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Redneck Rampage

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Released: 1997

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: PC - DOS

Publisher: Interplay

Developer: Xatrix Entertainment

Submitted by: Duncan Rule

Redneck Rampage hit the shelves in 1997, proudly boasting "all the killin', twice the humor, half the intelligence" of other FPS games. The premise is incredibly simple: you are Leonard, average backwoods hick. Aliens have kidnapped your prized pig, Bessie, and it's up to your and your dimwit brother Bubba to git 'er back.

If you've played any of the other Build engine games, you'll be right at home here as the game plays in much the same manner. That said, Redneck Rampage has a real style of its own that remains unique to this day. The game takes place in and around the fictional town of Hickston, Arkansas, and the levels make use real-world locations, such as a meat processing plant, a sawmill, an abandoned mental asylum and various trailer parks and country roads.

Although the game touts itself as being an exercise in humour, Redneck Rampage carries a rather creepy atmosphere that actually rivals the horror-themed Blood. You'll skulk through decrepit southern homesteads and abandoned buildings in the dark, your ears filled with the evil laughter of townsfolk clones as they lie in wait to unload a blast of buckshot into your head. For the first few levels, these clones make up the majority of the enemies you'll face, along with giant mosquitoes and vicious dogs. After a while, you'll encounter alien enemies with more fearsome attacks.

Unlike others at the time, the game contains only two episodes and a total of 14 levels. However, these are huge and most require a good investment of time to explore and finish (the par times Xatrix gives are ridiculous). To end a level, locate Bubba (who somehow gets to the end way before you, without killing a single foe or unlocking one door), and whack him with your crowbar. Health and armour pick-ups don't exist, and instead you'll rely on food and alcohol to keep yourself alive. Just don't get drunk.

Redneck Rampage is rude, crude, and definitely not for everyone. It's one of my favourite games of all time though, and a real forgotten gem.