Rating: T for Teen
Back once again to prove itself to the gods of Egypt, Immortal Redneck gets a console release. From developer Crema, based in Madrid, Spain, comes a wacky, addictive first-person shooter that will keep your attention for hours. Getting its inspiration from other Steam games like Ziggurat and Rogue Legacy, the developers wanted to create an environment that would force players to make “split-second decisions” while also requiring some planning before each new run through the Pyramid.
Spiritual Themes: Immortal Redneck is full of references to Egyptian deities and mythology. You can traverse the pyramids of Egypt as one of the unlockable gods. Some of the enemies encountered are evil spirits that use magic to attack you. The game also toys with the notion of death and being immortalized. The main character is a mummy and cannot truly die since he is basically undead. Egyptian mythology and history have always been used as a premise for entertainment. Its myths and legends deal a lot with curses, rituals, and spirituality that easily conjure up intrigue.
Violence: This is a classic first-person shooter. Guns are in abundance. Pistols, shotguns, rocket launchers, grenade launchers, crossbows, assault rifles, and many more arms are available to use on your Egyptian enemies. There is no blood, gore, or other graphic representation of death. Once the enemy’s health is depleted, it merely falls down and disintegrates.
Language: To complete the stereotypical redneck, the main character has a bad habit of cursing, and he probably does not plan on stopping any time soon. Words such as “sh*t,” “f*ck,” and “d*mn” are all said throughout the game as well as in different variations.
It’s best to play Immortal Redneck having done minimal research on what its about. Right away, the game throws you into the fray, beginning only with a cutscene shorter than two minutes. You ask yourself what in the world is going on, and that’s exactly what the developers wanted. There is minimal explanation, encouraging the player to play through each of the three available pyramids to figure out what has happened to this dune-hopping mummified redneck. The main objective is to climb to the top, as the player will soon realize. But that is easier said than done.
You begin the game as the main character, a thrill-seeking redneck on a quad who took a dive too high off a dune and ended up mummified in a sarcophagus. The redneck’s main choice of weapons are typical for an FPS—a pistol, a shotgun, and dynamite as a projectile. Any weapon can be thrown, and this at times can be the only option available once you run out of ammo. Facing enemies is easy enough: shoot them until they stop moving. Others will take more bullets while some are weak, but move about swiftly and are harder to hit.
The main objective—and most fun part—is having to make your way through the different pyramid floors to reach the top. You have to keep in mind your ammo, the amount of health you have, and the different rooms you have been to. Once your health runs out, you die and start over a fresh mummy, but hopefully a bit wiser. Each enemy you kill yields gold, health, ammo, or scrolls, but gold will pop up the most. Therefore, you must either be skilled or become proficient enough to down your enemies with minimal bullets. Headshots mean nothing, so shoot anywhere, as long as you are hitting the enemy.
Scrolls are basically power-ups, much like ones you would pick up when playing The Binding of Isaac. These power-ups vary from increased weapon damage to completely restoring health. Some scrolls may troll you by taking all weapons away except for one or zapping your health by 75%. These damaging scrolls are rare though, so it is wise to always pick up scrolls. A few good scrolls will make the floor go by much quicker.
Every death will bring you back to your sarcophagus, forcing a restart. Once back, you can spend your accumulated gold on the skill tree. The skill tree is a literal tree in the middle of the desert from which you can interact with and spend gold to increase effectiveness of a certain skill or ability. You can also spend gold to increase your health and defense. Get high enough on a certain skill area and you can unlock playable characters—gods of Egypt.
They’re not exactly “characters,” but each god represents different powers given to the redneck. This is usually some sort of temporary perk that you can activate at any time, but will need time to recharge when used up. I’m glad they included characters other than the redneck; the feature keeps things fresh and you can always try a different approach to the pyramid.
A character I unlocked, Apis, god of strength, has all strong weapons: a pistol grenade launcher, a revolver, a semi-automatic and a few more. The only downside is that he is slower than the redneck. But it plays well, since I had stronger weapons to use. In the end, I found I enjoyed playing with the redneck (mummy) the most since he is faster and his pistol seems to be more accurate than Apis’ revolver.
Navigating through the pyramid ends up being a fun trial on its own since the pyramid resets itself after every death—it is always a new experience. Some rooms may lead to locations with chests while others will lead you down a long line of more rooms that ultimately finish with a dead end. Each room entered will either have a mass of enemies or a challenge to get to a chest. To move on to the next room, you must first defeat all of the enemies. At times, the margin of victory can be so close that you are hoping that your next kill will yield health. But what’s really challenging is when you’re low on health and move on to the next floor…where the enemies have more health and do more damage.
The level design is amazing and even though floors may start to get familiar after a few runs, that’s easy to remedy: stop dying so much! The rooms can range anywhere from huge to small, being either as big as a rocks thrown in any direction or five times that. You’ll pretty much see what you would expect to see in any old pyramid: collapsed stairways, lava-filled death traps, courtyards filled with beautiful plant life and sarcophagi, dungeons, skeletons, pottery, more death traps, more skeletons, more sarcophagi, and so on.
The Unity engine was used for designing each room and it shows. The textures and details remind me of Borderlands, but not as cartoonish and cel-shaded as those graphics. The detail in each room is a nice touch and adds a lot to the game. It shows that the developers have a passion for what they do, and that they pay attention to the small things while leaving nothing undone.
Overall, the game is a blast and I highly recommend it. It has the potential to be hours of fun just trying to reach the top of a single pyramid. The skill tree seems a little too simple and could be more complex, perhaps including more skill areas to improve in. But I imagine it was made to be simple so as to not come across too much as an RPG instead of mainly an FPS. The scrolls add a nice touch, keeping each pyramid run as random as ramdom can get and keeps the game from getting boring too quickly—not to mention all of the different playable gods, eight in total.
As on Steam, Immortal Redneck is $20 on PS4 and Xbox One. Crema is also working to bring it to the Nintendo Switch sometime between April and June, so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested. For anyone looking for a break from all of the recent RPG games released or maybe a breather from battle royale games, Immortal Redneck game is different and fun enough to satisfy that single-player FPS craving. It’s a small price to pay for hours of entertaining play.
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