Immortal Redneck (Switch eShop) Review
The title of Immortal Redneck somehow does the contents of the game a disservice, yet at the same time, it is quite accurate. You are playing as the titular ‘Redneck’ who, through a dune buggy accident ends up in Egypt, you’ve been taken, wrapped in bandages like a mummy and made immortal. When you wake up you’re armed to the teeth, and you’re surrounded by pyramids filled with things that want you dead. Prepare for a lot of run and gunning and to curse up a storm.
The gameplay could be described as a mix of an old-school first-person shooter and a rogue-like. You work your way through randomised rooms, clearing out enemies until you find the staircase to the next floor. Each room has a meter telling you how many enemies there are left to clear the room. Until you get every single enemy you can’t even retreat to the room you came from. Every floor you go up increases the amount of danger, damage goes up, and you are one step closer to the mid or final Pyramid boss. On the plus side, the amount of money collected also goes up. This becomes important when you’re finally killed and resurrected back outside.
At the end of every run, you’re given the chance to spend your money. There’s a tree where you can spend this cash to purchase stat increases, abilities and unlock Patron Gods. Spend as much as you can because you can’t take it with you – all is forfeit when you re-enter the pyramid. The stats and abilities are largely upgrades to become stronger and making pick-ups better, but once you can afford more of the Patron Gods, the game really opens up. Each God offers different active and passive skills/spells and weapon loadouts which can really change up your approach to the next run. Some loadouts are geared towards heavier firepower and strength.
My favourite was more focused on providing healing items. Amongst the weapons is an Ankh that while less powerful, has unlimited ammo. Early on should you do alright – you’ll be able to upgrade plenty as everything is still relatively cheap. The game slows down once you have those cheaper purchases made. Ultimately, you’re still gaining useful knowledge of the different room layouts, but it still sucks when you’re just out of reach of a big upgrade and you must surrender any gold when you re-enter the Pyramid.
Immortal Redneck thankfully isn’t a punishingly hard game. Make no mistake you will die a lot, but when you do you should have covered a fair amount of ground. While the rooms are randomly placed you’ll become familiar with the layouts, learn enemy placements and traps, and the best way to get through while holding on to your health. Throughout you’ll come across pick-ups. Most often it is health, ammo or money when you kill enemies. If you play decently enough, you’ll never be too far from keeping your health and ammo at a decent level. Even better is that ammo shares across weapons so you’re never stuck looking for special ammo.
Every now and then you’ll find weapons or scrolls from enemy drops or in chests. There’s a wide variety of weapons to try out if you’re willing to swap out the one you’re already holding. Picking up scrolls can be a real gamble, once you pick one up you’re stuck with whatever the outcome is. Scrolls like ‘unlimited ammo for this floor’ or ‘lava cannot hurt you’ can make you completely over-powered, but it’s fun while it lasts. On a good run, you can wind up with all kinds of bonuses that give you a well-earned breather. Also, let it be noted that all the pots and jars around the place will give you nothing if you smash them unless you pick up a scroll that fills them with pick-ups.
But all it takes is to come across one bad scroll to mess it all up. Every now and then I would have a run where a scroll would increase gold pickups, but at the cost of 75% of my health. Sometimes I could bounce back, but more often it was a swift end in a room surrounded by enemies. While it sucks to pick up a bad scroll, the risk-reward element adds to the game. Even when you get hit by a pretty rough scroll there is still the chance to power through and make some meaningful progress.
I haven’t really touched on the old school FPS element of the game. The movement and feel of the game are more at home with games like Unreal Tournament, Quake 3 or Serious Sam. The quick movement and floaty jumps make getting around fun, although a more modern addition of mantling up any edges you’re close enough to, is very welcome. Running and strafing around, taking down swarms of enemies with a sawn-off shotgun, before picking off a bunch of flying enemies with dual pistols continued to be fun hours in. The game doesn’t bog itself down in feeling realistic and just lets it be fun instead.
Immortal Redneck has a slight cartoony aesthetic that suits it well. From the enemies to the room designs, it’s not a gritty and grim game by any stretch. While it has a good style to it, there are signs that maybe the developers had to make some concessions to bring the game to the Switch. Initially, I started off playing in handheld mode and there were moments that looked like I had dropped the Switch in a tub of Vaseline. Watching footage of other versions of the game I could see that it doesn’t look so blurry there.
So, I docked the Switch to see if it helped make the game look closer to how it was intended. Fortunately, it looked better than in the handheld mode which should be expected. Now it is a bit unfair to compare it to the PC version when I can take the handheld Switch anywhere and it just doesn’t have as much power. Honestly, the game still plays great and even with the fuzzy visuals. While it takes a little getting used to, it didn’t stop me from sinking hour after hour into this game on the go.
While Immortal Redneck isn’t a violent bloodfest, and outside of shooting things it can seem quite tame, I feel I should mention that often when the Redneck talks it’s not uncommon to be filled with swearing. If you don’t mind bad language then there won’t be an issue, but if you’re handing the Switch over to your kids you might want to put those parental controls into action.
Overall Immortal Redneck is fun to play. It’s not punishingly hard and the game is enjoyable enough to keep you going with the upgrade loop as you grow more powerful to get more gold…so you can grow more powerful. It’s nice to get a change from the top-down roguelikes and be able to jump around and not worry that one wrong move will stop you dead.
If you’re looking for a good challenge and enjoy a good first-person shooter then you should give Immortal Redneck a look.
- Enjoyable FPS and movement
- Difficult but not punishing
- Hours of fun gameplay
- Fuzzy handheld moments
- When the upgrade loops drag