Let me start by saying The Redress of Mira is imperfect, but by no means unplayable. In fact, there’s a lot of fun in its simplicity and it’s balanced well with varied puzzle-solving, fantasy elements, platforming, and a good story.
It’s one of those games that drops the player into the world with little context. There are few mechanics to learn beyond jumping, interacting with the environment, and firing from your magic staff. Progress is encouraged by exploring and retrying if needed.
Each area is locked by a glassy memory portal blocking the way. To open paths, you need to find a glowing rabbit and drain it of mana. Magic also has other uses such as shooting crystals to open new paths, and it is your only source of combat damage.
Combat is exciting even though it feels dated. Every now and then you’ll cross paths with a mercenary who has been tortured to madness and attacks you on sight while yelling threats. Though it’s unclear at first, you need to locate the three mana rabbits that are hopping around the stadium floor, all while the sword-wielding maniac hacks away. Once you have found all three, you have to try and hit the merc with your spell while he’s running around frantically. After three rounds of draining your wand, he’ll run off and threaten to sing you to your death. The uncertainty of how to play creates thrilling moments.
The story is unlocked piece by piece by finding books in chests. They tell the tale in chapters of a clan who have lived and farmed on the lands owned by a Baron and his family for centuries. When locusts destroy their harvest, they’re unable to pay their full taxes for the year leaving them short. The Baron takes offence to this and sends a mercenary who secretly wants out of the Barons pocket to the clan to teach them a lesson, burning down their farmlands and the sacred tree that represents them. The clan leader, Mira’s father, hunts down the mercenary and kills him, leaving his body by the river. The mercenary’s daughter finds his corpse and swears revenge when she finds the clansman’s necklace. She exacts her revenge only to be chased down by Mira.
Devastatingly, there is a secondary and more intriguing subplot about the Baroness being a torturing sex predator which is, oddly, without a conclusion. When the rest of the story is pieced together so well across over twenty chapters, the ending even refers to the Baron and Baroness as “a tale for another day.”
Indeed, I found myself asking myself if The Redress of Mira is unfinished. Going after the merc’s daughter because she killed your father, and not teaming up with her to get revenge for them both against the Baron and pervy Baroness seems like an unclosed arc. Or have I missed the point? The game synopsis describes the goal being toward Mira’s inner peace.
The ending boils down to a good/bad scenario but neither satisfies such a good and well-put-together tale unless the point was about whether or not we forgive those who kill our families but not those who pull strings to have them killed. My inner peace would be more disturbed knowing I was still going to struggle to pay taxes for the next few years, my dad dead because we didn’t pay the full tax last year, and the clan had fallen apart while the git responsible still sits in his splendour. Realistically in the grand scheme of things, the wrong people die, and no lessons are learned. Eh?
Unless I’m mistaken, the game was made by one person, with the help of a writer, and additional voice actors. So, I’m not completely mad at the imperfections in the gameplay or story ending. The developer, Tonguç Bodur, set out to create a beautiful atmospheric exploration game, and hit the mark relatively well. And when you consider everything else except the environment is an acquired asset to flesh out, I feel like a lot else (but not everything) can be forgiven.
A lot of care and detail went into crafting the world environment, down to trees and blades of grass moving independently, and rich ambient sounds. My only complaint would be that there could have been a couple of larger fantasy elements or assets to the flora and fauna just to drive home how fantastical the land is.
There are moments I got strong Elden Ring or Skyrim vibes from the environment, as well as very ‘Skyrim-esque’ tones in the score. The Redress of Mira felt somewhat familiar to play, with a sense of dread not knowing when or if you’re going to run into something creepy which is commendable as there is very little threat. Despite the awkward actions when using ladders, climbing vines, and manoeuvring obstacles, there’s always just the right amount of something different after passing through each portal. None of them are too long or tedious, and the way it’s layered in the environment encourages exploration.
The tale as it’s told throughout the 3-hour story is also interesting, told in the right way to weave and intrigue through to the conclusion.
As I said at the start The Redress of Mira has issues, but I still got sucked into the world by way of exploring and storytelling. It’s an oddity that will stick out for some time like a sore thumb in my mind. It has many enjoyable aspects but is let down so sharply by an ending that just doesn’t make sense to me and feels sudden and unfinished. It is an easy 1000G for your Gamerscore, though.
Published by eastasiasoft, The Redress of Mira is available now on PS5, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series. It first launched on PC in 2022.