First impressions count for a lot. In the case of Soul Redeemer, the new top down zombie action shooterby the Bekho Team, introductions are made with a plot-explaining narration that cracked me up... but I don't think it was supposed to. Still, whenever a game starts with a voice-over delivered by what sounds like an angry Hot Topic employee hunched over his desktop mike in a darkened room with a blanket over his head, seriously expounding on how, every couple centuries or so, constellations somehow release demonic forces to eat our souls, and the only thing standing in their way is a warrior dude in asymmetrical armor shooting crossbows... I'm going to stay around. And I'm glad I did! While Soul Redeemer is not the most original of games, it has a charm to it that fans of the genre should enjoy.
Controls are pretty standard. You control your dark action angsty guy with the [WASD] keys, and aim/fire your weapons with the mouse. In addition there are several special moves to use: [E] sets a bomb and another tap explodes it. With each enemy slain, your "rage" meter fills up and, when full, can be released with the [F] key for wide-area damage. The [spacebar] allows you to quickly roll out of the way of attacks. Slain enemies release various power-ups as well as a redeemed soul for you to collect. Collecting enough of these will allow you to purchase weapons and upgrades from the inventory screen accessed with the [V] key. Other upgrades also become unlocked when certain achievements are reached. There are six levels of intense vaguely-religious action, capped off with some reasonably epic boss battles. Now you and Yog-Sothoth play nice, y'hear?
Soul Redeemer might be solidly unremarkable, but it's also remarkably solid. As is the issue with many a topdown shooter, blasting hordes of demons, however cathartic, does get repetitive. However, Soul Reedemer does get many of the little things right: the graphics are beautiful in their horror aesthetic, the boss battles serve well to break up the monotony, and the game engine is stable (if a little laggy). Some of the levels do feel longer than they should be, but all in all, there's enough variety to keep it enjoyable all the way through. While fans of a certain Dante might find it more than a little familiar, even a devil may cry tears of joy after spending a half-hour with Soul Redeemer.