Review by: Mike Laidlaw
Published: September 19, 2002
Quantum Redshift follows the tradition of the sci-fi racer perfectly. We have memorable, though slightly odd, characters competing for glory, environments so diverse that it’s obvious the people of the future will rarely consider terrain to be an obstacle, and the obvious introduction of speeds fast enough to make our nascent 21st Century ears bleed. If you mix in a few weapons, some shielding and a healthy dose of ego for the drivers, you’ll find yourself in Quantum Redshift territory, which can be plotted out as sharing borders with the likes of Extreme G 3 and, to some extent, SSX Tricky.
Quantum Redshift provides you with a custom hover vehicle for each character. Blending the handling of a hovercraft, eyeball flattening speeds and the ammo reserves of a tank, these vehicles certainly aren’t designed for road travel. As custom racers, each one has a different feel about it; if you swap racers, you’ll need a bit of time to adjust, especially at the later stages, where the speeds require precision handling.
Before you head out onto the course for the first time, you’ll have to choose a pilot as your character. This is where Quantum Redshift shares some ground with SSX Tricky, as most arcade racers merely let you select your vehicle’s color scheme and perhaps a face for your driver. This group, however, has a collection of unique personalities, their own histories and even a healthy selection of neuroses that will be revealed as they make their way through the championships. As with any professional group, there’s a grudging respect between most of the drivers, friendship between a select few and every driver’s got their nemesis. Constantly plaguing you, your sworn enemy will take every opportunity to send you flying off the track, but you’ll also be richly rewarded if you prove that turnabout is fair play and manage to destroy their ride.
Also similar to SSX Tricky, the rivalries and friendships play out before and after the championships, and sometimes between the races, giving you a glimpse into your character’s world. Deeper than you’d expect from a racer, there’s hints of conspiracy and cover-up as well, making the story seem closer in essence to Dark Summit, though without the campy anti-establishment overtones.
Taking the war of words onto the courses, you’ll soon learn that each character has not only their enemy, but also their ally in the form of a home track. As you explore the various settings, you’ll find yourself racing up the sides of mountains and powersliding across fresh powder when you visit the home course of Eva Mathias, while Jordan’s more urban character is reflected in her home course, Solar City. Each character has a bit of an edge at their home course, so you’ll be able to relax at home, but will need to watch the native racer whenever you’re on alien shores.