Indie Review: Red Eclipse
Red Eclipse is a free and open source first person shooter developed by volunteers. It's a classic arcade style shooter very much like Unreal Tournament or Quake, but is it worth the time?
- Worth The Time?Yes, no doubt whatsoever.
- Things LovedThe fast paced fantastic gameplay is simple but skillful, the parkour elements and jetpack work great with the shooting, the awesome weapons, the sword, the techno music, the large amount of maps and game modes, the mods, the visuals, it's free to play, the online delay is minimal.
- Things HatedFalling off cliffs, really fast movements and dashes can be hard to control.
- RecommendationIf you're into arcadey shooters like Unreal Tournament or Quake, then download this now and love the hell out of it. Otherwise, be sure to give this a try anyway if you enjoy shooters and you can make the download.
- Name: Red Eclipse
- Genre: First Person Shooter
- Players: 1-16
- Multiplayer: Online (16 players)
- Platforms: PC, Mac
- Developer: Developed By Volunteers
- Publisher: Redeclipse.net
- Price: Free
- Reviewed On: PC
You can download it for free here.
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It almost seems like fate answered my call with Red Eclipse, because I’ve been in the mood to play Unreal Tournament for a while now, but have just been too preoccupied with other games. I stumbled upon this indie game, and without knowing much about it I decided to download it, because my Indian-awareness kicked in when I saw that it’s free. And damn, am I glad I did. Red Eclipse is a free and open source first person online shooter developed by volunteers. It’s a classic arcade style shooter very much like Unreal Tournament or Quake, except it has its own unique style. It combines fast paced shooting with parkour action to create something insanely fun to play. It totally outshines what Brink attempted to do for me. Simplicity is gold, and Red Eclipse understands that to the letter. Also, now would be the perfect time to jump in and play it, because as of September 1, the game has just received a huge update to version 1.31, the Galactic Edition. You won’t regret getting this game.
The gameplay is very much a combination of arcade action like Unreal Tournament and parkour elements like Mirror’s Edge. Depending on the mode, you’ll find weapon pick ups on the ground in stages, or select your starting primary and secondary weapon from the spawn menu. In addition to blasting away your enemies, you’ll be able to perform awesome feats like running on walls, double jumping, wall jumping and air and ground dashes. You’ll also get a jetpack if it’s selected as a mutator, and I’ll get to these later. Parkour moves like dashes drain energy, which recharges in time. The game is very fast paced, and you’ll need to have good aim as well as good movement to take down your targets as well as keep yourself alive. It’s simply thrilling when you’re in the heat of action, and while you can play the game on your own with bots, it’s obviously meant to be played online. For me, the delay was minimal and completely playable, and that helps because the game is pretty damn addictive, and easy to enjoy in micro sessions or full sessions, meaning you can have fun playing it for a few minutes or rounds or at length. And there are plenty of fantastic ways this game keeps itself fun.
Firstly, you’ve got the great weapons. All of them come ready with secondary firing options. Everyone has a standard pistol, but then there is also the Plasma rifle, that can fire balls of energy or gigantic vortex-worthy energy storms that trap and heavily damage people who get inside it. There’s also a Sniper rifle, SMG and Shotgun, all of which are powerful. There’s the Flamer, which as the name implies is a flamethrower that has a secondary option to shoot fireballs. There’s also a super weapon to be found in the rocket launcher, which is an instant kill if you hit it right but it’s devastating secondary fire can often kill you and your target. Then you get a grenade, which you usually find around stages, and the mighty sword, which is a real badass weapon. You can perform ordinary side slashes as well as a vertical power slash as your secondary option, and it’s just awesome to use in combination with the parkour elements. Sure, it takes skill and luck, but surely you can imagine how amazing it feels to run on a wall, dive off and slice someone dead with a lethal ninja chop. If all else fails, you have your fists of fury, and you can attack from wall runs as well. On top of all of this, there are also player mods to mix things up. I once played a map where the plasma rifle actually fired black holes, and the SMG fired green energy bullets at an insanely fast rate. Oh, and the grenade was a vortex grenade or something.
There are 6 modes in the game, but combined with the large amount of maps and mutators, the game feels fresh almost every time you play. There’s Editing, where you can create and edit existing maps, there’s your standard free-for-all Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Defend the Flag and Time Trial, and there’s also Bomber Ball, where you need to get the bomb into the enemy goal to score. The mutators serve to make matches feel unique and more exciting. You get standard ones like teamplay, where matches become team-based, or co-op, where it’s players against drones, or Instigib, where players are given a weapon that kills with one shot. Then you get more interesting ones like jetpack, where everyone gets a jetpack, or medieval, where everyone spawns with only swords, or duel, in which two players fight at a time and the winner goes on to fight the next player. There’s onlsaught, where waves of enemies fill the arena, or survivor where the winner is the last man standing. Then you get more weird and funny ones, like vampire, where dealing damage heals you, or resize, where players change size depending on their health. These are all really great, and ensure that each match feels different.
To be honest, I can’t really see anything major to dislike about this game. I found a common problem where in the smaller maps you can sometimes lose control with your fast movements or double tap a movement direction by mistake and dash into a pit of death, but when these happen they’re usually more funny than frustrating. Falling off cliffs does suck though. As for the online, the servers aren’t heavily populated admittedly, but the best times to play for us would be at night, as I’ve found up to 12 players in a game once, and even games that aren’t full are easy to enjoy because bots can fill up the empty spaces. Red Eclipse is a very fun way to pass the time if you’ve got a couple of minutes to kill, and matches can be totally chaotic or focused depending on the mode and mutators. I once played a free-for-all deathmatch in a smallish map located in space, and that was something hectic. I was closely tied for first place with another player, but a triple kill in the end pushed me through to victory, and even though there’s no tangible rewards or achievements for feats like this, it felt pretty damn satisfying.
Visually, Red Eclipse is clean, great to look at and very fluid in motion. It’s fast, vibrant and colourful, and it’s just a joy to play. The game was created as a total conversion of the Cube Engine 2, and the developers use this to focus on balanced gameplay, to give control to map makers and to maintain the game’s theme of agility and fast paced action. There is plenty of variety in looks, theme and size to be found in the game’s many maps, and don’t forget there are mods to mix things up further. One thing I also love about the game is the techno music. It’s extremely catchy for some reason, and sometimes I’d just wait on the main menu just to listen to the game’s main theme. I didn’t encounter any bugs or technical defects in my time playing, which was really good to see in a game like this.
In closing, Red Eclipse is a blast to play, it’s awesome fun, and it’s free. This is honestly one of the best indie games I’ve played this year, and I enjoyed it immensely. Essentially, if you like arcadey shooters like Unreal Tournament or Quake, then this is a game you’ll love, and even if you don’t, you can’t really go wrong trying it out anyway because it’s completely free and it offers something different.