Redline
Redline - Coverart.png
Cover art
Developer(s)Beyond Games
Publisher(s)Accolade (US), Electronic Arts (EU)
Platform(s)Windows
Release
Genre(s)Vehicular combat, first-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Redline is a 1999 post-apocalyptic combination first-person shooter/car combat game for Windows. It was developed by Beyond Games and published by Accolade. In Europe, the game is known as Redline - Gang Warfare: 2066. It is a spiritual successor to the Atari Lynx video game BattleWheels.[2] The game was noted for allowing players to enter or exit vehicles during combat at anytime, thus combining the genres of car combat and first-person shooting. This was the last game Accolade published before being acquired by Infogrames.

History

In early 1995, an updated version of the 1993 Atari Lynx handheld video game BattleWheels was announced. It was intended to be released on both PC and the Atari Jaguar in late 1995; however, developer Beyond Games was busy with the fighting game Ultra Vortek, and the Atari Jaguar was discontinued in early 1996. Beyond Games shifted its BattleWheels project to be primarily a PC game, and also decided to change the name of the game to Redline in 1997. It was initially going to be released at the end of 1997; however, the date got pushed back numerous times. The game was finally released in March 1999.

The game blends the two genres also found in its predecessor: car combat and first-person shooting.[3] It contains a linear single-player storyline, which consists of the aftermath of an apocalypse, caused by wealthy corporations (Insiders) that were angered and financially damaged by the general public's (Outsiders) use of free orgone energy. The protagonist is an unnamed silent Outsider, who battles both Insiders and other gangs while increasing his reputation in a like-minded gang called The Company. Redline included support to be played online using the MPlayer.com and Heat.net online services. It was available for play on their demo version even before the game was released. After those companies shut down, servers were moved to GameSpy Arcade.

Shortly after release, the publisher, Accolade, was bought out by Infogrames. Due to the previous delays and also the new internal mergers, post-release support for Redline ceased after only one small official patch was released; thus, there was no way to edit or mod the game.[4] Due to this, unlike other '90s PC games, only a small fan community has existed for the title.

A PlayStation version of the game was planned to be more action-intensive than the Windows version,[5] but was eventually cancelled. Afterwards, a sequel/spinoff named Redline Arena was planned for the Dreamcast, but that too was cancelled.[6] Elements from that project were worked into the PlayStation 2 game Motor Mayhem. Tommo purchased the rights to Redline and digitally published it through its Retroism brand in 2015;[7] thus, the game was re-released on Steam and GOG.com, albeit unchanged from the original release.

Reception

The game received "average" reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings.[8] Most reviewers praised the graphics and premise; however, they were divided on the gameplay itself (the blending of car combat and first-person shooting). Next Generation rated the game two stars out of five, and called it "a title that's a misfire all around. Combining two different types of gameplay into one game is a terrific idea, but someone should have mentioned that welding a mediocre first-person shooter onto a mediocre car-combat game is not the way to make the whole better than the sum of its parts."[17] In contrast, Computer Gaming World rated the game three and a half stars out of five, and stated that "While other games have tried to mix vehicular and on-foot combat and done it badly (think Necrodome), Redline does a better job of blending the two into a flashy, fast-paced package."[11]

References

  1. ^ GameSpot staff (March 24, 1998). "New Releases". GameSpot. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on May 30, 2000. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  2. ^ "Interview with Kris Johnson, Founder of Beyond Games, Developer of the Cancelled Redline Arena". Dreamcast Live. June 30, 2018. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  3. ^ "Redline". GamePro. No. 114. IDG. March 1998. p. 70.
  4. ^ "Official 1.1 Patch Released". FilePlanet. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "NG Alphas - Redline". Next Generation. No. 32. Imagine Media. August 1997. p. 76.
  6. ^ Monokoma (November 13, 2019). "Entry on Cancelled Redline Arena". Unseen64.
  7. ^ "Purchase Agreement between Atari, Inc. and Rebellion Developments, Stardock & Tommo" (PDF). BMC Group. July 22, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Redline for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 2, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  9. ^ Jensen, Chris (April 13, 1999). "Redline". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 16, 2000. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  10. ^ Chick, Tom (April 23, 1999). "Redline". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Strategy Plus, Inc. Archived from the original on April 18, 2003. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Clarkson, Mark (July 1999). "The Bloody Red Line (Redline Review)" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. No. 180. Ziff Davis. p. 123. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  12. ^ Edge staff (May 1999). "Redline". Edge. No. 71. Future Publishing. p. 78. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  13. ^ Asher, Mark (1999). "Redline Review for PC on GamePro.com". GamePro. IDG Entertainment. Archived from the original on February 14, 2005. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  14. ^ Johnny B. (May 1999). "Redline Review". GameRevolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on September 19, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  15. ^ Smith, Josh (May 3, 1999). "Redline Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  16. ^ Ward, Trent C. (March 29, 1999). "Redline". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Redline". Next Generation. No. 54. Imagine Media. June 1999. p. 95. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  18. ^ D'Aprile, Jason (June 1999). "Redline". PC Accelerator. No. 10. Imagine Media. p. 79. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  19. ^ Williamson, Colin (June 1999). "Redline". PC Gamer. Vol. 6, no. 6. Imagine Media. p. 152. Archived from the original on March 6, 2000. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  20. ^ Jones, Gareth (June 1999). "Redline". PC Powerplay. No. 37. Next plc. p. 86. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  21. ^ Brooker, Charlie (June 1999). "PC Review: Redline". PC Zone. No. 77. Future plc. p. 99. Retrieved May 14, 2021.