TL;DR: Redout

Redout is a game about going fast while screaming: an anti-gravity racer with slick visuals, deep controls, and an unrelenting sense of speed. It's rough around the edges at times, but speed maniacs will find a lot to love.

An online race featuring people better than me. (Credit: Brionac1995)

It's easy to go fast in Redout. Empty a full tank of boost, and your craft barrels down the track at Mach 1 plus change. Staying fast is the hard part. These crafts are heavy, and no amount of reflexes will make up for a bad line—coming from the Wipeout series, with its massive oversteer, it actually felt unresponsive at first.

The tough cornering rewards preparation as much as reflexes. As you exit one turn, you're always lining yourself up for the next one, without much time to rest. Add pitch control to the mix, and suddenly there's a lot to manage. Fortunately, all but the lightest crafts can survive a handful of wallgrinds.

The career mode has great pacing, ramping up the speed as it introduces you to the game's tougher circuits. Unlock all the tracks in a location, and you can play them all stitched together as a "Boss", a huge endurance track that makes familiar corners feel terrifying again. Unfortunately, the AI is weak, even on harder settings. It doesn't cheat or rubber-band, which is refreshing, but when I started lapping them in longer events, I almost wished they did.

This guy just sat at the start line, presumably awaiting the sweet release of death

Like all racing games, Redout looks better in motion than standing still; the simple, low-poly style blurs into lush-looking environments that never feel copy-pasted. Music is excellent across the board, with some surprising variety, but don't expect any F-Zero ear-worms. Smart camera work, subtle music filters, and some fantastic sound design all help sell the speed.

Online play is quiet, but still alive if you know where to ask. The netcode hasn't given me any problems, and the game even lets you know if someone's hosting a room while you're busy grinding career events. The single-player progression carries over to multiplayer (???), gimping anyone who hasn't kitted out their craft and powerups, but thankfully it doesn't take too long to unlock everything important.

On the technical side, Redout runs with an uncapped framerate with a respectable array of graphical options. Performance has been rock-solid on my 970, without a single spike at High settings, and holy fuck does this game look good at 144hz. On the other hand, controller rebinding is limited to a handful of presets, and keyboard players can't customize any bindings at all: get ready to break out x360ce and AutoHotkey if you don't like what you got.


VERDICT: REAL
It's not perfect, but when it comes to pure speed, Redout delivers. Grab it on sale if you can.

Redout on Steam