Hold up, wait a minute. Just before you start picturing a mullet wielding, truck driving, tobacco chewing, moonshine chugging, American stereotypical guy running about shooting things while dishing out profanities… Yeah. That’s. That’s actually what this is, but don’t be discouraged or surprised by the premise of this game. Immortal Redneck has more than just some Southern-themed crude humour going for it. It’s a ton of addictive rogue-like shooter fun that will teleport you to the early days of DOOM and Quake with a sprinkle of randomly generated levels. Time to find out how to lift the curse of being trapped in ancient Egypt.
We’re not in Kansas anymore
Literally, you hail from Kansas and your love for blasting your dirt buggy over sand dunes set you on a destination for the sandy slopes of Egypt, where you end up crashing your buggy and being mummified by spirits of the pyramids. You then set on your quest for revenge, navigating your way through a labyrinth of 3 tier pyramids with your trusty pistol, shotgun and dynamite in your arsenal. To enter the pyramid you’ll need to pay the gold tax which is just about whatever gold you have in your inventory being spent to enter. Before that though, you can access your skill tree and look at what you can potentially bolster with the few gold coins you have.
There’s the ability to increase overall damage, health and defence before setting off, along with the chance to unlock the embodiment of other mythical Gods and their abilities and stats, which switches up the way to approach each run through. Some Gods have the ability to withstand all damage but limits movement, while others are lightning quick and have attributes allowing them to increase health well above normal. Redneck is the all-rounder and a base that you can build on, but it’s worth taking the other Gods’ abilities for a spin just to see the variation in gameplay with each one. Heck, you might just find the God that complements your playstyle and blast these ancient fools straight back into the graves they crept from. Yee-hah!
Is that a new canon in your pocket, or are you just happy to see little ol’ me?
The start is slow and might feel repetitive and lacking in progression for the first three or so tries, but once you start spending your gold on your skill tree you’ll notice that not all is in vain. Swapping to different patron Gods grants you new passives, spells, and starting loadouts. These consist of grenade launchers, exploding potato cannons, plasma shooting gloves and some interesting passives like increased health every time you kill an enemy.
Then there are the randomised scrolls you’ll encounter while playing. These scrolls can either increase your stats or give you some ludicrous inhibitors like taking damage when you jump. Just tap the jump button and you lose health. Whoever came up with that scroll was probably seven bottles of moonshine in and had a spat with their cousin. That’s just wrong, brother. The scrolls are like a curse, once you read it you can’t ignore it. There’s no way to avoid a scroll once you’ve picked it up which I think is interesting as it makes you wary of picking up just any scroll.
Other than just running and gunning through everything in your way, there are some hidden chests and challenge rooms you can tackle on your way to the top of the pyramid. These chests hold scrolls, weapons, health and ammo for your arsenal. You’ll eventually encounter a mid-boss here and there until you reach the tippy top of the pyramid to face off with the bigger boss which is both challenging and refreshingly creative and colourful.
These scrolls can either increase your stats or give you some ludicrous inhibitors like taking damage when you jump. Whoever came up with that scroll was probably seven bottles of moonshine in and had a spat with their cousin.
This thing sometimes handles like a crawfish and kicks like a mule
Playing a first-person shooter on the Switch isn’t entirely new to me and the ease of being able to kaboom enemies on the go is very welcome. Doing it with motion controls though is like chewing an overcooked sirloin. With the tight control mechanics and enemies spawning in every which direction, it’s hard to lock on to an enemy using the motion control mechanic. Luckily you can switch it off completely and avoid motion sickness as you try and locate the enemy while flailing your controller around at breakneck speed. The movement sensitivity is high from the start which I personally prefer, making it that little bit easier to pull off a 180-degree turn to put lead into an enemy behind you. There’s no aim down sights feature so you’ll have to ensure your crosshairs are always on point. You can enable aim assist, but I chose to go at it old school and challenge my reflexes.
You can also access a marketplace after unlocking the option in your skill tree, where you can gain access to scrolls that even allow you to bypass a mid-boss fight and take you straight to the big boss fights. You also have the option of turning menacing scrolls into a good scroll, negating those pesky ones that make life a living hell.
There’s no double jump, but you can grab hold of a ledge if you’re attempting to get to higher ground or close to a chest hidden on a ledge. One of the patron Gods does have the ability to double jump though, so not all is a chore. I’m sure the other console versions of the game have a higher resolution and perhaps higher framerates, but the Switch handles the pace pretty well. Being able to get a few runs in while in the comfort of your bed is cool, too. What I found strange though, and quite frankly something I expected to be part of a frantic first-person shooter, is the lack of a melee attack. While going balls to the pyramid wall and putting rounds into your foes you can quickly empty your ammo stores and you’re left with nothing but to throw your weapons at enemies. Thankfully some scrolls allow you to replenish ammo on a kill, so you don’t have to worry too much about running out. The one other thing is that you have the same voice for all the characters, but I guess it would be weird to hear an Egyptian God saying something like “Aww yeah, baby. Gimme some of that sugar. Daddy needs a refill.”
Hell yeah, that was fun! Can we do it again, sarge?
If you hail from the era when DOOM, Quake and Unreal Tournament were your go-to games then Immortal Redneck is for you. Crema has captured the essence of that era and packaged it in an unusual pairing with frantic gun toting goodness, challenging enemies and boss fights, slick and colourful environments that are almost never the same in terms of layout, and so many different ways to tackle the pyramid tier system with a healthy variation in abilities for each god you unlock through the skill tree. It’s fast, fun, and before you know it, you’re back at it again for the umpteenth time trying to obliterate foes with each character at your disposal just to hear some of those wacky redneck quips again.