Immortal Redneck is a bit of an odd duck. It's an FPS-rogue-like -- so that makes it a little unique right out of the gate -- with elements of Painkiller, Serious Sam and a parade of classic 90's shooters finding their way into the design. When you fire up Immortal Redneck, there is definitely a sense of familiarity, but a few minutes later you realize that things have a gotten a lot more interesting. Usually in a good way.
There's no denying the Serious Sam vibe that infuses the game with colorful, super-saturated visuals that have an Egypt meets Redneck Rampage looks to them. Each multi-floored pyramid you fight through is a warren of interconnected rooms, filled with randomly spawning enemies, power-ups, ammo, weapons and scrolls. Like shooters of a bygone era, rooms must be cleared of all enemies before moving on. There is a helpful indicator of how many weird mutant mummies, floating eyeballs, laser firing priests or poisonous toads still need to be dispatched. The rooms are often multi-leveled, but the platforming in Immortal Redneck is floaty and generally forgiving. There some puzzle elements as well but they are equally benign.
From the design of the enemies to the spare voice-overs, Immortal Redneck refuses to take itself seriously, and bad puns and game references abound. Not all of the humor sticks the landing, though, and there isn't a whiff of a comprehensible story, but it matters not a bit in a game so focused on fast action and surviving the next encounter. Because the game is a rogue-like, death in Immortal Redneck means starting over, but any gold acquired can be applied to moving up and through the branches of a literal skill-tree growing in the sand, increasing the usual stats like damage, armor and weapon capacity. Any unspent gold will be used to access the pyramid again, a subtle reminder to the player to spend it while they have it.
A staple of action games, shooters, and platformers, power-ups in Immortal Redneck are balanced with scrolls that actually inhibit your abilities and make progress more difficult, making each run through the pyramid a unique experience that can turn exhilarating or frustrating without warning. Happily, the action is so fast and immediately rewarding that it hardly matters.
There are a lot of smart, complicated action games and shooters on the market, and let's be glad for that. But there is plenty room for a pure old-school shooter like Immortal Redneck, where speed, adrenaline and lack of pretense are supported by a colorful presentation and well-designed levels and gameplay. Not everyone enjoys the potential frustration that is baked into the rogue-like genre, but aside from that, Immortal Redneck is entertaining, goofy and a lot of fun.