Whether you are fighting a giant Egyptian face with floating hands that unleash plague like sandstorm at you or dodging laser beams that come at every angle by a tower Egyptian behemoth, the game makes it all visually appealing.
The weapons are also nicely designed. Some of the more modern weapons look as you imagine they would in this world and with this art style but it’s the more obscure ones that really shine. One that stick out almost immediately is the sword weapon that is reminiscent of Raiden’s sword from Metal Gear Rising. Even the energy that flies from an attack is great looking. The items, gold, and scrolls all fit the with the world from a design standpoint and nothing really comes to mind as to sticking out negatively. Even the menu and UI is handed nicely. I do want to give a special shout out to the game’s final area. In this section the developers went all out, and it is the best looking section in all of the game and I wish there was more of it.
Besides looking great and how one would expect, the weapons all sound great as well. The audio in the game truly fits the accompanying visuals. The guns pack a punch as they fire with a nice sounding bass and all of the sound effects work well, like doors opening for example. The main theme of the game, the music that plays upon start up, continues for the duration of the entire game. A bass fueled Egyptian rhythm of beats as you traverse through the game slaughtering enemies and it sounds great but my problem with it is that it lacks variety. The game relies only on this song and, maybe, there is some variety to it but then that would mean that it sounds so similar that it’s indistinguishable. The music does pick up a little when your encountering enemies but little changes. Thankfully the boss fights offer more thunderous sounds that add another layer to the fight, raising the adrenaline and making it more epic. The voice of the foul mouthed vulgar Redneck isn’t that great either. Giving how over the top the game is, I would have thought they would have made him more authentic and come across as a real Redneck. Instead, the voice comes across at times as a man playing the role of a Redneck, a cheap imitation. Now, it’s possible this was by design and if it was they nailed it but, for me, it doesn’t work.
My recommendation, despite the game’s small flaws, is to pick up a copy of Immortal Redneck. Especially if you love frantic, fast paced and chaotic, first person shooters. The game is so, so, fun. Ridiculously fun and addicting. There was a lot of times where I just wanted to keep playing and never wanted to stop. Even pulling myself away to write the review, or take notes, was incredibly difficult. It’s very cool to play a N64-esque game in 2018 and one that manages to capture that spirit wonderfully. In an era where microtransactions and loot boxes are an epidemic in FPS games and with companies and developers looking for as many opportunities as possible to nickel and dime gamers, it’s nice to play a fun FPS game that focuses solely on making sure the player is enjoying himself. Immortal Redneck is a fantastic shooter and a great experience, it isn’t perfect but it is worth purchasing.
- Fun & Exciting Gameplay
- Skill Tree
- Deity Weapons & Abilities
- Enemies & Bosses
- Rogue Like Elements
- The Music Design, Lack Of Variety
- Environments Could Use More Colors Or Variety
- Gyro Controls Cannot Be Switched Off