Immortal Redneck Early Access Preview
Immortal Redneck is a rogue-like FPS set in ancient Egypt. You play a mummy with a shotgun trying to blast your way to the top of a pyramid/dungeon. The premise of this game is total word salad but better. A word salad with chicken and bacon and sesame seeds and cheese. No cover-based crouching here, folks. You move fast or you die faster. There’s no story to speak of, just a series of tastefully-lit chambers and a horde of enemies to annihilate. The Redneck premise is paper-thin, offering a reason to be wielding firearms and hearing all that banjo in the background. Honestly? I’m totally fine with this. I don’t need a reason to be slaying bizarre monsters in beautiful ruins.
Right away the controls feel good. Granted, the FPS system is more or less figured out at this point. But they’re still rock-solid. My only complaint is that sometimes jumps snap to the platform in question so hard it’s disorienting. You’re able to navigate without too much trouble. Yet it feels like the jump arc should be larger. It’s a minor issue and not one that ever resulted in any cheap deaths or other setbacks. Beyond that, the movement and aiming fall into that classic FPS groove. If things feel stilted or clumsy, you just aren’t running and gunning fast enough. Even my aim felt more accurate when I was going as fast as I could. If you slow down and get too tactical, you get murdered. The only time I needed to be considerate of my surroundings was when it came time to reload. Doing so takes time you have to plan out. I found myself wishing I had melee options to fall back on, but this just feeds into the running/gunning strategy. Enemy projectiles move slowly enough you can see them coming. Combined with the jump button, this tiny mechanic gave certain rooms an undeniable bullet hell flavor that worked to ratchet up the tension.
You don’t have to play for long before you’re able to unlock other character classes. Each one of these classes changes your whole strategy. My personal favorite ended up being Apis, the God of Strength. He comes with a Gatling gun! Sure, it takes forever to spool up and it chews through ammo like tissue paper, but it feels so good to use. Seth, on the other hand, was a drag to take through the pyramid. All of his weapons have very little ammo and his whole fighting style feels too precise for a setting like this. I discovered that you’re never given more than two random choices for your starting class. This means if you unlock all of them it introduces an extra element of chance to each of your runs. Others might find this stimulating, but I got comfortable with old Apis. Anytime I got stuck with Sekhmet for example, my run ended rather early. Another odd issue came up during my time using the Goddess of Hunting. The game has no built-in zoom function, so the sniper rifle automatically zooms in when the trigger is pulled. The result is you’re not sure if you’ve actually shot the rifle until you see your target drop. Your shots are still accurate, but they don’t quite feel right. Aside from little issues like this, each of the classes feels distinct, with fleshed-out powers that can save your life if used right. Of particular note is Sekhmet’s power to turn all visible items into health. Even getting 15 hit points back can be enough to get you to the next floor.
“There’s just something about these ancient chambers that tugs at my nostalgia bone.”
At first, I wasn’t sold on the aesthetic presented in Immortal Redneck. Nothing about the graphics really stood out to me. Soon enough I changed my mind. There’s just something about these ancient chambers that tugs at my nostalgia bone. I promise I didn’t spend my childhood exploring Egyptian ruins. Yet they still felt familiar. I’m also grateful that these dungeons aren’t decrepit or broken-down. It’s such a common tactic to add ageless majesty to an environment with rot or decay, but these halls are in fantastic shape. The music didn’t win me over the same way. It felt like I heard three distinct songs the whole time I was playing. The back-country infusion is clearly written into the composition, but I still hoped for more variety.
Your enjoyment of Immortal Redneck is going to be dependent on your feelings towards the rogue-lite formula. Do you find slowly improving stats and repeated attempts to achieve the same goals frustrating or satisfying? If you’ve ever played and enjoyed a modern rogue-lite in any other genre then this game will easily scratch that same itch. Personally, I loved working for those better stats. The core gameplay is fast-paced and fun, which means your grinding runs through those initial floors doesn’t feel like a chore. The difficulty jumps from floor to floor are sharp, but you’re given ample warning that they’re occurring. The enemies never feel cheap or unfairly designed, the weapons all have distinct pros and cons, the levels are vibrant and the controls are tight. If you’re looking for a fast, high-powered FPS romp through ancient architecture, you’ll want to keep an eye on Immortal Redneck.
*** PC key provided by the publisher ***