Shredders Review: The Right Game for Game Pass
While my love of all things snowboarding in the world of video games has waned over the last decade or so with memories of the SSX series slowly fading away, I always hold out hope the genre will rise up again to the mainstream. Foolish? Maybe, but that is how big of an impact things like SSX and Amped had on games at one point. Plus, skateboarding has all but had a renaissance in recent times, and games like Riders Republic are dabbling in all forms of “extreme” sports, so why can’t snowboarding also make a comeback? With Shredders now on Game Pass, it felt like the right time to put this Shredders review together and see if it’s the right game for the moment.
What I Like
While I love snowboarding games, all of my knowledge and experience has come from either playing video games or watching extreme sports on TV. By admitting that, I also acknowledge that I need a game in this genre to be user-friendly and provide a tutorial system that allows access to the entire library of moves.
Shredders does exactly that, providing an on-screen tutorial system that is easy to follow, easy to understand, and allows for quick repetition through a “re-shred” system that lets me continuously try different moves and combos until the all-important muscle memory reaction kicks in and lets me move onto to the next set of moves and combos.
Even better is the fact that the game provides an open tutorial program, and that same program continues throughout the actual game, just in a less intrusive fashion.
While this somewhat coincides with the tutorial program in Shredders, the control system is just as easy and intuitive as the available tutorial system. This, for me, is such a solid move by the developers, and they deserve all the accolades for providing such an easy-to-use set of controls.
Even with an extensive repertoire of moves at my disposal, the way the game handles the controls and abilities to apply these moves into combinations is presented in a simple form of mechanics that allows accessibility and the ability to pull most, if not all, the moves off over time.
What’s even better is that such simplicity in terms of control allowed me to put my focus on the game itself and enjoy whichever approach I pursued. Whether following the story mode, participating in multiplayer, or simply shredding down the mountain, nailing the rails, hitting the jumps, or mashing the flags.
Physics And Gameplay
Shredders‘ physics and the control and tutorial system tie together exceptionally well. All three of these facets require connectivity for the game to flow well because if the physics are inconsistent then you start to question the controls. Here in Shredders, the physics and gameplay are every bit as solid as the controls and tutorials.
The feeling of the snow under the board is organic and immersive, and maneuvering around obstacles feels every bit as natural as being on a board or skis does in real life. The approach to movement, jumping, and landing takes a more authentic approach, and while I do love an over-the-top gameplay style in these types of games, the natural and realistic approach suits the game well.
The game delivers a grounded style in reality, but lets you feel every bump and jump, and it immerses you in the sensation of height and adrenaline at the apex of a jump.
Shredders provides an excellent simulation of what snow feels like to maneuver through, how it feels to jump off hills, and how hard landings can be, and the control system puts the results of each attempt right in your hands.
What I Don’t Like
Without giving away too much of the story that takes place in Shredders, I will say that the focus is on a small production company called Indy540 that has hit the hills in search of some social media talent with charisma in front of the camera and skills on the hills.
This seems like a solid and modern approach in these days of “everyone’s a star,” but the story and the voice acting offered many cringe-worthy moments and made me thankful I was able to skip through many of these cutscenes.
Every game like this needs a story mode. The need or necessity is understandable, but if the idea of creating a story-driven game like this is the route taken, asking for some production value and value-added scenarios seems reasonable. Again, much of the story and cutscenes can be skipped, and my instinct says many of you who haven’t played the title yet will do just that.
There are worse problems to have than a confusing or messy user interface. Still, the menu system in Shredders feels like one of the many early betas I have been involved with over the years where only part of the title is accessible. The menu system is clunky and odd in its format, and it feels like a chore trying to navigate around even after becoming familiar with it over time.
This is even more of an issue for me because the game provides a unique in-game replay system that allows you to edit, trim, and capture some fantastic shots and videos while providing a straightforward and accessible design. Again, it’s not the end of the world, and finding and locating the options wasn’t extremely hard, it was just disjointed and cumbersome at best.
There aren’t a lot of glaring issues with Shredders, which is always welcomed, but the big one I have is longevity. Now, for those with Game Pass, this isn’t an issue, but for those making the $29.99 (USD) purchase, understand that Shredders isn’t an extremely deep title.
The fact is not every game is meant to be Elden Ring or Skyrim, but for me, Shredders was fun in spurts but somewhat forgettable and easy to move on from after each session. That said, if your access to the game is enabled through Game Pass, then downloading this homage to similar past titles is an easy decision.
Shredders didn’t hit the nostalgia button quite the way I expected, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a solid snowboarding game hidden behind the shoddy UI and bland story mode. From the easy to learn mechanics to the excellent tutorial system and solid graphics and lighting, Shredders offers a high level of fun. I just have concerns about how long the fun will last, but that concern is mitigated if your approach to Shredders is a “pick up and occasionally play” type of title.
Shredders may not conjure up images of SSX and the like. Still, it presents the sport of snowboarding in a fun, accessible, and realistic fashion that is extremely enjoyable in small doses.