While there’s been a resurgence in top down melee + shooter fighting games, there aren’t many that are that great. Here’s where Sobaka Studio saw an opportunity, and they’ve brought upon us Redeemer. Now, Redeemer came out in August of 2017, so it’s not exactly new. What’s interesting however is to see how it’s stood the test of time. What I can tell right now however is that Redeemer is brutal, fast and a jolly good time.

Redeemer is, in its essence simply stupid fun. There aren’t many complexities like levels, up-gradable items, collectibles or a serious story. It’s essentially just a completely stripped down brutal top down beat’em up set in some pretty good looking environments. Some people may see this as a negative, it helps the game feel like light fun, which is a refreshing change of pace.

Redeemer is a top down, twin stick melee + shooter, in a similar vein to Hotline Miami. Unlike Hotline Miami however, Redeemer features Vasily, a monk who was once a known soldier of fortune. The plot of Redeemer is full of cheesy one liners and the voice acting matches appropriately. The game begins with Vasily’s temple under attack from your old soldier buddies. For whatever reason, they come in and abduct your monk friends, which leads you down a path of vengeance to retrieve them. More details of Vasily’s past are revealed throughout the story, though it’s still pretty simple. The setup is honestly quite ridiculous, but in a good way. It plays to the over the top nature of the voice acting and gameplay.

Redeemer is all about combat, and murder is basically the name of the game. There are so many melee weapons in the game, from things like knives and swords all the way to axes and sledgehammers. There are some interesting mechanics at play here, with some standard options like holding the attack button for more power and blocking. You also get the option to roll to avoid damage, and there’s even a stealth system in the game. Perhaps even more interesting are the plethora of ways you can off an enemy with the environment. Heck, there are even wrestling moves thrown in for good measure, because who doesn’t like a wrestling monk? Of course, there’s also your standard arsenal of firearms, which work and feel pretty good in-game. There is however weapon degradability, and you don’t want to get too attached as weapons break pretty fast.

Enemies are the bread and butter of a game like this, and Redeemer features a decent amount of them. There’s plenty of variety between enemies, with most having different attacks and different methods to defeat them. They’re all also very satisfying to take down, though some of the later enemies do get fairly tough. Boss fights are fun distraction, but their patterns are honestly pretty simple to learn, and they’re not very challenging once you’ve got it down.

Overall, while Redeemer may not be the most complex or difficult game in the genre, it’s definitely one of the most fun. The frenetic and brutal gameplay with satisfying weapons allows a pretty good time, and it even still manages to eke out many newer games in that respect. The lack of complexities allow you to have simple fun, though if you’re looking for more depth you’ll want to look elsewhere. It’s stood the test of time pretty well, and it’s probably the best violent monk simulator you’re going to find anywhere.

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