While doing game reviews, I have been struggling with horror classic creatures for the last month. After clearing Los Angeles of zombies, I had to deal with vampires in Massachusetts at a party. In fact, I had the chance to meet the vampires of Redfall for a short while at Bethesda Turkey’s special event. But of course, I couldn’t pass without playing the final version of this game made by Arkane Austin’s young and brave team. You can read my thoughts on Redfall in the rest of the review.
However, I would like to point out one thing first. Since it is offered completely free with Xbox Game Pass, I would like you to set aside all the negative reviews you may have read before and give it a try and decide for yourself. Yes, it may not be a game with the quality that Arcane has used to us and the bar it raises, but personally, I think it does not deserve the comments it has received. I prefer that you decide for yourself. The game combines the chaotic gameplay we know from other Arcane series with sci-fi and horror elements and offers a lot of fun, especially with friends.
There is no school of vampire hunting…
It’s pretty simple: vampires have taken over a small town, and it’s up to you and a small group of survivors to fight back against what appears at night. As we aim to escape, our journey takes us very quickly to the origins of the threat looming over the survivors. Instead of running away, we decide to fight against these bloodsuckers.
Arkane’s final game is set in an island town in Redfall, Massachusetts. Vampires have cut off all citizens’ connection to the outside world and have completely turned off the sun. This is where we step in to take back control and eliminate the deadly vampires that have taken over the land. As we explore two open-world areas, we begin to uncover the mystery behind the vampire gods and how this apocalyptic invasion came about.
Redfall’s story is told in still frames rather than animated cutscenes. While this isn’t a bad way of storytelling, which will sound familiar from As Dusk Falls, post-Deathloop does feel a bit lacking. Still, Redfall makes up for it with what the game calls “Psychic Appearances”. When you interact with these Psychic Views, they show holograms of the past, aiming to further the story and what happened on the island.
The story isn’t groundbreaking, and it’s hardly Arkane’s best work. However, it’s not completely boring either. It’s interesting to see how the vampires appear and reveal the disturbing backgrounds of civilization, but the game doesn’t go far enough to grab the player’s attention. Instead, you can sometimes choose to skip a cutscene and return to the battle. Because still frame style videos can feel boring without providing too much content.
Although Redfall has a 4-player cooperative gameplay like Left 4 Dead, which we have seen many examples of before, as a player who likes to use a single pistol as usual, I preferred to enter alone. Each of Redfall’s heroes has two quick-cast abilities unique to their style, and one powerful special ability that must be filled with slain enemies. Being a stealth lover, I chose to go with Jacob Boyer, a vampire-eyed sniper with a raven and invisibility ability, to explore the surroundings. However, according to your playing style; You can also choose from resourceful engineer Remi De La Rosa, legend hunter Devinder “Dev” Crousley, and telekinetic student Layla Ellison.
While abilities are important and can be upgraded with skill points as you progress, Redfall is all about weapons. Pistols, assault rifles, snipers, and shotguns make up your essential arsenal, and most come equipped with a stake so you can take out any vampires you’ve weakened. As if the bloodsuckers weren’t enough, there are also armies of volunteer human followers chasing after them. In addition to the UV shooters used to shoot down vampires, you can of course use stake launchers on humans, and heart-studded stakes also work on the living. You never miss out on gear in Redfall. All guns do the trick, but the main thing is to find what works best for you. So you have to figure out how to defeat the enemies with less without spending countless ammo. The weapon that can finish off the vampires with a bullet instead of a stake is of course a reason for preference.
Our mission is to secure the safe house
Basic mechanics aside, the gameplay loop is also relatively simple: the town of Redfall is divided into different neighborhoods. While there are main and side missions, the main thing is to find the safe house of each area and secure it first. This will not only give you a quick travel point, but also activate a mission that will allow you to start securing the area itself, and then a mission that will allow you to remove the control factor in the area.
Discovering and eliminating groups of humans and vampires is a lot of fun, and vampire nests add to that. As you begin to feel in control of the town, you will find that a home has emerged. If you don’t deal with slots, the balance of power at one point changes dramatically. There are many advantages to eliminating a nest. While clearly lowering the threat level in your environment, slots also offer a host of upgrades and loot when you clear them.
It’s more fun to play with friends
Although I preferred the single player game when reviewing the game, Redfall allows co-op with up to four players where anyone in the match can take on main missions and side missions, and I’m sure it will be more fun that way. Redfall shines in co-op because everyone in the game can play as different characters. Using talents to improve teamwork is the focus here, and it can be a lot of fun when you do it right.
But this mode is not without its drawbacks. Throughout the missions, the story progresses only for the host. In other words, although you have passed half of the story in a friend’s game, you may have to repeat the whole process because nothing is recorded by you. According to the in-game description, multiplayer progression is limited to the host “as some missions are not optional or sequential”. This can push players like me who want to play the story to a single user. I wish players were allowed to decide if they wanted progression or not.
Problems hurt but it’s not like they won’t get better
Redfall is great, but it can’t be denied that it has technical issues. There were times when the game crashed. There were almost zero issues with framerate drops in the first half of the game, but as you progress into the second region and encounter more challenging Vampire Gods, the game begins to struggle to keep up with what’s happening on the screen.
Stuttering, crashing and poor quality graphics become a significant issue in certain locations. While these issues definitely reduce the fun you get, as I always say, I don’t think it’s right to make a final decision about a game for issues that can be fixed. When the problems are fixed with the patches and the 60 fps mode comes, only fun will remain.
Redfall is a truly exciting experience. Great alone, even greater potential to be great with friends. If you’ve played and loved any Arkane game in the past, you’ll surely love it. Of course it’s also available on Xbox and PC Game Pass, so you have the chance to try it out with little risk. Just for uninterrupted fun, maybe it would be good to wait a while for some bugs to be fixed.
Developer Arkane Studios
Platform Xbox Series S/X, PC
Type Action, FPS