Amidst the flurry of charming and pleasant indie titles making their way to the Wii U eShop as an effect of Nintendo’s strong interest in the independent community, one game exists that brands itself neither charming nor pleasant: The high speed brawler Road Redemption is based off of a 1991-1999 video game series called “Road Rash”, and it’s coming to PC, Mac, Linux, and Wii U in the second half of 2014. But what’s the game actually about?
“It’s all about motorcycle combat racing.”, the developer DarkSeas games told me in an interview, ”So imagine you’re playing an action game like God of War or Zelda: Twilight Princess, but moving at 100mph.”
Well. That sounds pretty awesome.
“The fact is,”, they continued ”that your combat environment is constantly changing. So you might be getting beat down by an enemy biker with a baseball-bat, when you’re both approaching an 18-wheeler in the other lane. A well-timed kick and your opponent will end up lodged in the 18-wheeler’s grille. You have this dynamic gameplay that’s just not possible in traditional action games.”
Timing looks to play a big role in the game. Swing too early and your bat misses your opponent, leaving you open for attack; swing too late, and they could already be pulling away from you in the race. It’s about as high-octane as you can get, assuming the game functions as it’s supposed to when it launches late next year. That’s a long way off, I know, but you might as well get it on your radar now because it reached its kickstarter goal six days ago today.
Here’s a question though: Why put a violent action game on Wii U? Nintendo console owners tend to look for charming, gameplay-heavy games after all.
“We think it fits a Nintendo audience because Road Redemption is all about fun, deep gameplay. We’re not trying to make a Skyrim, or a GTA IV. You’re not going to sit through 15 minute cutscenes or slog across barren landscapes. Just like Super Mario Galaxy or Nintendo Land, it’s all about the fun.”
That isn’t to say the game is completely lacking a story: It does follow the exploits of an illegal biker gang who participates in these bloody street races for cash, and the player character will move up in the gang as he or she participates more commendably in races.
“We think there are a lot of gamers who really get involved in a game’s story. We think if we have an opportunity to lend a bit more context to the gameplay, that’s a good thing.
“Having a story keeps players engaged. For a lot of people, seeing how the story ends is a big motivating factor to completing missions.”
God of War or Zelda: Twilight Princess,
but moving at 100mph.”
At its core, though, we here at NintendoEverything probably care about one thing: Will this be a straight port, or will DarkSeas actually take advantage of the Wii U’s unique capabilities? As you might expect, the developer doesn’t plan on glossing over the console’s strengths simply because it’s being developed for PC first:
“We’re going to look into including [Miiverse integration and Off-TV play]”, I was told, “Off-TV play seems like a no brainer, but we’re going to have to look into any difficulties involved there. From what we understand, this isn’t a particularly difficult process, and we’re surprised that it’s not a feature of all games.”
They also mentioned the possibility of Wii U-specific game modes, including one where the Gamepad player could act as a “deity”, as they put it, and control traffic or other environmental hazards. Of course, they haven’t gone into implementing such things yet since they need to get the PC version of the game completed first and foremost, but it’s a good glimpse into what the future might have in store for us Wii U owners. And, if I do say so myself, it’s looking pretty good so far.
Road Redemption is go for development after recently hitting its Kickstarter goal of $160,000. Its planned release date is August of 2014 on PC/Mac/Linux, and a few months after that for Wii U.
Stay tuned to NintendoEverything for the full interview, coming later tonight.