I cannot be alone in not knowing what to expect out of a game called Immortal Redneck
. In fact, I think Crema, Immortal Redneck
's developer, needs to amp up their marketing strategy. Being a fan of all the genres integrated into Immortal Redneck
, I would have been excited about this game a long time ago, had I known it existed. Luckily, a console launch has given this roguelite FPS a second wind nearly a year after its PC launch, and players who missed the announcements the first time around or didn't have the necessary hardware should take notice of Immortal Redneck
The name Immortal Redneck
comes from the game's story, which serves as nothing else if a backdrop to the ancient Egyptian setting. A tourist wakes up and emerges from a tomb as a mummy in ancient Egypt. Three pyramids stand before him, and he can control Egyptian gods like Thoth or Apis to explore the procedurally generated layouts. Awaiting players on each of the seven floors are different enemies, challenge sections, weapons, scrolls (which will give unique passives that will carry throughout the run or one-time drops like a satchel of gold) mini bosses and more. On the top floor of each pyramid is a final boss.
As a shooter, Immortal Redneck
handles immaculately. The gameplay is cartoony with lots of explosions, giving an arcade vibe instead of realism. There are more than 50 weapons ranging from automatic rifles to bow and arrows to automatic bows to lightning bolts that fire from Redneck's bare hands or even a box of killer bats. Every weapon has its own feel and purpose, and what artillery players choose to pack will make all the difference in the next room or boss fight. The roguelite aspects are intact too: death is permanent (unless the right scroll is in hand, that is), no two floors are ever the same, and the element of chance is always at play. There are more than 100 scrolls with both positive and negative effects; one can quickly go from being elated as a scroll gives unlimited ammo for the rest of the floor to booing as another scroll implements fall damage. Other scrolls are give and take; a wise player would gladly exchange 75% of their health to have their gold doubled.
Surprisingly, there is another genre often present in Immortal Redneck
: platforming. A roguelite FPS platformer sounds weird, but the platforming is well done, especially considering it's in the first-person, and never feels clunky. Throughout each pyramid, players may come across challenges to cross an obstacle course without taking damage or within a time limit. The selected god will play a major part in these sections; Apis was a favorite because he has a unique ability that allows him to be immune to damage for a period of time. Each character has varying degrees of agility and aptitude in combat: some can quadruple-jump with the right upgrades, another can rappel onto walls, and Apis sacrifices his agility for his immunity ability. The challenges are well-worth the effort with a chest or two awaiting those who are successful, but the challenges amp up and become lethal, and a smart player will find themselves walking away when the risk isn't worth the reward.
These little dinos want nothing more than to chomp your heart out
The components add up to serious fun thanks to the smooth blend of FPS and platforming, and returning to each pyramid is always a new experience thanks to the arsenal of weapons, scrolls and characters. Players are encouraged to try out different strategies with the eight gods and to explore to find hidden rewards. One might head into a pyramid hoping for nothing more than to pass the boss fight, to speed-run or to full-clear every floor to maximize their gold earned. The few disappointments there are include boss fights being lackluster and forgettable. While the first couple bosses are interesting, encounters get less epic as the game goes on. Most are not at all memorable. The frame rate also has a tendency to struggle during the busier rooms or with certain weapons.
When Redneck's health bar is depleted or he successfully completes a pyramid, he'll return to the exterior of the pyramids where he can invest gold collected during the run into unlocking stats upgrades, permanent perks and character-specific upgrades. Because of this feature, Immortal Redneck
is a lot more new-player friendly than other games bearing the roguelite tag. With all the upgrades, players more than double their starting health as well as beef up their damage, critical chance, critical hit damage and other useful perks like the amount of life healed from health pickups. Those struggling with a floor or boss can improve their stats before giving it another go to lighten the difficulty. It also seems that the developers don't want players to fail; during boss fights, if one should be so unlucky as to run out of ammo, more will drop, whereas other games might say "tough luck."Immortal Redneck
also has a way to deal with the decreasing challenge as the player levels up. Medallions are unlocked in each of the three pyramids, which offer unique ways to play when equipped. The most fun one is the Cursed Medallion. Players can have infinite ammo for the trade-off that they are only allowed to carry one weapon, and a new weapon will be randomly assigned to them in every room. It's all fun and games with a rocket launcher in hand, but let's see how things go when a melee weapon is assigned versus a room full of flying enemies. Another, the Plague Medallion, makes it so everything, including the player, dies in one hit. There are achievements for beating the game with the Cursed Medallion and the Plague Medallion, so anyone looking to earn all gamerscore available should be ready for a challenge, especially with regard to the Plague Medallion.
Apis makes some challenges a breeze with his immunity ability, but he'll struggle with others due to his lack of agility
In addition to the medallion-related achievements, players will find achievements for unlocking all characters and beating the game with them all, maxing out the skill tree (which will be time consuming), killing 25,000 enemies (another time consuming one), and story-related achievements like beating bosses and eventually the game. The most challenging achievement — along with the Plague Medallion achievement — is the achievement
for beating the game with fewer than 20 lives. Lives are tracked on a save, so the only way to get this one would be to start a new save, meaning players won't have their upgrades and perks; they'll only have whatever upgrades they can obtain in 20 lives worth. Expect high ratios in Immortal Redneck
due to both the challenge and time-consuming nature of several of the achievements.Check out our Best Xbox First Person Shooters Available in 2018 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.
's melting pot of genres is a success. Regardless of whether you came for the shooting or the roguelite aspects, you'll be pleased with the handling of the two genres. If you love both, Immortal Redneck
should take its rightful place on your Must Buy list. The game even hits all the right notes when other genres, like first-person platforming, are thrown into the mix. Don't expect anything amazing from the six bosses, but the eight characters, 50+ weapons and more than 100 scrolls are still more than enough to make each procedurally generated playthrough unique and fun. Roguelite newcomers will be at home with permanent upgrades and mechanics that encourage players to succeed, and veterans can still get their hardcore fix with the Cursed and Plague Medallions or the 20 lives achievement.
- Excellently blends FPS, roguelite elements and even platforming
- Does the roguelite genre justice with a huge amount of weapons, scrolls and characters to make each playthrough unique
- Fairly forgiving to newcomers to the genre
- Additional modes -- which are actually fun -- bring even more replayability
- Performance struggles during some rooms and actions
- Lackluster boss encounters
The reviewer spent 30 hours mummified in the Egyptian pyramids. There was a lot of shooting, jumping and getting really unlucky with scrolls ("jumping now hurts you" -- really?) before she was able to beat the game and earn 37 achievements for 690 gamerscore. An Xbox One code was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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