The metroidvania genre has had a significant resurgence of late. Some may think it’s due to the success of Metroid Dread. However, many of the titles that have come in recent months would have taken far longer to develop than a reactionary release could hope for. The latest title joining the fray, REDO!, has clearly had a lot of love and attention poured into it. But sadly, as you’ll learn in this REDO review, it just doesn’t quite stack up against the competition.
The game casts you as the last surviving human on a ruined world. You receive a message. Someone wants to meet with you. But who? REDO! is the story of your journey to find out.
As a metroidvania game there are many basic elements one would expect to appear in REDO!. The combat design reeks of a game which wanted to be billed as ‘soulslike’, but didn’t really know how to pull it off. Each enemy has two stats above them; health and a smaller blue number, which represents their stamina. When their stamina is depleted they’ll be stunned. Enemies can run down their own stamina by using attacks, though the player can add to the depletion also. The player’s melee (the main attack in the game) is slow and leaves you vulnerable. There is also a dodge move, which provides a few frames of invulnerability.
This creates a system wherein, for most enemies, is better just to let them wear themselves out than actually engage in any meaningful way. And given that the boss enemies health is often hidden off-screen when avoiding their attacks, you’ll be counting shots more regularly than Sterling Archer as you await your opening.
You have ammo-limited weaponry as well, three of which can be equipped to face buttons at any one time. These help to mix up the proceedings considerably, and yet REDO! is never less than challenging. If you’ve been hungering for a metroidvania game with a bit more bite this could be the answer. Though, in truth the recently released Souldiers is more likely to be worth shouting about.
The level design is interesting and frustrating in equal measure. As the last remaining human survivor, you’ll occasionally come across AI ‘dolls’ which offer commentary on the situation, filling in some of the backstory. Outside of this, exploration is performed by direct action alone. Moving from one screen-to-the-next is about as complicated as it gets. There’s always multiple routes available to you, which can become confusing given that there’s no map available. Or, at least in the process of writing this REDO review, we never found one.
Unlike Souldiers, checkpoints are scarce, and the difficulty of the combat will see you dying frequently. This means redoing a lot of work to sometimes make only an extra screen of progress, or less. And given that the enemies respawn every time you save, it can become a great annoyance as you challenge yourself to push further rather than backtracking, only to find you have to go through it all again anyway. It’s almost as if this was intended as a risk/reward system, but fails due to the fact that there’s so little of interest along the way.
On paper, REDO! has all the hallmarks of a good metroidvania game. There’s plenty of enemy variety requiring different strategies for victory. Weapons and item upgrades. A dense map requiring plenty of exploration. However, in a world where a new metroidvania title arrives seemingly every month, REDO! is going to struggle. It’s not, sadly, more than the sum of it’s parts. It has neither the depth of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night nor the captivating design of Demoniaca – Everlasting Night. REDO! isn’t a bad game by any means; there’s just simply a wealth of better options out there.