Developer CremaGames blends retro first-person shooting with roguelike elements to create a mostly enjoyable hillbilly adventure.
I haven't played a game with a goofier premise (and name) than Immortal Redneck in a long time. Our titular redneck hero decides to take a dune buggy riding vacation in Egypt but after a rough crash, he is captured and mummified by some Anubis-looking creatures who also curse him to explore and complete three pyramid dungeons. Playing as an immortal redneck, you're obviously incapable of dying. Instead, you'll be reincarnated back outside the pyramids upon losing all your health but you fortunately get to keep all the gold you acquired during your last trip. This gold is spent on a massive permanent upgrade tree that allows you to improve your health, defense, attack, critical hit, and other stats. This tree also allows you to purchase several God's favors which allows you to play as them. If you're familiar with the structure of the excellent indie game Rogue Legacy then you'll feel right at home with Immortal Redneck's progression system.
The cast of playable characters offers a wide variety of options. Each character starts with a unique arsenal of weapons and has their own active and passive skill as well as different stats. This allows you to test out different play styles and find the ones that really click with you. Thankfully, the gunplay is fast and smooth. There's no aiming down the sights in this retro shooter; you just point and fire.
Immortal Redneck features a variety of enemies that all pose their own challenges. Smaller enemies are easy to dispatch but usually appear in annoyingly large numbers. Larger, more powerful enemies take longer to kill and pack a wallop if you get hit by them. Regardless of the type of enemies you're confronted with, you'll constantly want to be aware of your surroundings and stay on the move. Many enemies can fire projectiles at you from all the way across a room so staying agile is essential to survival.
When enemies die, there's a chance for them to drop a variety of items. The most common is gold coins that you'll collect and use to purchase upgrades after you complete a run. Enemies will also drop ammo crates and health pickups fairly frequently and they'll even rarely drop a scroll that grants you an additional ability for the duration of your run. Some scrolls actually provide negative buffs that make things more difficult which is an annoying feature that can quickly bring a promising run to a screeching halt.
A mini-map located in the top corner of the screen will help you navigate the pyramids by allowing you to quickly see which rooms you've explored and which ones you haven't. The rooms are handcrafted (that is, not procedurally generated) but the order in which you find them and the enemies within them will change for each new run. You'll also occasionally encounter a challenge room that rewards you with a treasure chest if you manage to complete it. Because there are only a certain amount of handcrafted rooms and the vast majority of rooms are enemy rooms, Immortal Redneck can feel a little samey at times. Having a wider variety of room types and packing a few more secrets into some of the rooms would have definitely helped to alleviate some of this repetition.
Unless you absolutely adore run 'n' gun first-person shooting, the gameplay itself will also start to feel redundant and repetitive. Immortal Redneck never captured that "just one more run" feeling for me simply because there wasn't enough variety between runs. Advancing from one floor to the next only results in minimal changes to the environments and the only gameplay element that changes at all is that enemies are stronger and drop more ammo and gold. It also doesn't help that each floor and several of the enemy rooms are a bit too big and that a six floor run to reach the final boss will likely take about an hour of your time.
Immortal Redneck is well-crafted with smooth and fast gunplay, a variety of playable characters, and an extensive upgrade tree. However, the core gameplay just didn't evolve enough to fully captivate me in the same way that the best roguelikes do.
- + Nailed the retro shooter experience
- + Extensive upgrade tree allows you to slowly enhance your character after each run
- + Decent enemy variety and setting
- - Lack of gameplay variety leads to repetition
- - Each floor of the pyramid is a bit too big