We've covered quite a few Build Engine shooters in the short history of First Person Saturday, from Nam to Blood, but there's been one I've been meaning to take a look at ever since the inception of this series. Redneck Rampage, A shooter featuring redneck stereotypes rather than action or horror movie references.
Redneck Rampage feels like a somewhat standard Build Engine shooter, with some notable exceptions. For one, the game uses a health system based on two meters, alcohol and gut. The more alcohol and food you consume, the more health that will be restored. However, if you drink too much alcohol, it will mess with your controls, basically making the game unplayable.
The sound design is probably the best part of the game, all in all. Music tracks are very fitting for the setting, and the voice acting for the main character is exactly how you'd imagine him. The game doesn't look too bad either, with a somewhat cartoon-esque art style. Overall? Not a bad presentation.
While Redneck Rampage is entertaining at times, it certainly has its flaws. For one, the level design is nowhere near as polished as that of Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, or Shadow Warrior. I spent nearly twenty minutes in the first level just wandering around, until I finally figured out where to go. In a genre that's normally fast paced, spending a third of an hour without seeing much combat in this style of shooters is simply unacceptable.
Something you can't fault Redneck Rampage for is creativity. Weapons include a buzzsaw launcher, a dynamite-tipped crossbow, and a bra converted into a screen-clearing weapon. Enemies are less creative, mostly being made up of assorted aliens, humans with guns, and the odd animal here and there such as a massive mosquito.
One of the most iconic features of Redneck Rampage is its raunchy nature, only enhanced by the aptly named Cuss Pack. It basically adds all sorts of swears to the game, as if a game about farting, drinking rednecks who fight aliens that fling feces at you wasn't pushing the line enough.
Redneck Rampage is a tough game, and rarely for the right reasons. Enemies are nothing but glorified bullet sponges, especially the stronger aliens. Some of them can take multiple shots from the crossbow, the game's equivalent of a rocket launcher, and still deal heavy damage to you in return! Combine that with the bad hit detection and the low rate of fire for most weapons, and you have a downright frustrating experience cut out for you.
I must say, Redneck Rampage is a very mixed bag. On one hand, it's one of the most creative Build Shooters out there, and the presentation is very nice. But when you get down to it, this is not a very mechanically sound video game. If you really want some low-brow humor and Duke Nukem Forever is out of your price range, then perhaps it's worth a look. But for everyone else? Give Redneck Rampage a skip.