By Justin Guillou / June 9th, 2016
|Title||Skyshine’s BEDLAM REDUX|
|Release Date||September 16, 2015|
|Genre||Strategy Role Playing|
Ever wondered what it would be like to play Oregon Trail, but in a post-apocalyptic Mad Max-esque world? SkyShine’s BEDLAM REDUX is something you may want to check out.
The basic plot is you are a band of explorers, bounty hunters and scavengers and you are traveling to Aztec City to put an end to King Vicera’s evil empire. You and your party will travel across the map gathering supplies, talking to people and powering yourself up to get ready for the final battle. In order to make it to Aztec City you need to find four treasures spread throughout the map. How you get to these locations is entirely up to you.
You move across the map in your vehicle consuming resources such as food, power cells and fuel with every move. When you reach a new location, a block of text appears on screen describing to you what happens. Various things can happen on your quest such as you getting attacked by roaming warriors, meeting new people to add to your crew, exploring abandoned factories and looting it for treasure, or even trying to bargain and haggle with traders for more supplies. At various moments you will be given choices on how to deal with each situation that comes your way. Each decision will lead to a different outcome. Your teammates can even turn on you and you will be given a choice on how to deal with the traitors. Of course the more interesting events to happen are the ones that lead to a battle.
If you get into a battle you can choose your party and go into combat. Combat plays like a traditional SRPG, so you and the AI take turns moving your units around and when you get into range with the AI, you can attack them. There are some more advanced mechanics including the ability to take cover when near an obstacle to improve your defense, or staying near certain allies to gain a stat boost. You also can sacrifice some of your resources for special attacks such as launching rockets or healing your party. The battles are not terribly difficult and don’t last very long but are amusing. If a character gets three kills they will level up. It is satisfying to see your rookies become veterans and start cleaning house! However this game, like Fire Emblem, has permadeath. So if one of your party members bites the dust in battle, you will not be able to use them for the rest of the game.
The music is fairly varied with lots of typical western style music combined with some cyber ’80s techno music. While the music works for the game, it’s not something you will find yourself listening to outside of the game. The visuals are a mixed bag. I am a fan of the art style in the character portraits especially. It has a nice post-apocalyptic punk style, but the actual backgrounds in combat are not very interesting and they get reused very often so you will get tired of them very quickly, especially since battles happen VERY often. The attack animations are alright and there are some fun death animations, but there is not much enemy variety. After seeing the same 1-4 enemies over and over again, the animations start to lose their initial appeal. There are also some amusing names for the characters like DJapple. The idea of someone named DJapple going around beating people up is just hilarious to me.
If there is a big problem with the game, it’s that it can be very intimidating to play at first. The HUD is cluttered with information and the main menu’s “tutorial” option does not let you actually access the tutorial… Instead it says to check out the website. While there is in-game help, I don’t see why a tutorial could not have been implemented. Instead you have to visit their site and watch a couple of videos of gameplay to learn. An in-game tutorial could have helped the player learn the game’s mechanics a lot faster and in a much smoother manner. Also the game can be very slow at the beginning since you are very weak and you do not have a lot of resources. Once you get the hang of it the game will become faster paced, but it’s something to keep in mind. If you play it and are finding yourself getting bored at first, stick with it. It gets better as you play.
On the bright side, Skyshine’s BEDLAM REDUX offers lots of replayability. There are several starting characters and vehicles for you to unlock after repeated playthroughs, along with higher difficulties. The campaign mode took me about an hour to finish. Overall for $20.00 Skyshine’s BEDLAM REDUX is not a bad game, however due to the fact that it can be a bit slow and take a while for you to get used to and learn the mechanics, it’s highly recommended to do a “test” playthrough for you to play around and try everything out before actually doing the campaign for real.
Review Copy Provided by Publisher
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