Redeemer is a brutal, top down shooter from Sobaka Studios. You assume the role of a monk named Vasily, who has joined a monastic order to forget about his bloody past, until his past finds him. What follows is an absolute hurricane of bone-breaking punches, kicks, back-breakers, shotgun and small arms fire and grisly murders, all viewed and executed from a top-down perspective, reminiscent of old school shooters and beat em ups. Redeemer is like a throw-back cross between SMASH TV and Double Dragon with a LOT more blood and guts.
The Story & Flow
You are a monk named Vasily, a troubled man seeking peace. Told in a beautiful comic book style, the scant story brings to mind the best brainless action movies of the 80's, and I will relate it to you as such: (Movie Guy Voice) Vasily is a man with a bloody past. He was the best assassin-for-hire money could buy, and BUSINESS! WAS! BOOMING! (gunfire/explosion/guy getting his neck snapped/Vasily popping out of a birthday cake and shooting up a boardroom).
But when his employers began dangerous research into cybernetic augmentation, Vasily had had enough. In a bloody spree of high octane violence (man getting his hand chopped off, dude screaming as he's thrown out of a helicopter, dude getting his head smashed with a sledgehammer) Vasily escaped, retreating to a monastery high in the mountains. He thought he'd found peace. He thought he could find redemption. He thought the fight was over.
THEY! FOUND! HIM!
I mean, that's pretty much it, and it's flat-out awesome. The evil corporation finds him, and now they've got mutants and tricked out cyber-warriors plus god knows what else, and Vasily just starts kicking wholesale ass, especially after Evil Corp kills most of his monk homies. Vasily correctly realizes that he needs to destroy the entire corporation before he's can truly be free, which is where you take over, perpetrating Vasily's murder-orgy until he's the only man left standing.
You begin with just your fists, smashing faces and breaking bones in the monastery, but you quickly upgrade to pistols, shotguns and more as you travel to various locations, kicking ass and not bothering to take any names, since your enemies are mostly just faceless goons anyways. The game does a good job of steadily ramping up the difficulty, going from regular melee enemies who can't block, to guys that can, then stronger henchmen with blunt objects, armored foes, etc., all the way to flamethrower units and the frustrating cyber/mutant foes that are often a pain to kill, as they are mostly resistant to fisticuffs.
You have a light and strong attack, a dodge roll, disarming moves and even stealth take downs, although after a brief tutorial, stealth definitely takes a backseat. Why creep up on someone when you can just toss the hapless cronie into an exploding barrel, firepit or whirring saw blade or any of the other myriad environmental attacks that are strewn about a given level? You also have a block that allows you to intercept and counter an opponent's attack, and keeping with the fast moving gameplay aesthetic, you don't have to lock down split-second timing for counters and parries; as long as you are in the ballpark, Redeemer is pretty forgiving. You can also pick up limited-use weapons, like a stun-baton, club, throwing weapons and a host of guns to dispatch your foes, and the aforementioned disarm lets you snag a gun out of an enemy's hands in a pinch.
When you get beat down a bit, you can regenerate health by murdering your foes (perhaps something he learned to do in the monastery?), and the harder you kill someone, the more health you receive. You generally get around 20% health recovery from standard kills, but applying a brutal finisher, environmental kill or counter/block kill will reward you with more. It encourages you to keep moving and murdering, since you won't regenerate health by just standing there.
Graphics & Sound
The graphics and sound are both completely fitting for the title. The guns boom, the skulls crunch, and every bone-breaking attack feels like it has weight to it. Whether you are smashing someone's face in with a big-ass hammer or just kicking the ever-loving piss out of a nameless soldier's rib cage, the combat sounds and looks great. The soundtrack itself isn't revolutionary, but it ramps up well and provides a fitting background to your murder spree.