— Redfall (@playRedfall) April 27, 2023
Redfall is the next highly anticipated game from the creators of Dishonored and Deathloop, an Arkane subsidiary based in Austin, Texas. Will Redfall live up to its predecessors?
Redfall is an open-world, co-op multiplayer shooter for up to four players, that can also be played on your lonesome. You’ll have the choice of four characters at launch (more will be added via DLC), each with their own powers, abilities and progression tree. However, unless you can find at least one co-op partner, the small town of Redfall, can be somewhat of a lonely, but fun experience.
A once quiet now, turned eerie ghost town, with a dark secret and government experiments gone wrong, the town of Redfall, Massachusetts, USA is now infested with blood-thirsty vampires and devoted human cultists that will stop at nothing to ensure that the roads continue to run red.
At its core, Redfall is quite a straightforward pick-up-and-play shooter. It borrows slightly from Arkane IPs such as Dishonored and Deathloop, but its focus leans towards Far Cry-inspired combat. In truth, it’s a solid shooter with a more compressed, streamlined open world that doesn’t feel overwhelming with cluster-filled content that can often be associated with the Ubisoft shooter.
Redfall is quite a small map by other open-world standards, and I’m fine with that. While you can unlock fast travel points by accessing safehouses and landmarks, you will spend a lot of your time trekking on foot. So you won’t feel too frustrated from spending much of your time running from one side of the map to the other. What’s more, you’ll be easily distracted from unlocking safe houses and kicking vampire ass in one of the many nests, as well as other side-missions/activities while taking on main story objectives.
However, an issue that I have at this time, especially when playing alone is the lack of checkpoints. Sure, the map of Redfall might not be the largest, but it is annoying when I die and I can spawn halfway across the map. Unless you’ve unlocked a nearby safehouse, this might happen more often than you’d like.
The way in which the story is told is also as streamlined as the open-world map, despite being the largest singular map created by Arkane. The story is told in artistic storyboard form rather than cinematic cutscenes. I would have preferred proper cinematics whether it’s pre-rendered or in-game, and I’m not sure why the developers chose this method, but it is what it is. Thankfully, the lack of cinematics is propped up a little by the well-supported voice cast and catchy soundtrack.
Now, we have to address the elephant in the room and that is the lack of Performance Mode at launch. A lot of fuss has been made across social media that Redfall only launches with Quality Mode, meaning that its framerate is capped at 30fps. Don’t get me wrong, Redfall is a nice-looking game, but it doesn’t blow me away and it doesn’t really look all that new-gen.
That being said, the capped 30fps does appear to be mostly consistent, but hopefully, we won’t be waiting too long for the 60fps Performance Mode. What’s more, another fuss that was made was due to the always online requirement. Thankfully Arkane has seen the error of their ways, and at some point post-review, that requirement will be removed. Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that when playing co-op, campaign progression is only tied to the host, but XP and loot will carry over.
Over the years, since the release of the original Dishonored in 2012, very high standards have been set by Arkane and for the most part, those standards have been met, only with Dishonored 2, but also with Deathloop. Redfall is a fun game at times, but its lack of cinematic storytelling and uninspired open-world gameplay loop struggles to allow me to feel immersed as much as I would have liked. In a nutshell, Redfall is a solid vampiric shooter that lacks the bite required to make this another Arkane classic.