Redfall is a perfectly fine co-op shooter, but it doesn’t live up to Arkane’s legacy of groundbreaking shooters.
Developer – Arkane
Publisher – Bethesda
Platforms – PC, Xbox Series S|X
The basic premise of Redfall revolves around an unusual and dangerous situation in the town of Redfall, Massachusetts. The town, once known for its idyllic charm and quaint surroundings, becomes the center of a supernatural crisis when a mysterious ancient order accidentally unleashes a plague that turns the residents into bloodthirsty vampires. As the town descends into chaos and darkness, players take on the roles of a group of diverse and skilled survivors who are immune to the vampire plague. After the release of Prey, the concept of a multiplayer-driven game from Arkane Studios was exciting, but the final product leaves a bit to be desired.
The main objective of the game is to team up with other survivors, either in single-player or co-op mode and battle against the horde of deadly vampires that have overrun the town. Players must strategize, explore, and fight their way through the vampire-infested landscape to uncover the secrets behind the origins of the plague and find a way to stop its spread.
The Redfall campaign took us around twenty-two hours to complete, and the overall experience is pretty baffling. Even as late-game scenarios slowly started to introduce a dash of variety, so much of the game was just, there. I enjoyed it to a degree, but it was certainly nothing close to the level of immersion and atmosphere you’d expect from the creators of Prey and Deathloop.
The campaign experience offers a freely explorable sandbox structure with areas of the town of Redfall, across two distinct locations The game presents challenging battles against various vampire foes, with bosses providing intense and well-crafted duels.
However, often, the AI would frequently fail, and what should be intense and interesting scenarios prove lackluster due to a vampire lord getting stuck behind a mailbox or a garage door. The basic concept of a vampire invading suburbia is fantastic, but the actual moment-to-moment execution lets the premise down.
As the story progresses, the lore and story of Redfall does go into some interesting places. Vampire gods, even pharmaceutical companies, and more all get intertwined with some decent lore-building and story concepts. However, maybe due to a rushed or co-op nature, it tells the story in awkward motion comic scenes, and the production level consistently fails to reach the studio’s previous heights.
To make matters worse, the game suffers from frequent bugs, crashes, and a lack of polish across the board. Menus are very clunky, considering its a looter shooter, and the skill trees for each of the interesting heroes is bloated with meaningful tiny percentage stat buffs. Furthermore, the co-op fails to deliver anything other than the novelty of playing with friends,
I didn’t hate Redfall during my review period, as I found it entertaining enough to fully finish the campaign and still play another one with a friend of mine. Still, it certainly doesn’t stand alongside some of its previous blockbuster titles, such as Prey, Deathloop, and Dishonored.
Review copy given by publisher.