Every so often, a game comes along that challenges the status quo. One that provides such a story that brings tears to your eyes and melts your heart with its honesty and brilliant narration. Red Colony for the Switch is not one of those games. In this story, which is “based on true events from the future”, we learn about a zombie outbreak, betrayal, and the steps a mother will take to rescue their daughter.
Look, before we even continue further, this is a game with a lot of rough edges. It has some promise in it, but Red Colony is weighed down so heavily by its excessive sexualization that it was hard to appreciate the good happening. So is Red Colony a game worth your time and money? Well, I guess it depends on how much of a weeaboo you are, but let’s find out what makes this game tick.
WARNING: This whole review is NSFW.
Right off the bat, let’s talk about the story.
You play as Maria, an apparently intelligent person who runs a science lab and has huge knockers. At the start of the game, you wake up in a room that is not yours. This is because you got so drunk (Or something) that you were passed out for five whole days with zero knowledge as to 1) how you got in the warehouse room you are in and 2) how a zombie outbreak started in your colony from the very lab that you run.
Yeah. Apparently intelligent, but not actually intelligent.
You are immediately concerned for the safety of your daughter and husband, and through phone calls with your friend Jill and the nanny, you start to puzzle things together and learn where you need to go.
Oh, and there are zombies all around, so going to certain places is no walk in the park.
So Red Colony is obviously not going to win any awards for its storytelling. It is a simple zombie affair with family rescue and some mystery mixed in, and the interactions between characters is somewhat interesting at times. Sadly, a lot of the serious tones of the game are watered down because of the obnoxious hyper-sexualization and beyond childish dialog that happens on occasion (How many times can they fit “fuck” into a sentence?).
It doesn’t help that the English subtitles are littered with grammatical problems and misspellings. It is not so much that you cannot understand the story, but it is noticeable and downright ugly to look at.
Another thing is that outside of Maria, the supporting cast does not get a whole lot of attention. Your friend, Jill, speaks to you throughout and offers some insight to her personality, but outside of her, most characters are subject to one conversation that does not bring the whole story together.
The gameplay in Red Colony is a bit like a point-and-click with action elements. Although you have an avatar and can freely move from one screen to the next, each room presents you with some interactive objects and puzzles to unlock some goodies or important items for the game. Most of your time will be spent simply trying to figure out 4-digit codes to unlock safes and doors, and the codes are usually hiding in plain site or in journals.
The other side to the game is the action, because this is a zombie game after all. Well, calling it a zombie game also feels like an insult, because these zombies are all about flesh. Oh, no. Not eating human flesh, but tearing Maria’s clothes to expose her body so they can see her flesh. Apparently these zombies are just perverted.
There is combat, and you will have the ability to print guns and bullets from the printer, the same place where you save your game. Printing items or saving your game require items found throughout, so yes, Red Colony does bring back the old Resident Evil saving method where you need to find a USB stick to save at a particular printer. It over-complicates saving, and I find it to be unnecessary.
Continuing with combat, using the guns against zombies works fine and all, but I honestly found the Bowie knife to be the most effective, especially since zombies barely pose a threat. Buying bullets is very expensive, but your knife is forever. I found stabbing them once, stepping back a little, and then stabbing again until they die worked perfectly and I never found myself getting groped by zombies this way.
Zombies tear more and more clothes off of you the more they catch you until you eventually give up due to embarrassment or something (I honestly have no idea how Maria dies. Her clothes just disappear.).
There are parts in the story where certain characters will ask you to do some pretty hard tasks, so you are given choices in the game whether you will follow through with these promises or not. Your decisions will affect the end game, but it is honestly subtle changes.
The movement is clunky and slow, which is another reason why it feels like a point-and-click adventure at times. Thankfully, the game runs pretty smooth, and I didn’t experience any problems technically.
The visuals, however, are a mixed bag. One one hand, Red Colony is a very dark and dingy game that does a great job painting the horrific nature of a zombie apocalypse. This is helped even more by the creepy tones and heavy zombie breathing which catered to some terrific jump scares in the game.
But on the other hand is the sexualizing of every female character. This overly chauvinistic display clearly shows that this game was made by men for men and that the zombie theme is simply a backdrop for the plethora of large boobs spread throughout the game. The two polarizing themes do not do well together, and the game would have benefited tremendously had they treated these female characters with respect.
As such, it is very difficult to recommend Red Colony. It is affordable at only $6.99, but it leaves so much to be desired. It is unfortunate, because at the core of the game, there is a decent story with some puzzle and mystery elements. Sadly, that all takes a backseat to the real star of the show: Maria’s boobs.
With such a shallow goal, it is no wonder that many things in the game feel a bit lazy and unpolished. If you enjoy lots of scantily clad women in your zombie stories, then I guess Red Colony is for you. If not, please avoid this one like the plague (You know, like the one we are still dealing with.).
Some good puzzles
Fun interactions with certain characters
Solid story with multiple endings
Lots of errors in English subtitles
Hyper-sexualization of all female characters
Beyond easy combat
Archaic (And stupid) saving method
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.