System: PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC (Steam)
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Rating:T for Teen
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
Official Website: https://www.bandainamcoent.com/
Who it Caters to
If we are to believe the 80s from posters about games and movies, we’d expect a dark world that has undergone gnarly changes. RAD—developed by Double Fine Productions and published by Bandai Namco Games—makes those old movie/game posters come to life by throwing you into a cool but doomed world. We got to download RAD and experience this stylish roguelike game for ourselves and after several hours of gameplay, we have some things to share with you readers out there. Is RAD as cool as the name says it should be or is the experience a bummer? Let us find out together in our full review of RAD for the PS4!
What to Expect
RAD is a roguelike action game where players will enter a twice destroyed world in order to save their home! Utilizing your wicked bat and heroic skills, you’ll face down against strange abominations and toxic landscapes. The longer you survive, the more you’ll get infected with toxins, but your body has been amped up allowing it to absorb said toxins and make them into cool mutations! Salvage the land, kill baddies and become the coolest hero ever in RAD! Now get out there warrior, time to get to work!
It’s bad enough humans were hit with a world ending event. Making it worse though is that we were hit twice! What is left of our once green world is but a husk, mutants roam the land and the air is toxic almost everywhere. The few humans still around have sought refuge and have been able to survive thanks to their machines purifying the air and keeping the toxins out. However, the machines have all but begun to break down and that is far from cool. We need a hero to enter the wasteland to help save the day but that hero will endure the toxins and begin to change. You might become less human, but you’ll still be a hero if you can save the day and keep the humans left alive and safe!
Developed by Double Fine Productions—Brutal Legend and Psychonauts to name a few of their best-known games—comes RAD and it doesn’t take long to see their style shine in this title. RAD’s primary focus is simple, you’re a young kid who has been tasked with saving his/her village from toxins that will soon run rampant due to machine purification failure. To accomplish this task though, you’ll have to enter the wasteland, a place that has been hit with Armageddon not once but twice! That means everything that walks in this wasteland is aiming to kill you or infect you. Luckily, your fearless leader is aware of the risk and gives you a powerful modification that allows your body to absorb the toxic fumes/materials of the wasteland and grow from them. You’ll lose your humanity, but you’ll gain powers beyond your wildest imagination. RAD screams campy 80s movie, but this is why we enjoyed our time with RAD and equally, why we know many of you will too.
Your main focus in RAD is to survive and explore the wasteland. Your only real weapon in doing this though is your own inherent skills—you can choose between several classes with varying status—and a baseball bat that is pretty mean! As you explore, you’ll find various things in the lands such as currency to use for upgrades and items as well as monuments that cleanse the land of the poison. What you’ll also find in the wastelands are monsters who seemed to have enjoyed the toxins and now are powerful and ready to defend themselves from kids like you. In the beginning, RAD is a very—and emphasis on very—simple roguelike with death being a restart to your journey and the environment changing accordingly using randomized dungeons. Where RAD begins to change is once you realize how the mutations affect your child hero…
As you fight and kill in the wasteland you begin to absorb the toxins. While this might seem like a bad idea in RAD, it’s actually a necessary way of surviving longer each run. When you “level up,” your kid gains a mutation that gives them enhancements like strange tentacle appendages that can attack in a 360 AOE—area of effect—or even a snake hit that can give you a mean venom bite. There are several big mutations to occur in RAD and you’re going to want these power ups to keep alive once you begin to find bigger mutants to go up against that act as RAD’s primary bosses. Every run will net you more experience that can be kept via bringing items back to base or be lost if you don’t take it easy sometimes and know when to retreat!
Another element we loved about RAD is the presentation. We mentioned earlier that RAD screams 80s movies and this is a main theme with music sounding like synth versions of 80s tunes and aesthetics that scream radical 80s gamer days. Even the enemies in RAD—as well as the various strangers you’ll meet—have cool designs that make the world of RAD feel engaging and fun! The narrator steals the show though with his deep booming voice that makes every encounter, level up and pause menu echo with his awesome voice. RAD might only cost $19.99 but it has some high productions that make it worth its price tag.
Now RAD isn’t perfect and we always hate to mention a game’s weaker elements but they need to be pointed out. RAD has a very simple roguelike style and it shows its simplicity after hours of playing. Combat doesn’t tend to change from rolling around to avoid enemy attacks, to using mutations for special attacks and repeat over and over again. RAD’s biggest weakness is that it’s a bit too simple in design. It has that toughness that most roguelike games have, but where others change as you play, RAD tends to remain the same. We suggest playing RAD in short sessions to make the feeling of déjà vu a bit less noticeable.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
RAD is one of the better examples of a roguelike screaming with personality. While RAD isn’t the most intuitive roguelike we’ve played here at Honey’s Anime, it does more right than wrong. Filled with cool places to explore, tough—but unique—enemies and a truly killer soundtrack, RAD is a fun title to mess around with. While you will die—a lot—you won’t feel angry upon losing all of your progress or your items. Instead, you’ll wonder how you can re-enter the wasteland and make the most out of this next attempt. RAD probably won’t go down as the best action title out there due to its repetitive gameplay but we can honestly say it’s a game we’d play from time to time just to relax and not rage out like most roguelike games do. We recommend RAD to those who want an action/adventure/roguelike oozing with style and won’t cause you to break a window if you happen to die too many times.
RAD screams 80s with plenty of homages to other games and movies.
Wickedly fun and simple story that keeps you smiling as you play.
Great OST that makes you pump your speakers up each time a tune plays.
Fun and clever mutation gameplay that makes no two runs alike.
Combat can get a bit stale after a few hours even with the various mutations
Can kind of be confusing initially as you learn how to make every run worthwhile
Honey's Final Verdict:
RAD might not be the best roguelike game ever, but it provides what we love from the developer who made it, fun and excitement. Rather then be a TV breaking title, RAD goes for a more stylish take on roguelike action RPGs and that makes the experience so much better. Sure, you’ll die probably dozens of times in the first few hours alone but you’ll always be willing to run back into the wasteland to learn what you did wrong and how to better be ready for this new run! RAD is a solid game and we think many of you 80s fans out there might love it more than we did! Are you going to download RAD today and for what system? Comment below to sound off! For even more game reviews and all things anime, be sure to keep stuck to our amazing hive here at Honey’s Anime!
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!