Shredders Review

Cool boarders.
Shredders Header

While a certain food and drink conglomerate might want you to believe that Shredders are people addicted to their laminated wholewheat cereal, the truth is more chilling. Not in a horrifying way, it just involves a lot more snow. Shredding, and by extension, Shredders, is all about sliding down snowy mountainsides on pieces of fibreglass, using the word ‘dude’ a lot, and spinning around in the air. Coming in a long line of snowy, dude-filled, rotationally-focussed games, Shredders may not provide your recommended daily allowance of fibre, but it is an absolutely lovely indie-centric example of the genre.

Shredders puts you at the top of a bunch of mountains and lets you slide down them. I could just about stop there, but there’s possibly a touch more context that’s needed here. You’re part of the Shreddageddon family, a burgeoning streaming channel with a grand total of 140 subscribers. These guys are not the sharpest, but then they’re not the bluntest either, and they have enough nous to see the benefit of taking cues from the PR and marketing exec of a snowboarding brand and following more talented ‘boarders on the way down the mountain to gain a few extra likes.

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There’s definitely some Amped 3 vibes going on here, with the best Xbox 360 launch game (don’t @ me) lending Shredders some rampant silliness to go with its pixelated UI elements. This is undoubtedly the closest anyone has got to recapturing Amped 3’s magic, and if you were a fan of Access Software’s legitimately brilliant take on the pastime there’s plenty here to satisfy your grinding, bonking, and transitioning needs. I’m sure it’s at least as exciting as those words suggest.

While there are moments where the scale of FoamPunch’s budget and size is obvious – all of the characters are stuck in their facemasks and goggles throughout to do away with needing facial animations – the core action feels phenomenally intuitive and slick, with movement that feels utterly natural.

Shredders Review Snow Boarding

You use the left stick for movement and front and backflips, while the right stick takes care of spins. Your triggers prepare jumps and landings, and then shoulder buttons take care of different grabs. It did feel a touch cumbersome at first, but I soon acclimatised to the way FoamPunch have set things up, leaping and tricking off every single tiny bump I could on my way down the mountainside.

The audio vibes are flawless, whether it’s the knowingly silly voice work of the exuberant main cast, with actual snowboarding star’s like Arthur Longo taking a turn, or the chilled electronica that bumps steadily away in the background. It’s actually one of my favourite soundtracks of the year so far, and it creates an audio environment that’s resolutely in tune with the in-game world.

As you progress through the game’s challenges you unlock a steady stream of new gear to customise your rider with, and while it’s nothing more than super trendy window dressing, it’s enjoyable being able to tailor things to your liking. I hope that Shredders does well enough that FoamPunch get the opportunity to add more elements here, or work with other brands, as the 134 different unlocks can fly by. As it stands, it’s a solid bit of customisation.

Shredders Review Tricks

Not everything is quite as perfect as the vibes in Shredders, and there’s a few foibles to be aware of. Sometimes the mission structures call for very specific tasks to be completed, and if they involve following an NPC then there’s very small windows for error. It would have been nice to see them slow down if you fall behind to avoid a few more restarts, but I understand it within the context of what they’re trying to do. There is a very welcome rewind – or Reshred – button, which lets you zip backto  before you faceplanted into the snow, but with some missions it’s often way too late if you’ve already made the error.

There’s also the occasional frame skip or stutter, even on Xbox Series X, which I hope can be ironed out in a future patch. It hardly ever affects the moment to moment gameplay, but in a game about sliding on snow, that refresh rate should be as smooth as the driven snow.

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Summary
Shredders is a breath of chilly mountain air in the face of snowboarding fans everywhere. If you miss the genre's heyday of Cool Boarders, 1080 Snowboarding, and Amped, then it's definitely time to strap on a new pair of digital bindings.
Good
  • An indie successor to Amped 3
  • Intuitive and slick board controls
  • Chilled audio vibes
Bad
  • Some missions are quite finicky
  • Not a huge amount of customisation
  • The odd frame hitch on Xbox Series X
8
Written by
TSA's Reviews Editor - a hoarder of headsets who regularly argues that the Sega Saturn was the best console ever released.

2 Comments

  1. I reckon this will be like Skater XL and the PC modding community will take this game and make it absolutely incredible.

  2. This looks pretty good, it’s definitely got an Amped feel to it, but all its really done is remind me that its been 10 years, 3 weeks and 2 days since the SSX finale and I just want more of that! On the other hand it also marks 10 years since I discovered The Naked And Famous so I’ll probably just plough through their albums today to cheer myself up.

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